The attractive mature woman approached me after my talk on dating after 40. She said she admired my courage to take on dating so enthusiastically, but she was afraid to start dating.
I asked what her fear was.
“I’m afraid of rejection. And I’m afraid of all the work it will take.”
“Yes, there is rejection in dating. It’s just part of the process unless you meet your next love on the first encounter. Some find their sweetie quickly — a friend found her fiance after dating only nine men after her divorce. Others, like me, take longer. So you have to steel yourself that there will be rejection and some men do it more respectfully than others.
“But frankly, some of the hardest rejection to deal with is when you know you must let a man know you aren’t interested in having a romantic relationship. Some will take it well and others won’t, no matter how nicely you put it.”
“And yes, it takes time. Unless, as I said, you meet a special someone quickly. But it takes time to get to know him, ensure you have similar values, and that he’s the real deal.
“But you have to weigh what you want versus the time involved. If you wanted to start playing tennis after a long absence, you’d have to put in considerable practice time. And hopefully, you’d get better and more confident the longer you practiced.
“You may start entering tournaments. And you won’t win every game. You will have to deal with the disappointment of losing — just like you’ll have to deal with the disappointment of being rejected in dating. But if you think of it as not really rejection, but clearing the deck for someone with whom there is mutual interest, it won’t sting as much.”
She nodded and smiled — and bought a book. She said she appreciated the pep talk and thought she’d now put her toe in the dating water.
Before you started dating again, what were you afraid of?
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