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18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

18 Dating Tips for Extraordinary Women Who Just Haven’t Found Him Yet

“The Rules” of dating seem to get blurrier the more we achieve in recognizing gender equality. When we clear away the confusion, though, dating is just a life skill, like healthy eating or applying for jobs.

Here are 18 simple dating tips to help you prepare yourself, navigate the online scene, build quality relationships, and feel successful, regardless of how the date or the relationship ends.

Before You Start Dating Tips:

1. Get clear on your expectations.

People date for different reasons. Are you looking for casual connections without any expectations, to find some companionship, or to find an empowering partner for the rest of your life? Be honest with yourself about your expectations, and then communicate them openly. Don’t compromise just because a man is especially sexy, charming, or successful.

2. Define success in empowering terms.

People can now expect to change careers three to five times in their lives and to move multiple times to new places. We’re still taught that a successful relationship is “happily ever after.” But does it have to be? Katherine Woodward Thomas teaches us to consider that a successful relationship could be one that is loving from start to finish, even when the finish comes as a break-up. If the only definition of success in a relationship is one that lasts until death, then very few relationships could be called “successful.” Redefine success in terms of being loving, having integrity, and learning.

3. Have standards.

Our standards slide when we fear we won’t find somebody, so we settle for anybody. While this speaks to the nurturing capacity of women to love just about anybody, we need to learn that we can still be loving and be selective. Decide now that you will only date a man who meets your “Musts.”

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What are the attributes that a man must have to be worth your heart? Make a list with two headings: “My man must” and “My man should.” Give yourself 10 minutes to list without censoring or second-guessing. Then go back through your list and ask yourself, “Is this really true?” Keep revising until you have a very clear picture of what you want. These are your “Musts.”

4. Raise your standards for yourself, too.

On the flip side, we often have huge expectations for our ideal partner, but we let ourselves get by with less than our best. If you are going to attract and date your “Must” man, make choices to develop your best self.

Make a new list with these headings: “To be my best self, I must” and “To be my best self, I should.” List for 10 uncensored minutes. Again, look back asking, “Is this true?” Make a plan to address every “Must” on your list at least twice over the next 10 days. This helps you nurture your own needs, regardless of how any date goes.

5. Remember that dating is a process.

If you want to have a fit body, you eventually learn that it is an on-going process. You can’t do 100 sit-ups once every six months and expect your body to change. Dating, too, takes persistence to see the results you are seeking. If you get frustrated that you aren’t finding what you’re looking for, remind yourself that there is no failure as long as you keep learning. Bad dates and relationships are opportunities to help you get clearer on who you are, how you can improve, and what you value most.

Online Dating Tips:

6. Initiate contact intelligently.

When a man’s profile seems to indicate that he could be a candidate who meets your “Musts,” message him. People have busy lives, and there’s no reason to wait for him to notice you. Don’t send messages that give him no idea of who you are or what you want, like, “Hi! How was your day?” Instead, be clear and put the ball in his court. A better message is: “Hi, Chris. There’s something about your profile that attracted me. I’m interested in getting to know you better. Are you open to the idea of meeting? Leslie.”

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7. Play the numbers.

Ignore this tip if it doesn’t work for the expectations you established in Tip 1.

Online dating, in fact all dating, is a numbers game. Your goal is to connect with as many men as you can. Remember that these are total strangers, and you don’t owe them anything. Like fishing, you can put out one line, wait around to see what happens, reel it in, decide it’s too small, throw it back and start again. Or you can throw out a net and have your pick of the harvest. If you’re looking for the right one for you in a sea of strangers, the more contact you make with different men, the better your odds.

8. Don’t waste time messaging.

You can message with a man for weeks, have deep conversations, or do some steamy sexting. But you’ll never know if there’s a real spark until you meet face to face. Use messages, emails, and calls to establish contact and arrange the logistical details of the date, with a touch of playful banter. Save the good conversation for one-on-one, when your eyes and tone of voice add to the allure. And your first meeting should always be in a public place.

