Getting back to dating after years of single hood can be somewhat of a challenge especially if you spent many years coming and going as you please. Once you’re in a relationship those dynamics quickly change and you have to embrace having a partner in your life. I felt vigorous about writing this post because I am currently experiencing this now. One of my dating prospects stated that he was concerned about my ability to include someone in my life. I have been independent for so long that it’s something he will keep in the back of his mind. Honestly, I was a bit shocked to hear this, but at the same time, I appreciate the sincerity. It was time for me to reflect on how I am presenting myself and what I could be saying as well. The messages that I’m putting across could be giving mixed signals that I didn’t anticipate. I would be saying I’m available and unavailable at the same time. That is not what I want, so I need to make some changes in this area. I had to set down with myself and examine what I could be exuding out to others.
The first mixed signal I was giving off was not wanting to give up on my current routine. I am a creature of habit. I would get off work, do my typical after work rituals and be okay with that. However, when you’re dating it is essential to learn to compromise. That is the first example of compromising that many people miss entirely. If you can’t compromise with making time to meet up for dates, then it’s not a good indication of starting a relationship. In my mind, I would instead make time when I’m not exhausted from work as I want to make a good impression. The other person doesn’t view it that way and thinks I’m not interested in dating. I prefer to plan dates on the weekend and days when I don’t have to work. On those days I’m more alert and present. Now I understand that this doesn’t come across the way I think it should. It’s a better idea to explain a little more about your thought process. Some jobs are more demanding than others so maybe dates during the week won’t work. It’s best to communicate and find ways to compromise that works best for everyone. Otherwise, people will come up with their own opinions, and it can impact a potential relationship.
Another mixed signal is that my plate is full in life and that I don’t have room for a partner. When my dates ask what my interests are I thought it was a great thing that I have so many things that I like. To my surprise, I come across as having too much going on and not enough room for a relationship. I even had one guy tell me that I come across as too independent and he doesn’t know what role a man could play in my life. I had male friends tell me that men like to feel needed and if that doesn’t occur they typically will not entertain a relationship. Now that I’ve been made aware of it I try my best to make sure to state that I want to incorporate my hobbies and interest with my partner. That way potential suitors don’t feel left out and that I don’t want to intertwine my life with theirs. Dating is all about could you see yourself potentially with someone, and if they aren’t presenting themselves as a candidate, it’s a turnoff. In the future, I need to be more mindful of what I’m saying as not to scare off my soulmate.
The last mixed signal is related to communication styles and being adaptive to them. In my current job, I talk a lot and often for the whole day. Of course, once I get home, I want to take a break and not be on the phone. Depending on the day I had I will want to talk more than other days. However, when you’re dating someone or trying to get to know someone communication is essential. The problem I have is at times I don’t want to be on the phone for hours. I struggle with trying to get someone to understand that because they take it as I’m not interested in them. Then I’ll try to speak with them anyway when I didn’t want to talk, and it sets a wrong impression. I try to explain why but sometimes they believe I’m making excuses not to communicate.
Another thing is adapting to the need for video chatting. I noticed many guys love to do it, but it’s cumbersome at times. Who wants to hold the phone for hours? I get it especially with online dating people want to make sure they aren’t involved in a catfish situation. However, there should be a compromise between video chat, texting and phone calls. Depending on someone’s day it can be easier to use another form of communication. I feel that I adapt pretty well to other people’s communication style even though I don’t always feel the same in return. I need to do a better job of explaining the nature of my career, so guys don’t think I’m blowing them off. I may have experienced a long day at work, and I feel like being in a mood to text only, and then tomorrow we can video chat. I have to do a better job of setting expectations around communication and compromising more often.
Dating already comes with its’ set of challenges as you learn to adapt to the other person’s expectations. You also have to be open and honest about what you’re expecting as well. Communication is vital as it solves about 90% of the problems that people face today. To overcome challenges, you must pay attention when they come up and correct them. Even though to you it may not be a bad thing but it comes across differently to other people. Be mindful of what you’re putting out there and if that has anything to do with the results that you’re experiencing. If you notice that the results in dating are less than stellar, then its time to self reflect. You could be doing things without even realizes it, and that could be hurting your chances for a relationship.
