You Do Not Need a Man to Be Happy

  Most, but not all of us, want someone to share our lives with.  In this quest, we sometimes lose sight of some of the gifts we have in our lives already.  While we may want to find that special someone, the road to finding him can be long and treacherous.  Along the way, many of us have our ups and downs, we need shoulders to cry on and sounding boards to listen to us and reason with us.  We usually do this with our girlfriends!

As I have pointed out in the beginning of this blog, you need to start with you.  True happiness comes from within and no other person on earth can make you happy if you have not searched your heart and decided that is who you are.  Sure, there are situations that make you happy or unhappy, but true happiness is a state of being and not determined by a specific situation.

Think of all the riches you have in your life already!  You probably have a full life, as many do today!  You have your family, your girlfriends, maybe a pet, and many other things that make your life rich and fulfilled.  Sometimes when we are too focused on that one thing we are lacking, we forget about all the other things that bring us joy.

If you truly do want to find your Mr. Maybe, or maybe want to get married, keep searching!  But do NOT give up living a full life in the meantime!  Go out with your friends, have fun, make dinner dates with your friends, meet your mom or sister for coffee – make the effort!  Your chances of finding the right man for you are much better if you are living the life you want to live without him!  When you meet him, he will easily fit into your life because your life will be what you want it already (with him being the only missing piece)!

A man will always find you more attractive if you are having fun and enjoying your life. He will want to get to know you!  On the other hand, if you mope around and play “poor me”, then you will only attract someone like that, and you do not want that!  Remember, you want a man who fits your non-negotiables.  If you are living your life as you want your life, you are more likely to meet someone who falls in line with what you are looking for!  Keep an open mind when you are out enjoying your life.  Keep your eyes open, but never look desperate – men will run from that.  Be your authentic self and you will attract a man who is drawn to the real you!  Live your life and be happy!

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Identifying Sources of Conflict

By the time we reach our 40’s, most of us are fairly set in our ways.  We have lived full lives and experienced many things, both good and bad.  Dating at this stage in life and beyond can pose some interesting challenges as we try to blend lives together that were very set by themselves.  When I am evaluating a man, I think a lot about lifestyle and personality.  While I am fairly active, work out, like to do outdoor activities, someone who is at the gym every day, is an avid attendee and player of sports, and likes camping may not be the right guy for me.  While there is nothing wrong with having some differences here, each person really needs to evaluate how lifestyle and habits can create conflict, and just how big that conflict could potentially be.  While we cannot avoid some conflict in relationships, if we are honest with ourselves, we can certainly avoid major issues that could destroy a potential future together.  I tend to take a more practical and systematic approach to this than many people, so if you choose to loosen the reigns on this one a little, go with what you feel is right for you.

Some things to consider when thinking about conflict are  ethics, values, and integrity.  This is basically the core of who we are as individuals, and very important when considering a relationship with someone.  For instance, I once had a man lie on his online dating profile about his age – and not by a little, either!  He was 8 years older than he claimed to be and he was already 2 years older than I usually consider date material for me at the age he told me!  I was at the restaurant a full half hour before I realized he had been standing right next to me and looked nothing like the guy I thought I was meeting.  Men (and women), really, if you are intending on meeting someone who you want to potentially have a future with, you cannot start out with a lie before you even meet them!!  And please, please, please look at least somewhat like the picture you post on your online profile.  My philosophy on this is I do not have time to waste on dating someone I would not consider a relationship with, so why waste my time and theirs.  It does not make any sense.   Starting off with a lie cannot lead to anything promising.  Beware if this happens to you and they try to explain it away with well concocted stories.  I would not buy it, and you should not either.   Honesty and integrity are things we all want in a potential partner, and there is just no excuse for blatant lies.

We also need to look at how ethical someone is.  For instance, how do they deal with their bills?  Are they paid on time?  Are they conscientious of making sure that happens?  Do they spend frivolously?  Do they have car insurance (in some cities this is something you may want to consider checking).  If someone is always looking to get over on the system, is that someone you really want in your life? Is it a lifestyle you would consider living?  All of these things are just some examples of some basic core values. There are many others you may want to consider.

