Some topics do not need a flashy introduction nor a somber prelude. This is one of those topics.
- I make excuses for poor treatment. By now, the phrase “you teach people how to treat you” is etched into my mind. And yet, when I am treated poorly by friends, co-workers, exes, etc., there I stand, making excuses for them. This means that I am not confident enough to stand up for what I know is right and demand that my reasonable need for respect be met. Next thing I know, I am stumbling into the arms of someone that resembles the narcissistic, verbally abusive jerk that I dumped nine months ago.
- I get motivated listening to ‘Hello’ by Adele. I love Adele. Celine Dion too. Hell, I remember every word to most Wilson Philips songs. I sing along to them too. But if listening to their songs motivates me because the messages are just that resonant, I am very likely still healing. For while the songs are beautiful and carry special meaning to many, I should be in a positive mental place before putting myself back out there. Do you remember the scene in ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ where Renee is singing ‘All By Myself’? Exactly.
- I have thought about removing the last couple of ex’s from my saved contacts but secretly hold out hope that a rekindling is in the works. If I am still holding out hope that past relationships will be rekindled, I will be distracted in my quest for new ones. I do not want to be somebody’s rebound and thus I should not put that on someone else.
- I intend to go to happy hour but continuously get distracted by whatever Dr. Phil is preaching about. If I am ready to put myself back out there, the idea of mixing and mingling at a hip bar will be more alluring than seeking one more potentially relatable piece of advice or story about love lost. We make time for what matters and I must rethink why Dr. Phil (or a similar distraction), means more to me than an opportunity to put myself back out there. Until I get clear on this, dating is not in the cards.
- My wardrobe has not been updated since Kathryn Heigl was ‘Knocked Up’. If I am indifferent about how I look, I am going to be indifferent about the experience of dating. This is because low effort in one area begets low effort in relatable areas. And while I understand that looks are not everything and wardrobes are superficial compared to other aspects of relationships, I do know that confidence and positive energy matters. I used to take the time to do the little things that put a pep in my step. Now, I look into the mirror of my iPhone for four seconds before moving on to whatever monotonous task list I have. This is me right now and until I turn it around, I cannot take a turn on the dating dancefloor.
- My family and friends aren’t even urging me to date again because they know better. My daughter has not suggested I get out more and find a new partner since I was first divorced some three years ago. In fact, my daughter has started eating dinner with me again because she is worried about my state of mind. When I raise the possibility of putting myself back out there, my office mate no longer encourages me. Instead, she asks me to think about making myself whole first. And while this is healthy, and appreciative, it is also a very strong sign that I am not ready to look for love. I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night but I am smart enough to know that people can often see things that I may be oblivious too. I ought not just ignore their observations.
- I cannot think of 3 positive attributes that would make anyone lucky to have me. When writing an online dating profile, I always get stuck trying to figure out what makes me such a great catch. Yeah, I’m honest. Sure, I’m sweet. But I struggle trying to come up with things beyond these garden variety adjectives. Truth be told, I do not see myself as a real catch but instead as an average person that will stand out to no one. Since I do not love myself, I am not in a position to be loved by someone else.