Want to have a good chuckle? Search online for the term “dating confidence.” Seems like just about everyone and their mother has a theory about how important it is to have confidence when you date and how to best master it — from losing weight, to standing up straight, to using creative visualization. Seriously, there’s an exercise that love expert, psychologist and bestselling author, Diana Kirschner Ph.D. developed for baby boomers in which your positive self (your “Diamond Self”) explodes and attacks your less-confident self (the “Disappointing Self”) so you feel more confident.
This past summer when the Loveawake dating site team started talking to folks over 40 about what’s good, bad and, well, just plain comical about dating at this stage of life, we were surprised to hear so many comments about lack of confidence. People told us that while they felt they had a much better sense today of who they are and what matters in life today than compared to their youth, being ‘back out there’ again was a walk down memory lane they hadn’t anticipated. Pangs of anxiety, nervous energy, stress over what to wear and sheer dread over a potential night of awkward conversation seemed to spontaneously combust after years of dormancy.
This prompted our team to create the Dating Confidence graph. It’s pretty simple and, frankly, not very scientific, but people enjoyed the game of plotting where they were on their road to new relationships. Point A is where most of us started – pimply teenagers fumbling about, trying to crack how dating, sex and conversation (when necessary) was supposed to work with objects of affection. (If you were lucky enough to skip this phase, please be sure to leave some comments below so the next generation can avoid it, too). ;;As we matured and got more experience, we gained confidence and dating actually became fun and, very often, successful. So successful that for many it led to marriage and long-term relationships, which of course immediately caused a precipitous drop in dating confidence because dating was no longer a required activity. That took us to Point B.
Fast forward five, ten, twenty, thirty years and more, many became single again. How did they describe the feeling of beginning to date after all those years? Like Point C – practically right back where they started in life. But, there was good news, too. People reported that having “been there and done that” made it easier than they would have imagined to get back into the swing of things. One recent divorcee said a few good experiences out the gate can make a big difference in your confidence, and said people should choose those first few dates wisely…maybe take a little less risk. With kids out of the house, some money to spend and a good sense of adventure, many remarked dating now was even more fun than way back when. How fast you climb back up the confidence curve is a very personal thing so we have not placed a point D here. But, we are curious. Where do you fall today on the Dating Confidence graph?
By Loveawake.com for Onmogul.com
Senior editor and dating coach Alex Wise is a recognized expert on love, marriage and relationships (except when it comes to his own life, of course) who has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Mashable, LifeHacker, Today.com and more. Join him at Loveawake.com dating service and [...]