What you need to know about Love and Relationships

love, relationships, marriage, dating, what you need to know now

Here are things you need to know about love and relationships if you’ve never been married

There are some basic things you need to know to have the loving relationship you really, really want – whether you’ve never been married, or you have been and aren’t anymore.

You are lovable and worthy and absolutely deserve a healthy, supportive, loving, happy romantic partnership with the man you choose. You don’t need to prove anything to anybody, you don’t have to convince anybody, you don’t have to do anything but love. Love yourself, love men, love other humans in general, and learn to love the process of dating, because it’s through this process that you will meet your right match.

I want to let you in on a little secret … you might not be ready to love dating, but the truth is you can learn to enjoy it, and that might snowball and you might start to have fun … and if you have fun dating, who knows what might happen? 😉 

One key to changing your outcomes in love and relationships

Although the early stages of any love relationship are similar, when you’ve never been married you may be having different experiences of dating than women who are dating again after divorce.

I used to get a lot of questions from men who were, quite honestly, suspicious. One guy on a date said, “You’ve never been married? What’s wrong with you?”

Nothing. Nothing at all, I said. I simply never chose to marry any of the men I’d dated, because I knew none of those relationships was meant to last.

Although I had plenty to say about that guy at the time, none of it printable here, I have to admit he was sent to be my teacher. I meant the things I’d said, but his attitude made me want to hide. The interaction propelled me to an important key in my evolution – asking the important questions like, if I really wanted to be married, why was I dating men who weren’t potential husbands? Obviously what I’d been doing for years – putting the focus on the men – was not helping me figure that out.  What I needed to do was invest my time and energy, and eventually money, in loving, gentle, thorough self-exploration. And I didn’t stop until I’d come up with the true answers.

Another key to creating the love you want

When I spent the time to figure out why I was dating men I didn’t want to be married to I realized something. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be married at all!

That really is amazing, isn’t it? I mean, who doesn’t want to be married? Ummm, turns out lots of people!

I’d gotten so used to the idea that everybody gets married and that women are supposed to get married and are supposed to want to get married, that I never once stopped to wonder if I personally really wanted to be married. I never questioned it until the moment the man across the table on that first and only date claimed that both of his ex-wives just suddenly decided they didn’t want to be married any more, with absolutely no warning, and then suggested something was wrong with me.

Before you ask – no, it wasn’t easy to be civil when I wanted to toss my water in his face and stalk off. Although, since I was going to wake up with myself in the morning I didn’t want to have any regrets – so I plastered on a smile and bided my time until I could get in my car and get myself home.

Do the work to figure out what you want and create that, no matter who else in the world has something to say about it. At the end of your time here on this planet those naysayers will be nowhere to be found. It’s all you.

#havemorelove #datingandrelationships #midlifemarriage #datingat50 #marriedat50 #marriedat40 #midlifedating #onlinedating  #datingat40 #midlifelove

Your 2021 story about Love and Marriage

love, love story, romantic relationship, marriage, dating

 

If, at the end of your life, you’ll get to tell whatever story you wish about your romantic relationships, what will you choose? I hope in that moment you would look adoringly at the partner with whom you’ve shared your most intimate secrets and most riotous joys and tell the story of how you treated yourself with love and compassion, never wavered in your determination to create the life you desired, invested the resources available to you, and were paid back tenfold with the most fulfilling relationship you could ever have imagined with your rightest match.

If that’s the story you’d like to tell, here are some ideas to get you started.

Thought prompts for your own Love Story!

Chapter 1: There’s only one rule when it comes to creating my rightest match for marriage

If you’re not dating men who are real possibilities for marriage and you worry about whether or not you’re following all the rules, stop worrying about ‘the rules’ and start making them. Believing that a man is supposed to look or act the way your friends think is best, and counting men out because they don’t measure up, is holding you back from finding the man who has the qualities that really matter to you.

