Some great resources for dating again and/or entering a new relationship (many from Baggage Reclaim, because I love it so much!):
- “Knowing If You Feel Good in New Relationships, Part One.” This has some good places to start before you start dating. Are you over your ex? Have you established what your boundaries are? Are you secure in your authentic self and not inclined to change just to suit someone? Part Two deals with recognizing a positive (or not-so-positive) relationship.
- “It Doesn’t Have to Be So Scary in a New Relationship.” This one hit realllly close to home. “When you’re scared in a new relationship and struggling to relax because you don’t know the middle and end of the plot, you’re wanting Mystic Meg to come along and say, “Yes it’s going to work out” or “No it’s not”, or to give you the end date so that you can privately accept failure from the outset and feel safe in knowing that your fears and the story that you tell yourself are true.” I also love the part where she points out that this is “not an audition process where this person holds the key to your happiness.
If this relationship isn’t going to work out, it’s not going to work out.
Now, it can either not work out and you spend the whole time worrying (praying for what you don’t want to happen), anticipating doom, feeling ill at ease etc, or you can step up and be present in your relationship so that whatever the outcome, you know that you were there, you gave it your all, that you enjoyed yourself, and that you didn’t spend the whole time looking over your shoulder to see if Freddy Kreuger the relationship killer was at the door.
- Mathew Boggs has some pretty good videos on YouTube, although I’m not wild about the clickbaity titles. I do like his emphasis on confidence and mindfulness. I particularly like “Feeling Insecure?” This one particularly focuses on not making comparisons between ourselves and others (one of my big struggles … “I’m not as thin,” “I’m not as successful,” etc.). He really encourages women to find their own uniqueness and remembering that no one else has your particular combination of traits.
- I also really love Boggs’ “3 Ways to Feel More Confident With a Man.” In this video, he talks about going into the date with a positive mindset instead of resistance, about starting from a point of gratitude, focusing on what you can give instead of what you can get, and focusing on seeing if this man is someone who can earn a role in your life rather than someone you’re trying to get to like you. (I actually listened to the meditation he provides in the notes before a recent date, and I felt like it really helped!).
- “Reclaim You: 100 Tips for Dating With your Self-Esteem in Tow.” My favorite is No. 13: “There are some people who won’t live up to the hype they created on the first few dates. Don’t spend from here to eternity trying to recreate that ‘persona’ that they exhibited as some people are very good at putting on a performance at the start but quickly fade into the ‘real’ them. If what you saw has disappeared that quickly, trust me when I say it wasn’t real. People unfold.” And of course, No. 85: “It’s good to have a dating hiatus especially if you’ve found that dating is making you miserable, cynical, or yielding a familiar pattern that isn’t working for you. Taking a 3-6 month break lets you focus on you and when you come back to it, you can start afresh with renewed vigour and attitude.”
- This blog is aimed at guys, but DoctorNerdLove has an article on “Leveling Up: Developing An Abundance Mentality.” It defines an abundance mentality as “simply the belief that there are many, many amazing and available women out there. While a rejection or a break-up may hurt – and it certainly does – it isn’t the end of the world because there will be others out there who will also be incredible.” It also talks about how to cultivate that mindset.
- Berkeley International is apparently some sort of matchmaking company. I do like their blog post on “Dating When You Have a Fear of Rejection,” though, especially the part about asking yourself, “What’s the positive intention behind your fear?” (I know for me, it’s to protect myself from getting hurt again by trying to
- “People Unfold.” Another great one from Baggage Reclaim. (Seriously, can Natalie Lue just make all my life decisions for me?) In this one, Natalie writes, “If you’re feeling bruised by your expectations not being met, there’s something to be learned by slowing your roll and spending more time in the present. … You never have to experience this disappointment if you accept that you meet someone on day zero and it’s going to take some time to get to know them.”