Last month I worked with Rita, 37, a Senior HR Manager with an MBA, freshly divorced (after an arranged marriage), and dating for the first time in her life.
She wanted to start again, but she was panicking…
Rita lives in a beautiful one-bedroom apartment in Miami. She’s successful, financially independent, and loves visiting whiskey distilleries when she travels; the process fascinates her engineer’s brain.
Rita wanted to remarry, find a partner, and hopefully start a family. “It’s not too late for me, right?” she had asked. But she felt bogged down by her past, the weight of community expectations around caste + culture, and being a complete newbie to the process. “I have literally no clue where to start and what to do,” she said.
Can your relate?
Dating Fear #1: What if fail?”
Rita graduated from University of Miami Business School with an MBA, and then went to work for Citi bank. In her professional life, she was thriving as a Senior Manager earning a 6-figure salary, and lived in a comfortable apartment. “I’ve done well, I know that,” she told me.
Her personal life was another story. After an arranged marriage that was more like “two strangers living together” (her own words), she went through a lengthy, expensive divorce process that shattered her confidence. “I upset my parents, my family, my grandmother, our community. I was such a wreck,” she said, morosely.
“Starting over is another story. What if I’m not providing value? What if they don’t want to date me? What if I meet a guy and it turns out he’s not serious?”
These are such common dating fears, maybe you’ve had them, too?
Rita’s dating fears had kept her away from a happy relationship for years. One day, she watched the Netflix show “The Big Day” about 6 couples and their weddings. Most of those couples had been together for 5-10 years before getting married. They, too, had been held back by dating fears of all kinds.
“I don’t have that kind of time,” Rita said to herself. “I can’t wait another 10 years to fall in love.” That’s when she reached out to me. “I know I might fail,” she said. “But at least I’ll have tried, and I’ll be proud of myself for at least that.
Lesson #1: We all fear failure. Failure is a fear (emotion), not fact (event).
Failure (bad dates/rejection) is a natural part of dating. “Since I know to expect it, I can be more analytical, less emotional about it,” Rita said. “I can say, okay, he’s not for me, and move on.” Yeah, girl !
Dating Fear #2: What if I’ve never dated before?”
How many of us feel like impostors? Rita suffered from the same fear.
“What if I’m not providing value? What if they don’t want to date me? What if they think something is wrong with me because I got divorced?” Rita asked me, wringing her hands.
Impostor Syndrome is real, and it is crippling. Like Rita, so many of us are waiting for that day when we magically feel “worthy” of the right partner. “Maybe I should lose some weight,” Rita said, shifting in her chair.
You and I know that losing weight won’t make Rita more confident. She might look slightly different, but that’s it.
Instead, you’d meet Rita and fall in love with her twinkly eyes. Her laugh that sounds like chimes. Her wavy hair that can’t be tamed, and her penchant for chunky jewellery.
You’d see what I saw in Rita: a smart woman who’s driven and ambitious. Loves long drives and rice with lentils. Can’t stand faded jeans and loud noises.
You’d love Rita for who she is: a pakka romantic who believes in soulmates and true love.
Dating Fear #3: “I need to figure it out.”
We all use “figure it out” as an excuse to TALK about what we want… but do nothing about it!
96% of my readers want to start a serious relationship. Scrolling endless photos on Instagram of happy couples. Liking posts on Facebook of people you know getting married. Watching ALL of my Instagram stories (I see you).
And yet, when they have an opportunity to work with an expert professional and meet qualified potential partners, they flat-out refuse, adamant that “of COURSE this wouldn’t work for me.” Result: They are self-satisfied for about 1 hour. And one year later, they’re still single, lonelier than ever.
Your life will never be perfect. Successful people take action before they’re totally ready. They know that there will NEVER be a perfect time where you have nothing else on your plate. So they make time, and year after year, they invest in learning strategies that work.
“I’m petrified, but I want to do this,” Rita told me. “It’s a good sign that I’m scared,” she said. “That means I’m going outside my comfort zone, taking my life into my own hands, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
You, too, have the chance to make your life your own. A year from now, where do you want to be? What are you doing today to guarantee that you get there?
Now you have a chance to learn the most valuable skill of all: Attracting your Life Partner.
When the chance is in front of you, will you take it?
Now, I want you to apply what you’ve learnt in today’s article. Fill in the blanks and comment below:
I’m nervous about _____, but I believe I can conquer that because _____
Leave your responses in a comment below. I read every single one, and I’ll respond to the best and most interesting ones.
Photos by Bruna Gabrielle Félix.