Early Dating Tips:

9. Allow some communication lag time.

Whether you’re texting, messaging, or returning phone calls, avoid the urge to respond immediately to every little message. This isn’t about playing hard to get. Rather, it’s about setting healthy boundaries. Returning messages the instant you receive them can appear co-dependent or needy, as if his every word fuels your survival. Relax, and get back to him when you’ve had a moment to check-in with your higher self.

10. Smile.

There is nothing sexier to a man than a woman’s smile. It makes a man happy when he feels he can make a woman happy. If a man doesn’t believe he can make you happy, he will eventually leave, either physically or emotionally. There’s no need to be fake. Just share sincere smiles and laughter as they come. A beautiful, genuine smile is ten-million times more attractive than your hair, make-up, clothes or figure.

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11. Say “No.”

No matter how much money he’s spent on you or how badly you think it may hurt his feelings, don’t ever do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You have a gut instinct; listen to it. If a man is really worth it, he will understand. Feeling resentful or violated should never be something you have to accept to be in a relationship with anyone.

12. Protect children.

If either of you have children, protect them first. Never use children to build your relationship. It’s very confusing to children, even teenagers, when their parents date. Children can form bonds and expectations very quickly. Only bring the children into the picture when you are certain that the relationship has become one with longevity. And if the relationship seems that it may end, be sure to allow the children to voice their feelings and grieve the loss, too.

Long-term Dating Tips:

13. Play games.

People often say they don’t want their partner to play games, but that’s not 100% true. They don’t want to play hurtful, manipulative games. They do want to play inventive, imaginative, expressive games. These games allow our fullest selves to come alive. In a healthy relationship, people play with each other. Let your time together be fun and adventurous in whatever way feels good for you.

14. Give love to give love.

When people give love to get love, inevitably, someone will feel that they are giving more than they receive. Love isn’t even measurable in the first place; it simply is. While many people try to protect themselves from getting hurt by waiting to say, “I love you,” and guarding how expressive they are with their feelings, this actually leads to more pain. Choose to be a woman who expresses love to all people because that is the truest reflection of who you are. You only truly feel love when you are expressing it. You’ll be amazed at how much love you feel when you focus on giving rather than receiving.

15. Appreciate the gifts and resources that he shares.

Whether you are dating a man with significant wealth or a poor poet, thank him for the gifts he shares with you. If the man you’re dating has an abundance of money, talent, intelligence, accomplishment, or prestige, acknowledge these realities and that you may feel intimidated. Appreciate the entire person he is, not just those impressive bits. Be generous in sharing your own gifts and resources, knowing you are worthy in your own right!

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16. What if you’re the breadwinner?

Sociologist Christin Munsch found in her research that in marriages where the woman brings in significantly more income than the man, the man is more likely to cheat. While this finding decreased in non-married committed relationships, a noticeably higher number of men reported cheating in relationships when they were economically dependent on the woman. The most critical finding in Munch’s study actually had to do with the role conflict played in infidelity: lower reported conflict correlated to lower reported cheating by men. If you are a woman making more than your man, invest in conflict resolution coaching as a couple. Learn how to uncover conflict and see resolution as an opportunity to grow and strengthen your relationship.

Dating Tips for Parting Ways:

17. End all dates with gratitude.

Accept that dating is about finding the right fit. When you put together a puzzle, you don’t measure your skill by your ability to jam pieces together and “make it work.” You have to keep going through the pieces, trying and discarding until you find the right match. Stop defining “good dates” as matches. Instead, no matter how the date goes, be grateful that you and he were willing to try. If either one of you feels that it is not a good match, that’s great! Now you can be free to go find someone who fits with who you are and the person you are working to become.

18. Get back on the horse.

No one knows how much time it takes to recover from a break-up. For a while, you may choose not to date as a part of a healthy grieving process. Be careful not to wait too long out of fear of experiencing hurt or rejection. When you are genuinely interested into a new relationship, start dating again to practice these skills. When you go on dates, share your hopeful dreams for the future because this will help you solidify all that is possible and compelling. Choose love over fear.

What do you think about these dating tips? Are there any you would add? Leave them in the comments below!

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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