The rules that are hanging you up are all about what you think other people will think and the only opinion that truly matters is yours. What do you value? What qualities in a partner will be in best alignment with your values? How do you want to live and love? Do you want to be married? What is important to you to accomplish in life and what kind of man will be your most ardent champion?

I used to date a man who didn’t open the car door for me. There are a lot of women in the world who would count him out forever just because of that, and they each would have missed out on time with someone who was smart and funny and sweet. Instead of counting him out based on him not behaving the way someone else might have thought he ought to, you know what I did? I asked him to please open the door for me. And from that moment on, he did.

Decide for yourself who your rightest match is, not your friend’s, and then go out into the world of dating and meet that man.

Chapter 2: I made choices and took actions that served my romantic relationship, even when it was hard 

Yes, it’s hard to put your needs, your wants, your self, before someone else. But if you don’t do it at least some of the time you are going to spend a big chunk of the rest of your life shopping – for gifts for other women’s registries and outfits for other women’s weddings.

The next time someone asks you to do them a favor, especially if it conflicts with plans you had for yourself, especially if it conflicts with the time you promised to write your online dating profile and select pictures, say no.

If the thought of this fills you with dread this is a golden opportunity! You are being given the chance to practice the incredibly important life skill of learning when and how to prioritize your needs and create the life you deserve.

Start with this – ask yourself why you are considering saying yes. Seriously, sit down and ask yourself why you want to do this thing for this person at this time and don’t get up until you have an answer. This will give you a lot of useful information!

In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert says, and I paraphrase, that in order to make time to accomplish our dreams, not only must we say no to doing things we don’t want to do, we must be willing to say no to things we want to do, too.

There are just so many hours in a day, and so many days in a year, and if you are not in the relationship right now that you promised yourself last year that you would be, you will be performing the utmost kindness to yourself by taking a concrete step toward changing that outcome for 2022.

Chapter 3: I look for the green flags everywhere, and find them!

Remember that game we played as children? We’d line up in a row and someone would start to shout out directions and we’d have to follow them or be counted out – Red light! Green light! One, two, three! Green lights meant go and red lights meant stop. For children it was lights, for adults it’s flags, although the meaning is exactly the same.

How many times have you heard other women talk about red flags or been on a date and thought it in response to something he said, or scrolled through your social media feed and seen those words in BIG RED LETTERS?

Yes, it’s important to immediately acknowledge warning signs of impending disaster – if you’re driving a car at 180 miles per hour. If you’re on a date with a man you’ve carefully screened before meeting it’s so much more important – and useful – to look for the GREEN FLAGS. 

Perhaps part of the reason you’ve had so much trouble dating is that you’ve trained yourself so completely to see red flags that nothing less than danger gets your attention. Since red means stop it makes sense that you are not finding men who are viable candidates for going forward from the first one or two dates. 

If you want to be in a romantic relationship with a high-quality man who is your best match, you must find things you like about the men you meet and date. You must learn how to see the signs that someone’s a great possibility; the green flags. Green, after all, means GO!

This is your story. You get to tell it your way!

#havemorelove #datingandrelationships #midlifemarriage #datingat50 #marriedat50 #marriedat40 #midlifedating #onlinedating  

Back to School for Love and Marriage

back to school, learning new things, love, relationships, dating, marriage

 

Do you get the same nostalgia I do at this time of year? I yearn for new shiny shoes, new itchy sweaters and new hard-bound books with paper bag covers. Yes, even the sweaters! 

I think it’s because of the possibility that I’ll learn something I don’t yet know that will change everything when I apply it! If you’d like to be in a committed romantic relationship with your rightest match before the end of this year, how can you learn to change everything?

Do you only meet men who engage in lengthy conversations but don’t take the initiative to ask you for a proper date? Or men who tell you they’re really into you and then drop out of sight without an au revoir? Or maybe the men you date only, ever, want casual vs. commitment?

