Monday, May 17, 2021 00:37

Remaining Single: Required for Dating? Resilience!

I can’t think of a better word when it comes to dating.  How else would someone be able to bounce back from the heartbreak, rejection, disappointment and all of the other elements involved in the dating dance?

Let’s start at the beginning with the dating websites.  Creating a profile takes time and work and effort.  It’s no different from creating a resume for a job search, and in fact at times the whole dating/relationship search feels just like a job search.  Just as with a job search, there are questions to answer, profile statements to write, photos to post – all in an effort to ‘sell’ oneself in the best possible light of course.

The next step is to browse through profiles of men on the sites and decide if any of them are worth contacting.  At first it feels like being a kid in a candy store.  What a treat to have access to so many men who sound so interesting at first glance.  But after a while, the majority of the profiles start to sound or seem the same.  And sometimes the language of the profile will indicate it’s written by a scammer.  Scammers are on all of the sites, so it’s impossible to avoid them.  That’s one of the drawbacks of website dating.  But there are just as many people who lie in real life as there are on websites, so that’s not unique to website dating at all.

On to the next step – deciding whether or not to contact someone.  I’m old school in that I enjoy being wooed, but I have no problem with reaching out to someone to initiate contact.  I appreciate men who appreciate that about me in fact.  After the decision is made to put an email out there to someone,  then comes the hardest part – waiting to see if he’ll answer back.  Many times they don’t answer at all.  Many times they answer once, but never again.  Sometimes they reach out and a dialogue is begun, but it never goes beyond email contact.  Then there are the men who are email and phone only, but when an effort is made to get together in real life, they vanish like smoke in the wind.  Resilience is necessary here for the frustration that comes from wanting more and the more never happens.

Perhaps there might be a face to face date planned that actually happens.  Here again, resilience is required because a first date is something to look forward to, but when it actually happens, there realization that a second date will never happen brings up feelings of disappointment.  Even if it’s a choice to keep it at one and done, it’s still a let down after the buildup of looking forward to the possibility of the situation igniting romantic sparks.  .

Sometimes things do progress to more dates, and sometimes even beyond more dates to that actual romantic spark beginning.  That’s lovely when it happens, but here again the need for resilience is important, because a romance might be short lived.  There are so many mixed messages out there and so many folks who say they are looking for ‘the one’ but are really playing the field.  Or there are so many folks who might think they want ‘the one’ but are not emotionally ready for what that means.  Then too are the folks whose lives have way too much chaos for them to even be thinking about dating and yet they are among the ranks as well.  Again, resilience is important because at any of the above stages, the weeding out process is happening on both sides.  People can take things so far and then back off.  In order not to be totally emotionally devastated by that if/when it happens, it’s essential to operate from a place of resilience.

We can’t always figure this out right at the beginning.  It takes time to get to know someone, obviously.  The red flags don’t always start flying right away.  I’ve learned to be more up front about the red flags when I notice them. I didn’t do that in the past, much to my misfortune.  Had I paid attention to the red flags in certain situations, I might have avoided some major heartbreak.  On the other hand, because I operate with resilience I have an opportunity to learn from each experience, even the ones that are so hurtful and cause me emotional pain.

The thing about emotional pain is it helps with the growth process.  Because I have resilience, I can allow myself to feel the pain and eventually I can also step back from it.  I see the experience for what it was and how it helped me.  And then I can have gratitude that the experience came to an end.  One of my favorite sayings is “The Universe never closes a door in one place without opening another one somewhere else.”  I believe this with all my heart.  And with gratitude for being blessed with resilience, I get back on the horse and keep on riding forward.

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