Okay, imagine you're a love and attraction coach and one of your keenest specialties is helping people date and then zero in on an ideal mate. You have many tools, not the least of which is hypnosis.
Now who would you guess are your most fervent clients?
If you said it was hormone-driven 20-somethings, you'd be wrong. They do some in, get results and send me engagement announcements, but they are not the ones who keep my doors open and my brain working.
It's the 35's, 40's, 50's and up. Smart, assured, well-connected and self-directed.
They've loved and lost, and still crave the companionship and passion they've had snatched away from them, or tossed away themselves. They know what it's like to be in a great relationship; either they've had one, or they've got the blueprint in their minds. But now, how to make it happen-without falling into the same traps of the past?
If you were me, helping them would be your mission. Would you accept it?
Sure! Because these just may be the coolest, most interesting people on Earth.
Why? You're smart, experienced, discerning, and directed. That's a good combo for dating.
I know that not every date-waiting boomer can visit me in my Chicago office (though many rave about our phone sessions!) so if you wish you could but you can't, here are some tips to get you started in your own sphere. (If, on the other hand, can make it out to the Mag Mile, I would love to meet you.)
1. Approach dating only when you're feeling pretty good about yourself.
You will absolutely project what you feel. So if you feel worthless and you go to a singles event, guess how you'll come across? And if you think it would be terrible to project worthlessness and get no interest, attention, or dates, there is actually something worse: Projecting worthlessness and attracting people who want to date someone who feels worthless so they can take advantage of him or her. And it happens far too often.
Now you may be wondering: if I feel worthless a lot of the time, does this mean I can't look for love? Good question. Here comes the answer...
2. Learn techniques to bolster your feeling of self worth and confidence.
Use them anytime you go where datable people might be. You'll project good feelings and are likely to attract the same. Confidence is circular. You feel it,
people sense that, they respond well to you, and you feel more confident! And so it goes. Even being in the process of creating confidence makes you feel good.
-Give yourself a new look.
Your way of dress and self presentation, your "look" has a shelf life just like eggs do. Is yours beyond the expiration date? Freshen up: hairstyle, clothing choices, shoes, and even coats and purses. Look like you know what's happening today and you want to be part of it.
Also make changes that complement your current weight, hair color, and skin tone. They all change over time, and often for the better.
Once you have the look, get it to feel comfortable. Expert help, by the way, is useful and often complimentary. See which of your current wardrobe and accessories still work. You'll be surprised at which ones get a new life by creating new combinations.
Give away or donate what doesn't work. Generosity is life affirming.
-Stop comparing dating life to how it was in your 20's.
It's not just that you're different. The world is different.
This has little to do with your looks, if that's what you're thinking. You are attractive enough. You can attract someone, that's not at issue. It's just not going to happen exactly the way it happened years ago.
Find out the new rules in general and the new rules for your age, religious, and social group. You may discover that some ideas that were off-putting before have changed to what better suits you. Hurrah! But don't be too surprised.
It's your age group that is currently running the world. Honest.
-Be a host to others.
No, it's not true that you have to achieve everything you desire before you're worthy of mentoring, assisting, or being a cheerleader to those on a similar quest. There are things you know that they don't, and it's okay to share.
Unless you hang around with the same people and at the same places all the time, you are not competition to each other. The field is wide, tastes vary, and, contrary to popular opinion, there is no shortage of people becoming single.
3. Get assistance.
-It's really okay, so be okay with it.
It's really, really okay to ask for advice and assistance. If you think of dating well, it can look like a great big puzzle. Consider that people you meet along the way have knowledge of different parts of that puzzle. Why not help each other with the areas in which you each have expertise.
- You know friends who know stuff.
The friends who know how to dress for dating success-get their help.
The friends who seems to understand how guys-or gals think- ask them to help translate what's been puzzling you. Caution: there's no guarantee they'll be right, but another perspective, especially an educated one,is often useful.
The friends who know to go for a date, and what places to steer clear of, have them weigh in.
Ditto for current thinking on who pays, how soon is too soon, all useful areas to debate, especially if you haven't been dating in a long time.
-Ultimately, it's your life and your choice.
In the final analysis, who you see, where you go, what you do or don't do, are your decision. And nobody's opinion matters more than yours. You get to live with what you choose.
4. Remember: you're not twenty-two. At the same time, be twenty-two.
What the hay does that mean? Simple: you're not twenty-two: untested, unscarred, unhurried and often, well, unconscious. You know what you know and you need to respect the wisdom of it. But at the same time, you sometimes will need to cast off the disgruntled, cynical and overly protective parts of that (Notice I said "overly" skeptical).
And what does "be twenty-two" mean?
Recall and embrace the enthusiasm of that time in your life, the ability to go along for the ride, believe that great things are possible, and know that you deserve them.
5. Start playing.
Eventually you'll need to put aside all the prepping, questioning and analyzing and get your feet wet again in the game. If you think of everything as an experiment and an experience, something to enjoy, learn from, and educate yourself with, you'll do just fine.