What if …

It’s not about who you attract, it’s about who you’re attracted to

You may believe that you’re attracting this type of man over and over because it says something about your worthiness to be in a relationship. I know it’s not about your worthiness, because you are already 100% worthy. The truth is you are attracted to men who reflect back to you what you think about your worthiness. This feels very comfortable because it’s so familiar.

Do you believe all the men your age only want to date younger women? Have you ever wanted to start a conversation with a man but stopped yourself because you didn’t think he’d find you interesting? Do you want to be in a committed relationship, but think you have to wait until you’ve lost 10 pounds to start dating? Any of these thoughts feels like the truth, but isn’t, it’s simply a thought you are thinking that keeps you safely within your comfort zone. You don’t have to change your habits or make space in your closet or risk having your heart broken.

If you want something different, you’re going to have to do something different – and that starts with thinking different thoughts. The next time you catch yourself thinking one of the comfortably uncomfortable thoughts that’s been keeping you stuck, flip the switch. Try a pattern interrupter like saying, “NO!” out loud, followed with, “That’s not true, and I’m thinking a more useful thought!” Then do it.

Dating is hard because you think it is 

Think back over all the dates you’ve had in your lifetime and be really honest – haven’t some of them been good? Haven’t you had fun, had a few laughs, had some flirtations? Haven’t you gotten home on more than one occasion and hoped you’d see him again?

Then why do you keep listening to all the Moaning Myrtles who think that life is hard, and dating is harder than life itself? Why do you insist on telling yourself that you wish you could be in a relationship without having to date? Not only is dating not hard, it’s actually fun when you allow it to be! By telling yourself anything to the contrary you are causing yourself needless suffering!

Being part of the ‘in’ crowd might have been attractive in junior high but in our divisively virtual world a majority of the voices that pronounce themselves ‘in’ are negative and damaging to your self-confidence and your ability to create the loving, committed romantic partnership you really want and deserve.

You are a highly successful, competent, blessed woman who lives in a very real world, not a virtual one, and the real world is where you seek that high-quality man who is your absolutely best match! You are worthy of enjoying exactly the kind of relationship you desire, and uniquely able to create it. Your willingness to feel any emotion possible is your golden ticket to whatever you want in life. Sadness, dashed hopes and temporarily injured hearts are all part of the gamut of emotions – suffering is optional.

Being married is more important than getting married

I know exactly why you’ve never been married! It’s because you just haven’t met your rightest match. But why haven’t you?

If you were raised to not ‘depend on a man’ you may have decided your career was more integral to your well-being than love. Although the money and the accolades give you a sense of security, how do you feel alone in bed with a storm raging outside your window? If, as a child, you were given positive attention for being the family caregiver, as an adult you may prioritize the well-being of your family of origin, but are missing out on the joy you’d feel wrapped in the love of your own nuclear family.

All the decisions that have gotten you here are honorable, not binding.  You get to make different choices and create different outcomes now than you ever have before.

According to TV, getting married involves stacks of money, yards of tulle and buckets full of drama. Years of observing my parents’ marriage tells me being married involves hours of sitting and talking, years of trials and errors and boatloads of trust

You are a grown woman. Think long and hard about the kind of man you want to be married to now. I’ll bet that he’s very different from the kind of man you would have liked to get married to in your twenties. 

This is your marriage. You must have it your way!

#havemorelove #datingandrelationships #midlifemarriage #datingat50 #marriedat50 #marriedat40 #midlifedating #onlinedating 

Want a great marriage? Love yourself first.

Angel wings, havem ore love, romance, romantic relationship, love yourself, marriage, dating

What if it’s not all about the men?

Have you figured it out yet? What’s keeping you from finding your rightest match and getting married?

Is it something you’re doing? Is it something you’re not? Is it all about the men? If your relationships all end for the same reason, there is phenomenally good news.

It means that you have a pattern that’s standing between you and him and it’s probably something you’re doing to protect yourself. This is good news because if it’s about you then you can change it! 

