Afraid to Try for Love?
By Claire Aldrich
If you're making excuses about why you'll never find someone who loves you, just stop. So what if you're overweight? So what if you're shy? So what if you're over 50, or maybe 60 or 70? So what if it has been five years since you were intimate with anyone? It's like riding a bike. You get back on and your body will remember the moves.
But first you have to make some moves to have a chance of meeting someone. Whatever it is that's holding you back, you can get beyond those fears. But you'll have to take some steps to create your own happiness.
Re-entry Maneuver #1: Self-Analysis
If you want to find love, you'll have to face your fears. What exactly are you afraid will happen if you put yourself out there? Are you afraid people won't find you attractive? Do you fear getting naked and having someone laugh at you? Look around. There are lots of other people in your position (overweight, older, shy) who are part of a couple.
Re-entry Maneuver #2: Preparation
To prepare for the hunt, get some women's or men's magazines and find out what the trends in grooming, hairstyles and clothes are. Get yourself up to speed on the latest styles so you know what your competition will be wearing. Exercise so that you feel that you're doing something to make your body more attractive. You'll look better, feel better and boost your confidence on many levels.
Re-entry Maneuver #3: Involvement
If you're going to try dating again after a hiatus, the best move is to get involved with groups that share a common interest. Maybe you'll go on cultural outings, like visiting museums and attending plays. Maybe you'll participate in sports activities, like tennis, biking or running. Maybe you'll sign up for cooking classes or sample a series of ethnic restaurants. Whatever you can think of that will interest you and give you something stimulating to talk about, give it a try.
Re-entry Maneuver #4: Dating
At some point, you'll have to go on an actual date. Don't start with just anyone, however. You're bound to be nervous and hesitant, so find someone who shares your interests and is easy to talk to. Don't look at the long-term potential too closely. Just consider this date an opportunity to socialize with an interesting friend, not necessarily a potential lover. Make sure you look and smell good. When you two make plans, pick someplace you know so that you'll be comfortable. You don't want to be too far out of your element for the re-entry date.
Re-entry Maneuver #5: Connecting
Your biggest fear is probably also what's motivating you to move forward--the thought of getting naked with someone new. Yes, it's going to be nerve-wracking because it has been a while since you've done any dancing between the sheets. But it will get easier after the first few times. And when you're comfortable together, it can be extremely rewarding to get back in the groove. You just have to push yourself to take the risk by focusing on the potential reward.
If the first date or two flop, don't get discouraged. Think about the important things you've accomplished in life. Didn't they take some practice before you got really good at them? So practice, practice, practice...and then bask in the glory of success!
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