 By taking the time to identify potential sources of major conflicts now, you are saving yourself from potential future headaches and heartache.  We only get one life, so why not spend it with the people who are headed in the same direction as you are?  There is no race to find your Mr. Maybe.  It may take some time.  The important thing here is that you do not lower your standards to live a life that compromises who you are and does not make you happy.  Dating after 40 is hard!  We all have some sort of baggage at this point, but there are some really wonderful men out there and they are worth waiting for!  Run through life with a smile on your face and happiness in your heart.  Take the time to weed out the things you know will create conflict.  Live a better and fuller life – even if that means for now you are spending it with your girlfriends!  Mr. Maybe is worth the wait, don’t settle for Mr. Wrong!

Sources of Clutter

Invisible clutterClutter is a huge problem for many of us, and it gets in the way of having happy, healthy, and fulfilling relationships.  While we try to keep much of it hidden, clutter has a sneaky way of finding its way into our lives and wreaking havoc when we least expect it!  As much as we push it back down, it keeps pushing its way to the surface and makes itself known in conflicts with others in our lives and turmoil within our own minds.  So where is all this clutter coming from?  Well, we create more of it every day we are alive.  It is how we deal with it and what we do with it that is the key to not allowing it to rule our relationships and thought processes.

Couple ArguingPast Relationships

Past relationships are a big source of clutter that prevents us from having good relationships now.  I am sure you are a lot like me in that you were hurt really badly by someone you were in a relationship with.  Did you work through the inner turmoil that it left in your head?  Did you jump right into a new relationship without processing the pain?  If you jumped into a relationship, more than likely there will be some residual effects of the prior relationship.  I once went out on a date with a very nice man who could not stop talking about his ex-wife very negatively.  I am a firm believer in second chances because I realize not everyone is as comfortable as I am on a date, so I gave him a second chance.  On date number two, he did the exact same thing!  If this ever happens to you, run for the hills!!!  This guy seriously needs to get over the anger he feels toward his ex-wife before he steps into a new relationship.  His anger toward his ex will play a part in any relationship he has until he deals with it.  And trust me, you cannot help him!!  This is something he needs to take care of himself.

Another type of relationship clutter is how a previous partner made us feel about ourselves.  I am sure everyone knows at least one women in a relationship with a man who insists she look a certain way.  This creates insecurities for the woman and eventually she may even believe she is not good enough without looking that way.  As women, we all feel insecure about our looks at times.  We do not need help finding fault with our looks!  If you ever start dating someone who comments on your looks and it is not a compliment, go the other way!  If you are happy with you, do not allow anyone to take that away from you!  Each and every one of us deserves to be loved for who we are – not who someone wants us to be!

Women ArguingFriends

We all have friends who seem to have it all.  It seems like life and relationships just flow to them and they never have to work at anything.  More than likely, they have things in their lives we do not see, but we think it is all a bed of roses for them when their reality may be quite different.  This may make some people feel insecure or feel like there is something wrong with them because their lives are not like this.  Don’t believe the hype!  You never know the real story unless you live it.  Do not compare yourself to your friends because we all travel different roads to get to our destinations.  While we mostly do this to ourselves, there are times when our friends can be brutally honest and make us feel very insecure about ourselves.  As women, our friends are very dear to us, but they can also hurt us in ways they many times do not even realize.

Cluttered-Mind-ARTFamily and Our Individual Histories

While most of us have families that are a source of comfort and peace, others may not.  Even in the most ideal family situations there is a family dynamic that can create havoc in our minds and affect our future relationships.  It goes without saying that traumatic childhoods involving abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and a myriad of other things will definitely create mental clutter for the person who has lived through it.  If you have been through trauma as a child, as I have, my suggestion would be to deal with that prior to trying to date.  While I am no expert in this field, I know from personal experience the mental clutter this creates and the problems that arise as an adult seeking a “normal” relationship.  The fact is that even if we seem fine to our peers, many times there is a lot of mental clutter we have that stands in the way of happiness and finding Mr. Maybe.  In fact, many times we end up with Mr. Wrong because of this kind of clutter.  For this reason, as I suggested before, we need to spend time alone and really deal with these issues. Even with good family relationships, people sometimes take on roles in the family that carry over into their dating and love relationships (caregiver, problem solver, etc.).  The result of us not dealing with the clutter is that we end up going in circles and never getting to our destination in dating.  I challenge everyone to look into their own lives and find that clutter that is holding you back from getting to your destination in dating!  We need to get off this wheel!!!

Spinning Your Wheels