Are you afraid to meet men because you think they won’t like you? Our limiting beliefs and fears can do a lot of damage on our self-confidence, so let’s have dating coach Lisa Copeland bring some positivity to this area of our life. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Lisa Copeland. Lisa is a dating coach who works exclusively with women over 50. She is here today to help us understand the complexity of dating as an older woman. Welcome, Lisa.

Lisa Copeland:

Hi, Margaret. Nice to be here with you, as always.

Margaret:

Thank you for being here. I love having conversations with you because you are so good at understanding what older women are facing when it comes to dating.

I know we have a lot of fears that hold us back from getting into the dating game when we reach 50 or 60. Maybe, you can share with us the most common fears you have noticed and perhaps how to deal with them.

Lisa:

I’d be happy to. Some of the biggest fears that I hear in my coaching practice are: “I passed my game,” “No man is going be attracted to me,” which is a huge one, or, “There are no men out there for me to date.” To that one I’ll always say, “Did you meet all the men in your city?”

Margaret:

That’s a good point.

Lisa:

Other fears are: “I’m too old. Men only want younger women,” and “I’m not enough.” I think that’s where it all starts from, feeling that at your age you’re not good enough to attract someone. It’s the fear that no one’s going to like you.

Margaret:

Another one has to do with our body. I hear women say, “My body has changed. I’m not going to be physically attractive to someone sexually.” So, these fears limit us. We actually let them rob us of our confidence and as a result we stop getting out there into the world. Do you think this is true?

Lisa:

I do. We call them limiting beliefs. They narrow our focus into what we can see. So, when those women say to me, “There are no good men in my area,” I’ll reply, “Have you met them all?” They’ll laugh and say, “No.”

Margaret:

Or they’d say something like, “They wouldn’t like me even if I did. I’m too old.”

Lisa:

Sometimes our beliefs about men, or about ourselves, do not allow us to see those men that would be a really good fit for us. We’re subconsciously trying to sabotage our chances by proving that our limiting beliefs are true.

So, even if there was a man right in front of us – trying to flirt with us in the elevator, for instance – we couldn’t see him because we’re so worried if he will like us that we don’t consider our own power to think “Will I like him?” He flirts with us and we totally miss it because we think there’s no man available.

Margaret:

I’m trying to apply your words to my own life. A few weeks ago, I was at the Heathrow airport where I met some guy, and we just started chatting. He stood up from where he was sitting so he could face me at the same height, and he started talking.

He was really interesting, but I now realize that I was doing exactly what you just described. Instead of paying attention to him and what he was saying to me, I immediately started thinking of what he might say and how I would limit the possibility of uncomfortable conversation.

So, I think you unconsciously put up a barrier, and that negates all opportunity for interaction.

Lisa:

Yes, it does. Our fears really do hold us back to the extent that getting over them becomes harder than doing nothing. A lot of women do nothing about dating because they are so afraid to put themselves out there. Dating really does take courage.

The biggest thing you need to understand about dating is that you have to do it from a place of self-love and empowerment. It’s important that you come from a place of choice versus waiting for the guy to approve of you.

Margaret:

Yeah.

Lisa:

It’s your choice whom you will date. If he’s interested, consider if there are things about him you will like, instead of wondering whether you fit his tastes.

I used to be full of self-doubt when I first started dating in my 40s. I remember I emptied my whole closet out for the very first date I went on. I didn’t feel good inside, and so I couldn’t find good clothes to wear.

I went on that date worrying whether he will like me. I gave up all my power, because I wasn’t coming from a place of self-love. In truth though, men love women who know and love who they are.

Margaret:

It’s kind of like self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it? If you assume that you’re going to be rejected, you will be rejected. Then the memory will make it worse for you the next time around. And instead of opening up to new possibilities, you simply won’t give yourself a chance to not be rejected.

Lisa:

Yeah, exactly. It’s the fear of rejection versus “Okay, so he didn’t like me. Let’s move on.” Unfortunately, we do it to people, too. Even if we don’t like a guy, we still want him to like us. As women, we simply want the world to love us, regardless of how we feel toward someone.

Margaret:

I think the secret here is in perceiving dating as a game. It’s a game of engaging and giving it a try. Every game you try can either end up as success or not. It’s just a matter of seeing it in a light-hearted way rather than a life-defining event. Don’t you think?

Lisa:

Yes, dating should be fun. The reason why it’s not fun is because women don’t know what to do next. They think they’ve dated every guy that’s out there when they really haven’t.

When I work with women we create what’s called a quality-man template. It helps them get super clear on the type of man that’s going to make them happy versus what sits in their head about how much the guy makes, or what he should look like.

Margaret:

That’s a good approach, I think.

Lisa:

The amazing thing about this approach is that it works like magic. I see their love lives totally changed and they get into relationships with The Man who we had described in their quality man template.

