Linda was tired.
She was in her mid-fifties and didn’t look like she used to. Her face, her hair, her twenty pounds of extra weight… made her wonder what any man would see in her.
She came to me for help recovering from heartbreak after she’d met a man online.
She felt stuck, obsessing about this man and too discouraged to try dating again.
“I’m too old for this,” she told me.
I asked Linda to tell me all the factors that she thought made her ineligible for love.
She reeled off a list. Her age, her weight, her appearance. She wasn’t very interesting, she wasn’t good at texting, she didn’t have any exciting hobbies.
She looked at me. “Do you need more? I can keep going.”
“And all those things disqualify you from love?” I asked.
That’s where I knew our work needed to begin.
The Right Mindset Matters
Nothing wrecks your self-esteem more than dating.
It feels like everything about you is put under a microscope for judgment.
Online dating exacerbates that feeling, because the algorithm is so unforgiving.
In a cruel twist, dating can make you feel worse about yourself, and feeling worse about yourself leads to worse experiences.
When you feel low, you’re less likely to attract good men, and the men who do show up may take advantage of your temporary lack of self-esteem.
That’s why I believe that it’s so important to address how you’re feeling about yourself before you jump back into the dating pool.
When you feel good about yourself, you’ll date with greater resilience and bounce back faster from disappointments.
When you feel bad about yourself, any setbacks will serve as “proof” that you’re doomed in your search for love.
Luckily, there’s a way to hold onto a feeling of worthiness no matter what dating throws at you.
Get Off the Dating Rollercoaster
A major obstacle to feeling confident is what’s called, “other-based esteem.”
This is when your feelings about yourself are based on what other people think of you.
When you go out on a great date, you feel great about yourself.
But when you go out on a bad date, you take it personally. You attribute the bad experience to something you did wrong or something that’s wrong about you.
Dating becomes an emotional rollercoaster, where your self-esteem rises and falls based on men’s behavior.
Another problem with other-based esteem is that you can feel you have to earn the right to feel good about yourself.
If there are too many things about you that are “wrong,” then you don’t feel you have the right to be proud of yourself.
When I explained this to Linda, she nodded her head. That’s exactly how she felt.
She didn’t feel worthy of a great relationship because of all the things she thought were wrong with her.
It was my job to show her that she WAS worthy—and she would always be worthy, no matter what.
When Will You Feel Worthy?
Let me turn the spotlight onto you.
Do YOU feel worthy of a great relationship?
Or do you feel as if you’ll only be worthy of a great relationship once certain conditions have been met?
You might think:
I will be worthy of a great relationship once I’ve lost this extra weight.
I will be worthy of a great relationship once I can make men attracted to me.
I will be worthy of a great relationship once I get these issues in my life sorted out.
I want you to know that you are worthy of a great relationship NOW.
There is nothing you need to do. There is nothing you need to change about yourself. Everything about you is enough.
That sense of worthiness is something you carry inside, now and forever. It’s impervious to the shifting tides of judgment and approval.
Affirm Your Worthiness
Instead of thinking about all the ways you don’t measure up, think about all the ways in which you more than measure up.
Fill in the blank with as many reasons as you can:
I am worthy of a great relationship because _______________________.
You might say:
I am worthy of a great relationship because I love with all my heart.
I am worthy of a great relationship because I’m great company, I laugh easily, and I’m loyal in a way that’s hard to find these days.
I am worthy of a great relationship because I bring out the best in others and support them no matter what.
How do you feel now?
Can you see why the assets you bring to a relationship—your heart, your goodness, your thoughtfulness, your care—are vastly more powerful than your age or appearance?
Finally, I want you to know this:
For every single man you meet, you are worthy of his attention.
You are worthy of his interest.
You are worthy of his kindness.
You are worthy of good treatment.
It’s not your job to make a man give you attention, interest, or kindness.
If he is stingy with his attention, or shows little interest, or is unkind, then he is not the man who’ll create a great relationship with you.
You are worthy of a GREAT relationship.
And it’s up to you to create that reality from the inside out.
This article is fantastic for not only women, but men as well.
It’s amazing that at 68, dating is no easier. I think many of us are still somewhat self-conscious and many of us still do take rejection personally.
I think your story hit the nail on the head with this woman thinking she was too heavy, too old looking, etc. I have a very close friend, right around 60, who’s incredibly attractive, and she looks *years* younger than she is. She has a live-in bf but said if anything ever happened to him she wouldn’t date again bc guys are too concerned about looks and age. I think when she looks in the mirror, she sees something completely different than what’s really there! She wouldn’t have any problem having guys interested in her, as not only does she look a good 10 yrs younger than she is, she’s intelligent, active and fun.
I think if your readers think the same things about themselves as the woman in your story, then they absolutely should take your advice. It’s excellent!