Remember my philosophy that’s so different from everyone else’s – you have to love yourself before you can let someone else love you. Protecting yourself in ways that are keeping you from creating the enriched romantic relationship you desire isn’t actually loving yourself, but it sure does feel like it, doesn’t it? 

Are you protecting yourself from being seen?

I’ve always considered myself a friendly person. I smile at strangers, even on the NYC subway! But was I really smiling?

One day when I was in Vietnam, I saw a beautiful little girl toddling along the river path. Her mother was guiding her slowly, allowing her to find her footing. I was so captivated by her, and by the sweet patience expressed by her mother, that I beamed down at her, then looked up to see her mother beaming at me. I don’t recall ever having such a strong smile returned to me by a stranger. 

I showed her what her mother-love looked like, and she returned that love to me! Love was reflecting love over and over, bouncing back and forth like two mirrors reflecting light.

From that moment forward, in public I smiled big smiles that expressed how I was feeling about people, not tight-lipped grimaces that expressed how I thought others felt about me

And enough people smiled back for me to understand that when I go out into the world in the fullness of who I really am, my people will find me. And that includes men who might possibly be my rightest match. And yours will find you, too.

I know you’ve heard the admonition to not hide your light under a bushel. What are you doing about it? You can make all the lists you want, read all the books you want, use all the dating apps you want and nothing will mean anything if you don’t reveal who you are so the one who is seeking you can find you.

Vulnerable, yes. And so very worth it!

Are you protecting yourself from risk?

How many times have you been on a date and decided right then and there he was not your Mr. Right? You’ve probably even said to yourself (or a few friends) that you didn’t need to go out with him again, he’s not for you, and capped it off with, “When you know, you know.”

Except, what if you have an inkling you might really like him? What if you felt a flutter and you just didn’t want to feel the discomfort you’d feel while waiting to find out if he feels the same about you … or not? What’s really happening here is, so as not to be disappointed later, you are deciding he’s not for you, and voila, you don’t have to risk finding out he doesn’t feel the same for you.

Think about it this way – Is it really better to avoid feeling discomfort now because you don’t want to risk feeling disappointed later?

You need to learn to override your default reaction to protect yourself because that’s what got you where you are today. And where you are today is not where you want to be tomorrow.

You need to start looking for ways to count men in rather than out or you will, eventually, run out of men. And you’ll still be single.

Tough love? Yes, and you can take it because you’ve always taken care of yourself, worked your ass off, and created the outcomes you desire. You know tough love will get you to True Love.

But why do I have to love myself first?

Do you get as many compliments as you’d like? I have a feeling that the answer isn’t no, it’s that you’re given compliments, but you don’t receive them.

When a man says you’re beautiful do you say, how wonderful! or do you wonder why he’d say that?

When a man tells you you’re sexy do you feel soft and accepting, or tense up waiting to find out what he really wants?

Have you ever actually said, “you don’t really mean that” out loud?

Have you ever tried to give someone a compliment and been rebuffed? Was the response, it was nothing, or, this old thing?, or, you should have seen me last week, I looked really good then! How did it make you feel? I know I’ve had the experience of trying to give a compliment or express gratitude that was not accepted and I felt like I’d been caught in an invisible shield that kept me from connecting.

Now think about the man you seek. How do you want to feel with him? Loved? Cherished? Desirable and desired? Well, if you don’t love yourself, cherish yourself and feel desirable yourself, if you don’t understand why he would, when he tries to give you that compliment you want, you won’t let him.

You have to love yourself first so that you can understand and accept what other people love about you. You have to love yourself first so you can allow someone else to give you what you want. You have to love yourself first so you can allow someone else to love you

This is your love. You get to have it your way!

#havemorelove #datingandrelationships #midlifemarriage #datingat50 #marriedat50 #marriedat40 #midlifedating #onlinedating