6 Dating Attitudes That Help
When dating, the right attitudes will help keep you going. Attitude is the driver, persistence is the key, and loving yourself in the process is required. Dating can be easy and exciting (attitude!) or lot of hard grueling work (persistence!). Both are true, so the more self-love the better.
Attitudes That Kept Me Going
In my late fifties, I challenged myself to go on 50 first dates to find a committed male partner. It took me 2.5 years and 50 dates to find him, and we’ve been happily together for more than 12 years. You can read about my dating journey in my memoir, Fifty First Dates After Fifty.
These six attitudes kept me going while dating, even when the dating got tough:
I was inspired by a goal — going on 50 first dates. When I got discouraged or wondered why I was going on yet another date, I would remember that goal and it would pull me forward to the next date. Half way through my dating project, I developed a vision of the type of partner I wanted, and that vision was important, but it was the tangible goal of the 50 dates that inspired me the most. For more about how visions work, see my blog post, Winter Solstice is for Visioning, or my upcoming post on visions.
Just as important as having a goal that pulled me forward was enjoying each step of the process along the way. This meant finding the joy in each date, whether or not the man was ‘partner material.’ I tried to expand my ‘type’ of man by going out with 50 men, including those I would not usually date. Since I was not counting heavily on any one date to become my partner, I could be curious about each date and enjoy who they were. (For more on why the more dates the better, see my blog post: Why 50 First Dates?)
Optimism and confidence
Although I had setbacks in dating when I felt discouraged and unsure, I found a way to return to a basic optimism and confidence that I would find a partner. Part of this was my nature, but another part grew from experience as I dated more and enjoyed it more. It was a paradox – the more I enjoyed dating, the more it didn’t matter whether I found a partner or not, yet it was this enjoyment that gave me the optimism and confidence that I would find someone.
Persistence is an attitude—I will keep going!—expressed in action. It was going to a party alone on Valentine’s Day because I needed to meet new men. It was leaving a party of friends to go to a singles night at the retreat center. The goal pulled me forward, but persistence made it happen. For more details about how I persisted, see the previous post, Keep Getting Out There!
This is an inside job, but it can be grown and strengthened from the outside. For me, going to personal growth workshops taught how to be more loving of myself and others gave me the tools to love myself fiercely through the ups and downs of dating. See my blog post, 10 Ways Relationship Workshops Helped Me Date. I learned how to appreciate the goodness in myself and others, refrain from judging, and nurture myself along the way. With those tools, I was able to comfort myself after bad dating experiences. Part of loving myself was seeking out and surrounding myself with positive, supportive friends and writing colleagues.
Not taking things personally
This is a crucial attitude and skill that I learned in the personal growth workshops. Everyone is living their own life, with their own experiences and perspectives. Only they can say what they need in dating, and it might be different from what I need. Their choices have more to do with them than with me. So I understood that if they rejected me in dating, it had to do with their life path, and was not a judgement about me. My memoir includes several examples of dealing with rejection.
How to nurture positive dating attitudes
- Build in support.
For dating, be sure you have supportive friends, group, and/or a larger community who will love and support you during your dating journey, with the positive attitudes you need to keep dating through the ups and downs. (See my blog post about support while dating.)
- Start now and create a way to keep doing it!
Finding a partner is a numbers game – you have to go on a lot of dates to find the person who is right for you, so the sooner you start, the more people you will meet, and the better you will become at dating. Dating is a skill that takes practice. What will make you keep dating? For me, it was setting a goal, like a number of dates or a time period.
- Take classes or workshops where you can learn and practice relationship skills
There is nothing like in-person experiential workshops for learning healthy ways to relate to your family, potential dates, dates, and future partners. There are classes for singles and couples and anyone. This is also a great way to meet like-minded people to date.
- Keep doing what you love to do.
Go to activities and events that you enjoy, where you also have a good chance of interacting and mingling with people. You are then nurturing yourself and your life with your favorite activities, practicing your communication skills that will make you a better dater, and showing up where you might meet someone who enjoys the same thing.