I was single for 10 years after my divorce. During that time, I engaged in a lot of online dating. Many dates were what I called “one and done.”

It wasn’t that I couldn’t relate to the male ego as a strong independent woman who made a very nice income. In my case, my unsuccessful dating was for other reasons. Sometimes we just didn’t click.

A few times on my path, I actually dated for longer periods of time with men who loved controlling me. That was my issue, and I needed to overcome it. Even though I was strong and independent, in relationships I kept falling into an old familiar trap of being dominated, controlled, belittled, or used.

As I learned more about my own specific relationship trap, I found that a man’s money or power just didn’t interest me anymore (wake up Linda, you have your own!).

Of course, all men who are powerful aren’t controlling, but that’s who I attracted for a time. Through much work on myself, I started to attract kinder men, and was married at age 60, to a wonderful man who I adore. The work had to begin with me.

Consider these tips for dating and love.

It Starts with Being Comfortable with Your Own Worth

I’m not speaking monetary worth, but self-worth. For years, I looked to a relationship to complete me. I needed to learn the hard way that I was already complete. This totally changed the way I viewed dating and relationships.

I could be genuine and non-confrontational in dating interactions. It wasn’t a competition! Being me, who I had become through the many challenges of life, was attractive and sexy!

I didn’t view dating as competing for which of us was the stronger or more accomplished. Dating was much more relaxed. If the date needed to tell me all his wonderful accomplishments in the first few minutes, I viewed it as perhaps he had low self-esteem, or it could be he was just plain nervous.

I stopped feeling I needed to inform him of all my accomplishments so he would know I was a good catch, or that I too had done some great things. Instead, I would shift the conversation to something less work oriented, to find out what made him tick.

It was his ‘outside of work’ stuff I was interested in. Through this I would learn if we were a match that sparked my interest.

Men Think Way Differently Than Women

No kidding! If you ask a woman how men think (even a female relationship coach) you may never figure it out! There are men who have taken on the challenge of being a relationship coach or mentor to men or women. Ask them!

Adam LoDolce, the founder of Love Strategies (who states he is a fan of confident women), has some great articles and a clear focus on the topic.

Remember that male and female communication is something we work on all our lives! Figuring out how your date thinks is as individual as they are!

Take a Genuine Approach

Rather than try to change the way you ask for help, just to bolster the male ego, how about a genuine approach? Simply ask for help. If there’s something you could use a man’s help on, you are not devaluing yourself to ask.

The question doesn’t need to be phrased in any certain way, it’s just a question. You are still strong, independent, and can figure most stuff out, yet it’s OK to ask if you need some help.

Please STOP thinking of this as a tactic or ploy to keep them feeling manly and therefore all built up and happy around you. That feels so insincere and fake to me. If you’re doing that, I think a smart man would pick up on it, right? It’s just how things go. At times, we need other people’s help.

A Small Shift in Thinking Helps

Sometimes when a man sees something you need, opens the door for you, or wants to lend a hand if the sidewalk is icy, it could be because he is viewing you as valuable. Consider for a moment it’s not that he needs to be your hero, but instead is genuinely being himself. Could it be he is being kind?

To put it plain and simple, you are worth kindness. Just let this subtle shift in thinking help you accept when a man is being a gentleman.

If his acts of kindness go overboard and indicate he thinks you’re a princess that can’t take care of herself, then a discussion needs to happen regarding boundaries and your preferences in situations.

Receive Strong Professional Help from a Coach

Many professional women (as well as those who are now retired, or non-professional, widowed, single women) truly want someone to share life together. It is very discouraging that the area of finding real love, a genuine caring person, and someone to date seems to be beyond grasp.

It’s easier and yet so incredibly painful to sign off love and give up. This is where a dating coach can be extremely helpful.

I know of a very professional and successful woman who continues to see a man she is not in love with. He is very much in love with her and wants to marry her. She continues to date him, due to loneliness and being unsuccessful in attracting anyone else, yet she is unhappy.

Perhaps it’s time to get some help. Date Like a Grown Up by Bobbi Palmer is a site to check out. On the home page, she says, “You are not too old, and it’s not too late….” Bobbie is just one of many life coaches who have dedicated their work to helping women who sincerely want love.

Why not check out this site or others for inspiration? Many have great blogs or written articles, where you can figure out if you like their style before committing to coaching.

Relax a Little

Strong women are used to working hard, being on time, leading meetings, being in control and forceful. On a date, we feel we need to open our own door, pay for the meal, and let them know we don’t need them. Learn to drop some of that and relax in relationships.

On a date, we aren’t trying to achieve or be validated like it is at work. Approach men in a relaxed way where their validation of us is not really needed for happiness. We already value and appreciate ourselves.

Your Intelligence and Drive Are Part of You

Please don’t change your drive, diminish your success, or downplay your abilities, just to bait or please a date or to bring forth your feminine side. Your success and drive are such a wonderful part of you. You don’t need to prove it, flaunt it, or make a big deal of it. Relax into it.

If your date asks questions about your work, just say what you feel like revealing. You are in control of what you share, and it’s up to you if you want the discussion to revolve around work. From all your skills in your professional life, use the skill of changing the subject!

For me, the most successful date discussions revolved around the things that we both enjoyed, made us happy, or enriched our lives.

Be assured, your genuine self will attract someone who is head over heels with the whole package that makes up YOU. Until that happens, remember to consistently do those things that make you happy and enrich your life.

Do you lack confidence in dating? Has this been one reason why you can’t attract a quality man? What steps can you take to relax and just enjoy love and relationships? Please share with the community!

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