Once upon a time, I had a pretty traditional life: a husband, two beautiful children, a dog and a suburban house with a white picket fence -- until I was blindsided with divorce. I suddenly found myself a single mom trying to uncover who I was again separate from my husband and was catapulted back into this thing called "dating." I had a closet full of oversized black "mommy" tops, a bunch of nursing bras and neutral-colored Birkenstock sandals. Not a very appealing image. More importantly, I wasn't feeling attractive and I didn't know how to give signals that I was even interested in men. The last date I remembered having was going to a toga fraternity party with my college boyfriend. Boy, were things different! I didn't know if I would ever get my groove back and feel like a sexy, charming and dateable woman again. This is where my journey began and it's why I'm so passionate about helping men and women rediscover who they are, gain confidence and attract love.
Confidence is the number one element both men and women find attractive in each other. When you feel confident, you attract love and opportunity in your life. However, feeling secure when it comes to dating after divorce is easier said than done. One of the problems is that your identity has been linked with your spouse for so long that you forget who you are separate from that person. Despite its challenges, if you feel good about yourself and know what you want, finding love and dating can be easy. Getting back out there takes time, but there are a few things you can do to get started and regain some of those dating skills that have been dormant. Follow these easy tips so you can be on your way towards feeling more confident and charming.
Rediscover your passions: Do you remember all of the activities you enjoyed before you met your spouse? Often couples meld into each other's lives to complement one another, which means sometimes giving up things you enjoy. It's time to dig up the things that once made you who you are and get involved again. Perhaps there are hobbies, places to travel or extracurricular activities that you couldn't do with your ex-spouse. Reconnecting with your passions will help you find the things that make you happy, focus on yourself and even meet other likeminded people.
Stop, slow down and focus on you: Right after divorce, many people try to numb the pain by quickly getting involved with someone else. That, however, is just a band-aid over a wound that needs time to heal. Slow down and don't worry about getting into another relationship right away; take the time to get to know who you are again. Think of it this way -- if you're running a marathon and you want to get to the finish line, you can't sprint the whole way. You'll get hurt and fall short. Rather, you need to train, get your body in shape, run at a decent pace and take notice of your surroundings. That is what The Art of Charm helps clients do -- train for the marathon so they can feel good about themselves and get to the finish line. Observe your environment. Create an energy that invites people towards you. For example, do you know if a women is looking at you? Make eye contact with and smile at women who are noticing you. Get rid of your tunnel vision!
Know your strengths: Most clients bring me a laundry list of what kind of woman they want and what qualities they must have. It's great to think about the kind of partner you would like, but it's more important to understand who you are first. Instead of focusing on the woman, focus on you. I tell my clients to write a list of their personality traits, all the things they are good at in their profession, what they offer in a relationship, physical traits, etc. This can be challenging for a lot of people, but I find that once people recognize their own strengths, getting what they want is a lot easier. This exercise also helps you come from a place of confidence so that when you are feeling anxious and uneasy about dating, you think of all the fantastic qualities you have and the insecurities go away. Knowing your strengths and accomplishments will also assist in getting clarity on who deserves you!
Have fun: It sounds so simple, but you need to let go of the urgency of finding that perfect partner right away. Interviewing several women on dates can be freeing and make dating fun. Find your inner child again by being playful and fun. Avoid interrogating your first date by asking a hundred questions to see if she meets your criteria for marriage. Instead, laugh, share stories, keep it light and ignite passion. Make her want more by showing the fun, playful side of you so that she'll want a second date. You are not jumping into a relationship with anyone on a first meeting so just kick back and have fun. You'll have plenty of time to get to know her if she is the right one.
Take Charge: A lot of anxiety, fear and insecurity may get brought out when returning to the dating scene after divorce. Because of this dynamic, it's really important to do things to feel good about yourself. Women especially are attracted to men who can take a stance and have an "alpha" presence. So if you are a man, plan the date for the woman. Find out what her passions are, her favorite food or something playful that will make her laugh. By doing this, you will show that you are able to listen to her and she will feel that you are the kind of man who will take care of her.
Of course there are so many other ways to regain dating confidence after divorce. The whole point is to slow down and take baby steps until you feel you are in condition to run the marathon.
Pace it out, enjoy who you are, have fun and you WILL get to the finish line!