Archive for December, 2011

By Bobbi Palmer, The Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40

Have you noticed there may be something in the air besides holiday spirit? This time of year can be confusing for single gals. You might have been dating a special someone, things were moving right along when suddenly the holiday season hits– and he slams on the breaks. So what gives?

At the same time you’re feeling anxious over being dateless for New Year’s Eve, men are choosing to hunker down and stop dating, or to end seemingly budding relationships.

I realize that this is not good news. If it helps, I have no empirical evidence to back this up. What I do have is my personal experience being single for 30 years before marrying at 47, and the experience of my countless clients and single girlfriends.

I’m sharing my theory here in hopes of helping you avoid some unnecessary anxiety or pain during this holiday season. Emotions seem to magnify this time of year. Breakups seem far more painful, and being single seems a little lonelier. While it can be a joyous time, it can also be difficult for some

In about mid-November, we gals start grumbling “Here we go again…another freakin’ year with no kiss at midnight.” Or many women do what I used to do: we make plans with girlfriends that involve jammies, food and wine, and bedtime by 11.

Some single guys dread the holidays too, but for different reasons. While they may wish they were in love like us, their reasons for being bummed may have more to do with how much emphasis women can put on romance (or the lack thereof) at this time of year.

Two commonly confusing scenarios and what they mean:

Scenario One: Uncommitted

Let’s say a man is dating someone but it hasn’t moved into a committed relationship. This is when he may start questioning whether she is possibly The One. He may like her, but if the answer is “no” he may see this as the right time to break up.

Why? Because he doesn’t want to invest in a woman who isn’t going to be around for the long haul. I know what you’re thinking: the creep just doesn’t want to buy presents! That may come into play, but I’m referring to emotional investment. Most men understand that when he makes you his date for his company Christmas party or family Hanukkah bash, you might interpret it as a sign of a serious relationship.

Scenario Two: Putting It on Pause

The second scenario is the guy who has been dating and looking for a relationship, but isn’t currently seeing anyone regularly. He may think it’s a good time to put dating on pause. Why? Because he too knows the importance women can place on holiday dates, and he doesn’t want to risk giving any false impressions.

In both instances it’s true that there is a question of presents. What kind of present do you get someone if you’re not sure she’s someone you want to keep dating? After how many dates is a present required? What if he really wants to get you something wonderful – just because he’s a nice guy – but he doesn’t want you to think it’s more than it is?

There is a bottom line to all this: Drama Prevention. These conundrums over what you might want and what you might think have great potential to introduce misunderstanding and crossed signals. That creates drama. And drama, sister, is a man’s greatest dread.

I know you want a date for parties and events. And there’s some “thing” about having another year go by without finding love. But you are a spectacular, smart, loving woman who has not YET found her ideal man. He is out there.

So if you get a “Dear Sally” email or men just aren’t asking you out, it’s okay. It’s for a reason that is ultimately good for you. Accept breakups as getting rid of the wrong guy. And if you have a date, avoid misunderstandings by keeping it in perspective. When a man shares time with you during the holidays, especially one you have recently met, that may be just what he’s doing: sharing time with you.

I’m not saying to stop looking to meet nice men – you should never do that – but work on creating your own good times. Make plans with old friends, volunteer, go to the spa, read or write that book you’ve been putting off…or simply relax and enjoy some well-deserved down time.

Happy holidays! And remember to be good to yourself.

Bobbi Palmer is The Dating and Relationship Coach for Women over 40 and founder of Date Like a Grownup. She is not just a dating coach; she’s a dating success story! Bobbi was married for the first time at age 47 and describes her spectacular husband as “the yummy icing on her already-good cake.”

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Relationship experts, Rosalind Sedacca and Amy Sherman offer the following suggestions to women who are starting a new relationship:

1.  Be aware of unresolved baggage. Emotional scars and wounds from your past can easily sabotage any new relationship.  Take the time to identify unresolved feelings of anger, hurt, guilt and disappointment from the past and accept these feelings as lessons learned.  It then becomes easier to move on.

2.  Avoid “fairy-tale” thinking.  It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy.  It is your responsibility to love and value yourself when you enter a relationship.  Dependency and neediness are not attractive qualities. It is also an illusion to assume any one person can meet all your needs or desires.

3.  Start with friendship first. This level of comfort translates into a solid foundation for love to blossom and intimacy to develop.  So be friends first before you open the door to the physical and emotional closeness that is so essential to a solid partnership.

4. Be sure your expectations are realistic.  Are your demands about weight, age, height, financial success and other factors limiting your ability to find the right partner?  Being flexible, objective and fair prevents us from setting ourselves up for the pain and disappointment of unrealistic expectations.

5.  Communicate effectively by encouraging open, honest dialogue.  In addition to your words, be attuned to your partner’s nonverbal cues and body language.  Also be aware of your own cues that can trigger messages and unconscious signals to your partner.

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is the co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! Visit www.womendatingafter40.com to receive a complimentary Tip Sheet along with a Tip of the Week which spans every facet of dating success — from preparing for your first date to determining whether your partner is a “keeper.”

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