What are some of your dating challenges and how did you overcome them?
I discussed the importance of self-care and self-love openly on this blog page. Honestly, at times I feel like a fraud because I’m not living up to the truth that I preach. One issue is that I tend to second-guess myself and scrutinized everything. I’m so concerned with making mistakes that not only do I still make them but they are worse than I could even imagine. The reason for this stress is due to my issue of people pleasing. I get so worried about what my family may think or believe. I know it doesn’t matter what others say and it’s important to live your life for you. Trust me I get it, and I heard all those reasons before. However, when you’re always in your head none of that matters. You believe that no matter what decision you make it’s still the wrong one. If my choices are going to cause harm to those around me, then it’s best to avoid the risk. That is a horrible way to live and not the best way to view things.
I wish that I could say that I don’t care what family thinks of me, but it’s not true. I get down on myself because I want to be happier in life. Delighted people don’t focus on the opinions of others. Their primary objective is to ensure their happiness supersedes everything else around them. I can’t wait for that to me as I’m continuously struggling with this daily. The next few paragraphs are an open letter to myself about how I’m going to not only love myself more but how I will implement these changes. I hope that reading this will help others out there learn to do the same.
Thkeya what can I say we have been on this beautiful journey called life together for the past 33 years. You have made such a positive impact on the lives of so many around you. The sad part is nobody understands the pain that you deal with on the daily. You go from happiness to sadness as the wind blows. All of this nonsense is due to you not being happy within yourself. Your wants and needs have fallen to the wayside to help those in need. Especially if it pertains to your family, you will go above and beyond to help them. There’s nothing wrong with being there for them but what about you? Are your desires not of great importance? At some point, you have to take a break from saving the world and focus on you. Since you’re responsible and reliable, your family will often overlook being there for you. They don’t believe that you need assistance. Therefore, it’s hardly granted or asked.
You’re still human at the end of the day and not a superhero. You need to take your cape off to rest and regroup for your mental wellbeing. I know you’re worried because every time you do you feel like you’re selfish. In the famous words of Iyanla Vanzant, “It’s selfish not to put yourself first.” I understand hearing all this is a lot for you. You’re most likely furious with me for even bringing this up. I don’t care what you want to hear because you need to listen to this. If you don’t make changes NOW, it will have dire consequences for you. Resentment is close to creeping in, and that’s a horrible sign. Some changes need to occur, and I’m begging you to make them sooner than later.
Of course, I would never leave you with all this to unpack and not try to help you implement changes ASAP. The first solution is to continue with therapy. I know it’s scary and you felt like you can do all this on your own. Well, therapy will help with these new demons that are coming to the surface. You need the proper tools to help deal with the range of emotions that you’re experiencing. I know you want to say you got this, but it’s a more prominent sign of strength to say I need help. Anyone who puts you down about this decision doesn’t need to be in your life period. You will gain more confidence, and that radiance that is inside will be shining out even more.
The second solution is following your heart and trust your instincts more. You know what’s best for you so stop doubting yourself. It’s exceptionally frustrating to watch you go over and over a decision when you got this. Kill the self-doubt and follow your first mind. It’s boring not taking risks anyway. The third solution is to stop waiting for a mythical time in the future to do something. The best time to do it is NOW! If you hold on for a great time to happen in life then literally nothing will ever occur. That’s not how life works. You don’t get to follow down this smooth path with rose petals. It’s bumpy, messy, confusing and filled with heartache along the way. The best you can do is pray for a perfect outcome and figure it out if it doesn’t happen. The fourth and final solution is to stop caring about what others have to say. I don’t care if it’s your 4th cousin twice removed let that negative energy go. I know it feels like you ‘re getting picked on and that’s why you take it to heart. Stop allowing it to affect you and see how quickly those opinions dissipate. The reason why they are so prevalent is due to you giving it attention. Once people know that you aren’t breathing life into their views, then there’s no reason to share them.
