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The dating world can seem like a harsh place, especially as you getting older, but it’s actually not for the reasons you might think. It's not because you're a little out of practice, or that you're worried about those few extra pounds you’ve put on. Dating feels like an overwhelming proposition because there have been too many years of pain and disappointments that have colored your beliefs and shaped your expectations. The real trouble with dating when you're older is that you always get what you expect…
Your beliefs are powerful. Remember, they're not just thought concepts, beliefs are actual physical formations in the brain. Think about a particular experience often enough and the nerve fibers that are engaged in the process will begin to form bridges called synaptic connections. Once those bridges are in place they won't budge. Every time a painful memory comes up, that bridge just gets stronger and stronger till you can’t even imagine a different outcome anymore. You believe the way things went in the past is how they'll go in the future. You’ve become so set in your ways that you think your way of seeing things is the only way.
So, if your thoughts about dating run along the lines of, “this isn’t for me anymore; my time has passed,” or “I’m too old to start over again,” and “all the good ones are married off by now” – then that’s what you'll encounter, (proving to you once again that you’re right!) If experience has taught you that "everybody lies and cheats and everybody is crazy,” then this will also be your future experience. Not because that’s really true but because you can simply no longer imagine it any other way. Don’t you ever wonder how you seem to meet the same type of weirdos over and over again? It’s because that’s what your radar is tuned to.
It's challenging when you’re older only because your mindsets were formed in the past, and there’s no way to avoid pain that’s already happened.
Really, your only option is to move forward. It’ll keep hurting unless you take the courage to carve out some new experiences and form new beliefs that will serve you better. I realize it's not easy. You have your beliefs telling you one thing, yet there is this place inside of you that longs to love and be loved. No matter how many disappointing experiences you might have had, that part of you never goes away. It's simply the way human beings are built. You can't run from yourself, not really. Not if you want to be happy.
So, what if you stopped denying yourself what you need just because you’re scared of what might happen? It's true that you can’t change existing beliefs, but luckily you don’t have to. Regardless of what you believe, you do have the ability to ask yourself what life would look like in a perfect world. It's an important question to ask. Don’t dismiss this as a frivolous exercise in futility. This is not a mere flight of fancy! Imagining what it would feel like if you had your heart’s desire has the powerful potential to activate new synaptic connections in the brain - new thought bridges that will allow new thought energy to create more satisfying experiences.
You see, your brain doesn’t know the difference between an actual experience and a mere thought about an experience. Whether real or imagined, thought energy flows, and with enough practice, new synaptic connections can be formed. It's the reason athletes use visualization to improve their performance. Research has shown that the same parts of the brain fire, whether the athlete is physically training or merely visualizing that they are training. Visualization alone has the power to strengthen synaptic connections.
So, before you consider going on even one more date, set aside some daily time to imagine what your epic love story would feel like (even if you continue to think it’ll never happen). Be forewarned; the desired imagery won’t pop up immediately. It will take practice. In the book, The List Method, I describe my experience of first learning how to ski advanced slopes. Let me tell you, those slopes are steep, and they are icy, and I would slide out and end up on my butt over and over again. I was terrified I would fall off, and so, at night, I had a hard time sleeping. Even in my bed, I would still hear the metal edges scraping against the ice as I attempted to carve out my turns. “Plant the pole hard, hop around, carve the turn...” I was startled every time I would slide out and land on my butt because even in my imagination, I couldn't do it! I simply had not yet had the sense-memory of what a successful turn would feel like, so I couldn’t do it, even in my mind. But I kept at it. (Heck, I had no choice. I was wide awake anyway!) “Plant the pole, hop around, and carve the turn….” Guess what? Eventually, I got it! I stopped falling in my mind. And then, like a miracle, I also stopped falling on the slopes. Once my mind had the experience, my body was able to have the experience.
So, this, then, is where your work lies. Imagine what you want to happen. Keep imagining how wonderful it will feel to meet the love of your life. Someone who looks at you with those sparkly eyes of love because they find you brilliant and perfect. Someone who adores you, appreciates you and worships the ground you walk on. You won’t be able to imagine what it feels like right away. (If you did, you'd have it already.) It will take some practice to get your brain to daydream along these new lines. Like in any training, consistency is critical, but it’s worth the effort! In fact, it’s the only way to succeed.
Go to my website, http://TheListMethod.com/workbook. You will find two FREE visualizations - one for the morning and one for the evening. I have designed them to help you train your brain to grow the necessary new neural connections so you can find the love of your life.
You’ll notice the change when your radar begins to turn in a new direction. Out of the blue, you’ll begin to meet far fewer weirdos and many more exciting people. They're people that have always been there, but your mind would never let you perceive them before. Eventually, your beliefs will shift to reflect the new experiences, and the old neural connections will wither and let go. Your old barriers to a successful relationship will fall away, and dating will be a whole lot more fun!
For more information to go beyond dating and finally meet the love of your life, get the book on AMAZON