My Dating Year in Review

Posted by in breaking up with grace, dating after divorce, dating in midlife, first date success, love after 40 | 0 comments

dating year in reviewI find it helpful to take inventory at the end of the year. It helps me to appreciate what I’ve accomplished and learn what I want to improve upon for the coming year. I have reviewed what worked in my business, what programs I’ll be repeating in the coming year, what milestones I’ve reached. This was an exciting year in business with lots of successes! I’ll share more about that in another post.

I am focusing today on my dating history for 2012. I encourage you to do the same. Take out a sheet of paper or open a new file in your word processing program. Call it “My Dating Year in Review” (or whatever you want to call it). And ask yourself: Did you feel successful at dating this year? What did you learn from your dates? What patterns will you repeat next year? What will you do differently? Here’s my dating year in review…

From January through March, I dated the Narcissist. Yes, me the dating coach ended up being a tad blind-sided by a bonafide narcissist. His charm got me. Yes, I am human. And guess what ~ I don’t regret dating him. He was fun, laugh-out-loud funny, sexy and smart. The reason it worked for me is that I went in with ‘eyes wide open, legs firmly shut’. I was able to assert my needs strongly from the start, so that I didn’t end up feeling like a victim when it ended.

I told him that I would date him until it wasn’t fun for me anymore. And I said that he couldn’t have my whole heart or body unless we were monogamous. Yes, I knew he was not going to date me exclusively, and I also enjoyed his company. He was creative (important to me), our dates were off the charts exciting, and we had wonderful conversations.

But dating a narcissist is not very gratifying. So, I broke up with him in March. He wanted to stay friends, and I told him that was impossible for me. He consistently showed through his actions that he was not my friend. He didn’t have my back, so we were done. For good. Door shut. And for that I am very proud!

I had a series of one-date wonders with men who seemed like possible contenders. There was ‘B’, a guy who came on strong at the beginning. First phone call was great, and the next day we skyped and had a sweet connection. He texted me, “Just want you to know I think you’re pretty and sexy.”

We were supposed to meet Saturday night, and he had to cancel because of his kids. The anticipation was building. Lots of texts indicating his interest in me. And then bam! He shut down and said he felt unsafe because of something I said. He stopped talking to me.

Scratched my head for a few minutes, but realized I would never want to be with someone who was so shut down and communicated so poorly. I can’t walk on eggshells in a relationship, worried that I might say or do something wrong and be shut out because of it. I let him go. And I felt good about it. NEXT!

I had a bowling date with a sweet man who wasn’t for me. The main turn-off was his lack of self-confidence. For the record, bowling dates are a fun first date.

I had a ‘mock date’ with a man who met me at a dating talk I gave in NYC. He wanted advice on how to date better. Yet, he seemed to be really happy with his dating experience since his divorce. He described himself as the ‘kid in a candy store’. Hmmm. So, why did he need a ‘mock date’ with me?

“By the way”, he added, “in case it goes well, you never know where things might end up.”

“Are you asking me out or hiring me?” I asked.


So, I went on the mock date. My kids said, “Mom, isn’t that like prostitution? Getting paid to date someone?” No, more like an escort service, kids! : ) (Note: In all seriousness, many dating coaches build in ‘mock dating’ as a service to clients. It’s actually very useful to someone who needs feedback.)

And for the record, he was definitely interested in dating me, but he was afraid to ask me out. So he paid me to date him. His passive/aggressive approach was the first thing I addressed when I met him.

Mr. Grateful Dead was obsessed with following the Dead cover bands all over the US. As a former Dead Head from the 70’s, I decided to give him a chance. He was a half-hour late for our first date and didn’t let me know what was up until I texted him. He was very apologetic, but he spent the entire dinner talking about his ex. This was my bobble-head date. I nodded, he talked, we left. Ba-bye!

In late summer, I met Mr. Text. He wasn’t always Mr. Text. Great energy, lots of enthusiasm and excitement. And then it waned after two weeks. He became my text buddy. Not a good way to escalate the intimacy in a relationship. He’s still in my life, but has become my text friend, not the love of my life.

What have I learned from the men in my life this year? 

Lessons learned from my dating year in review 

1. Don’t take anything personally. When B disappeared after I said ‘the wrong thing’, I knew it was him and not me. I want to be in relationship with a man who can communicate clearly, not one who runs away when he feels ‘unsafe’.

2. Give men a chance. You never know…if someone is awkward over the phone, they might be great in person. Rule a man in, not out. Go out with a good guy. Pay attention to his character and the things that connect you. Actions are more important than words.

3. Keep closing doors. You need to let go of the man you broke up with (or who broke up with you) in order to make room for the one who will click. If you don’t firmly shut the door behind you, you are leaving it open a crack for possibility of the past guy to come back in. My philosophy is ‘all in’ or ‘all out’. In-between is a murky place. It is confusing to you and to the man you’re currently dating.

4. Keep on dating. As the New York Lottery states, “You’ve got to play to win”. Stay in the game. If you hide in your house, you will never meet that wonderful man. Kiss a few more frogs, date a few more men next year, find new ways to meet men both in person and online, and you’ll eventually hit the jackpot. Don’t give up! Love is too precious to give up on.

5. Keep a healthy attitude about dating and men. It’s important to stay happy and healthy throughout the dating process. It can feel like a whole lot of failure, but you’re only looking for one man. Isn’t it worth the search? I think so. Do what you need to do to keep your life full and balanced, filled with things that bring you joy. When you’re happy, you attract happy.

I want to wish you a wonderful Holiday season, and happy dating in 2013! And please share what dating lessons you’ve learned in 2012 in the comments below.

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