That was a lot to handle so take a few deep breaths. Meditate and get yourself ready to tackle these solutions head-on. The best way to implement these changes is to start small and work your way down. As you get through the first solution, then the next will be much easier to follow. I want the best for you, and I can’t see you hurting anymore. Please do yourself a favor and choose happiness always. Like Anthony Hopkins said, “None of us is getting out of here alive.” Based on that notion living in true happiness is the only way to go.
I love you, and I’m very proud of you. I choose you forever and always without question nor hesitation.
Me, Myself and I
All my friends would tell you that I’m terrible at dating. What can I say I’m a hopeless romantic. I typically date one person at a time, and it hasn’t been working out too well for me. I get emotionally invested too early, and by the 2-3 month time frame things fizzle out. I believe this is due to not developing a real connection and the fact that around that time your representative leaves. Everyone is on their best behavior in the beginning, and after time they start to become more comfortable. That is when the real them comes to the surface. I find myself in trouble around this time because I didn’t allow for the relationship to flourish naturally. I rush into things due to infatuation which doesn’t last as it’s not substantial. Of course, things don’t continue if you haven’t taken the time to get to know someone. Plus you have to spend more than 1-2 days a week to understand someone. Consuming small amounts of time with someone not only delays the emotional connection needed for a relationship but you don’t know the person either. If you don’t know who you are dealing with then how can you say you want to be with this person. Getting butterflies for someone is great but slow down a bit to determine true compatibility.
My friends have told me time and time again that I need to date multiple people. For some reason, some people think this means having relations with everyone that you’re dating. That is not what this means at all. Honestly, this is a way if you to date many different personalities at once and see which one is the best fit for you. Another added benefit is that it helps to keep your emotions in check. Especially if you are someone like me, this can aid you in your dating experience. I was curious to see what others had to say about this topic, so I conducted mini online research. Many guys and girls were entirely against dating multiple people. Some of the responses that I read stated that they don’t want to be an option and other people said you wouldn’t be emotionally invested in the relationship progressing. One response I thought was a big shocker was when someone is dating multiple people they aren’t viewed as looking for a serious relationship.
All of these reasons were a surprise to me, but particularly the last one gave me pause. If you are in the beginning stages of dating someone you have no idea of where things will land, of course, this person will date other people as the whole purpose is to look for their future husband or wife. How can you demand exclusivity without having that conversation first? Truthfully, when you meet the right person, you will naturally start to cut off the other people as they aren’t what you want. In dating it’s important to have an honest and open dialogue. Don’t put others down just because you don’t agree with their dating methods. Ask the right questions and if it doesn’t jive with you then find someone else on the same wavelength as you.
Whatever dating method you decide to partake in; be honest with the people you’re pursuing. It’s essential that they know and understand why you’re taking this approach. This conversation can also clear up any misunderstandings that someone may have. Due to the hookup culture that we are in is the reason why dating multiple people gets a bad rap. Explaining why it’s vital for you can make a difference in people understanding you better. For example, I went on a first date with this one guy, and it went very well. I had a few horrible first dates before this, so it was refreshing. When I texted later on that evening to say I made it home okay that’s when things went left. He proceeded to tell me that I’m everything he’s looking for and he wants to make me his woman ASAP. Typically I would be all over this and be ready to be in another relationship that ends in a few months. Because I am dating other people, I didn’t allow my emotions to get involved just yet. I’ve only known this guy for three weeks, and we don’t interact every day. I only see him once a week due to scheduling conflicts. If we had been spending more time and speaking more regularly than maybe I would entertain a relationship with him.
However, since that is not the case, I told him to pull back a bit and let things naturally play out. He gave the typical responses of you are scared and so am I. I’m not like other guys so don’t compare me to them. Seeing is believing and since that hasn’t occurred yet this is all talk as far as I’m concerned. There are things that I saw about him that I didn’t like and I ultimately decided that it wasn’t going to work. If I didn’t date multiple people, I would’ve missed all the red flags. Some may not agree with my approach, but so far it’s working out for me. I respect the one on one method, but I think it’s better suited once you decide to be exclusive. Otherwise, you are putting all your eggs in one basket for a person you haven’t determined is right for you yet.
What are your thoughts on the approach of dating multiple people? Do you agree or disagree? What are some of the methods that you use to deter yourself from getting invested too soon?