I’ve had women say to me, “I never would have looked at this man before because all I used to want was hot chemistry.” Once a woman opens her eyes to the possibility created by our template man who could make her really happy, that changes things for her.

Women don’t sit down and consider things this way. They’re almost always looking for that narrow, little guy, who has to look a certain way, to have a certain amount of clothes, to have a certain job.

That’s why we don’t consider the ones that don’t fall in that mould we have in our heads. We should really stop doing that and instead ask, “Can this person make me happy? What am I looking for that’s going to make me happy?”

Margaret:

Yeah. That’s really important. When we put men in boxes, we actually channel our limiting beliefs that we’re not good enough, or attractive enough, or that we’re too old. All those things create the environment where we’re not able to do what you’ve just described. We just can’t open up to the possibilities.

Lisa:

Yes, and, by the way, that is exactly what scammers play on – our inability to feel good about ourselves. So, when this really handsome guy shows up, who’s not really the guy behind the picture, we feel such value because this guy chose us and got interested in us. This is a scam many women fall for, because they don’t find value within themselves.

Scammers know it, and that’s why they use pictures of attractive men to pull you in. When they write to you, you’re like, “This guy wrote to me. I’m so special!” versus “I’m really special. Let me choose who I’m going to write with.”

Margaret:

Scamming has to do with online dating, so let’s talk about that. How can we win against our limiting beliefs online where we can engage with real men? Why is online dating worth giving a try?

Lisa:

I believe it’s important to have a dating blueprint where you have at least two ways to meet men. Online dating is a very big one, though it’s harder to do. Then there is real life, matchmakers and friends who could fix you up with a guy.

I would say both meeting men in real life and online dating create the biggest fears in women because we’re afraid to approach men out of fear of being rejected. In either situation you have to go with an open mind.

It’s a mindset shift of “I’m just going to meet someone new and interesting,” versus thinking, “Oh my God, this could be the one.” That was my thinking when I started dating in my 40s, and let me tell you – there was enormous pressure because of it. The men I met were so not the one, and it wasn’t even fun.

When you’re with a guy you want to ask questions that will help you learn something interesting about them. That way you can come away knowing something new about someone.

The biggest issue we encounter is when we get attached to an outcome like, “This has to be the one. I have to get a second date with them.” The truth is, you don’t know that much about the guy. Most women are so into the chemistry thing, they wouldn’t give the guy a chance because they didn’t feel instant chemistry.

You really need to shift your mindset so that you know you’re going out to meet new and interesting men and to get to know them better. Be open to the possibilities.

Margaret:

So tell us more about this template that you have your clients fill out before they go to online dating sites. Do they fill it out to understand who they’re really looking for and how chemistry, for example, may not be the most important thing?

Lisa:

I do this in my coaching programs, either my Fun Path to Mr. Right, which is a DIY program, or when I work with clients, privately or in a group. The template is included in my book, The Winning Dating Formula for Women over 50.

The template helps you get in touch with the patterns of men you’re attracted to because it’s usually the wrong guy. Then you need to get really clear on your deal-breakers. They are really important because many women think, “If he loves me enough, he’s going to change.” They don’t, but you’ve already settled.

Then you need to get in touch with qualities you want in a man. That is your wish list, and it may include things like ‘loves fine dining,’ ‘loves cruises,’ ‘loves his board,’ ‘going to resorts’ etc.

Next, you need to come up with a list of 15 to 20 values that he needs to have. If a man doesn’t have values that are congruent with yours, it’s not going to work.

Then you create what’s called an emotional guidance system, which includes how you want to feel around the man. Just meditate on how you want the guy’s energy to make you feel as it comes toward you. In my experience, this exercise never has money or chemistry come up. It’s all about how you feel in your heart.

Margaret:

I think that’s the beauty of what you do, Lisa. You help women move from the mindset of chemistry and attraction to the mindset of values. And, like you said, values are what’s going to make a relationship work, not appearance or money.

Since all of that is in your book, I might actually download it to my Kindle. I really appreciate your insight, because this discussion about self-limiting beliefs and changing the mindset is so important.

Lisa:

I also share a lot on my blog. I offer a short book called 5 Little Known Secrets to Finding a Quality Man. If you scroll to the bottom you can take the 7-day challenge about dating. All of this will open your eyes to the possibilities that are there for you.

Our limiting beliefs close off our possibilities, but they are there. It’s a matter of becoming aware of them and recognizing the cost for holding on to our fears instead of letting go and getting what we want.

Margaret:

That’s super advice and it actually applies to all areas of our life, not just dating in our 60s. Having self-confidence, knowing who we really are, what’s important to us, and what we value helps us to make really good choices overall. Thank you again for being with us, Lisa. We’ll talk again very soon. Bye!

Lisa:

Thanks, Margaret. Bye.

What is your level of self-confidence? Do you have limiting beliefs that hold you back from enjoying your life and opening up to new and interesting possibilities? Does it affect your dating life? Please join the conversation and share your fears and how you fight them.

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