People ask me often why do I travel solo? It would be more fun if I went with other people. I don’t disagree; however, in the past, I missed out on places waiting for other people to be available. It’s a difficult thing to say go at it alone. It can be a nerve-racking and overwhelming experience. The biggest thing I learned is that you come away with much-needed confidence about yourself. You have to be comfortable with yourself to travel solo. You have to start small and work your way up. Before you decide to plan that huge trip, read the steps below to help you become a master at solo traveling.
Plan Solo Dates
Start planning dates where you spend time with yourself. For example, movies, spa or even dinner. The whole point of this is to get familiar with yourself. It may seem strange at first, but once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature. Once you learn how to deal with your own company, it makes it easier to solo travel. Also, one of the benefits of solo dates is that you get to do what you want when you want. Experiencing this type of freedom is what you can look forward to when you travel solo.
Take Weekend Trips
I would recommend staying somewhere that you previously been before. Remember the point here is to build up your confidence with traveling. Going somewhere familiar takes out the guesswork of finding activities and helps you to relax more. The more fun you are having, the more likely you will continue to travel. Write down all the things you want to do but weren’t able to do previously. Some activities can be due to a lack of enthusiasm from others or a general lack of interest. Now is the time to experience those adventures during your single weekend.
Plan Your Itinerary
Nothing screams lonely like having nothing on your agenda. The best way to fight those feelings is to have your days planned out. Of course, leave your plans open for change as something more exciting can arise. However, having a day planned makes you forget that you are solo. You’ll be having so much fun even to notice that you are indeed by yourself. That is how you fight the solo blues. My recent birthday trip was solo, and people said OMG you went to Las Vegas alone. That’s the whole point of traveling! Enjoy your time on vacation and stop worrying about why you are alone. Live in the moment as you don’t get those moments back.
Let Friends & Family know your Whereabouts
When traveling solo, it is especially important to travel smart. You must let someone back home know where you are going and your activities for each day. God forbid if something was to happen people will know where to tell the authorities where to look. Especially if you ’re going out at night. Give an estimated time of when you will return. Also, be sure to let someone know you made it back to your residence (travel accommodations) safely. Even if they are sleep due to the time difference or late hours once they wake up, they’ll know you’re okay. Be careful with posting your every move online. I understand this is easier to update friends and family. However, a predator can use this information as a way to stalk you. Please take proper precautions as you want to return safely back home from your trip.
Don’t do what you wouldn’t do at home
Don’t get into a stranger’s car unless it’s Uber or Lyft. Stay in well-lit areas with a large crowd of people around. Don’t get too comfortable that you step far outside your comfort zone that you become easy prey. Have the same street smarts that you have at home while on vacation. If something feels wrong, it probably is a bad idea. If you get this feeling DON’T DO IT! Don’t open yourself up to be an easy target. People are looking for unexpected tourist to rob or take advantage of their kindness. Don’t walk around with a large purse and keep your phone close to you at all times. It’s a good idea to set some folks including 911 on speed dial just in case of emergencies. Stay away from tight spaces like a club for example. Avoid places like a club because you can’t fully see your surroundings. You need to view all exits if necessary. Of course, keep drinks close to you at all times. Never sit your back to the door. Otherwise, it makes it easier for people to sneak up on you without your knowledge.
Give the Illusion of Confidence
Even if you aren’t confident then fake it until you make it. Never let anyone know you are alone, where you are staying or reveal too much about yourself. I’m not saying you can’t interact with others, but there is a difference between friendly and overly revealing. It can backfire and cause you to put down your guard rather quickly. Remember you’re solo so don’t put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. If you come off as shy or uncomfortable, you open yourself up to be easy prey. Not everyone has bad intentions, but the wrong person can see this and use it against you. Keep in mind Google gives you the right directions to the bus and train now. There’s no need to be nervous about solo travel! The more you do it, the easier it will become. There is too much of the world out there to explore to wait around for other people. If they aren’t available to travel, then you become a world traveler. You never want to look back and wish you started what you keep putting off today.
What was your experience traveling solo for the first time? What other tips would you recommend for first-time solo travelers?