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Modern Dating: What is your relationship with dating?

Joanne Michelle

How the heck do we meet people these days? And in Canberra?

I was surprised to find there are actually quite a few options and I’ll share them with you over the next couple of months, but today I want to share the early days of my dating with you.

Over the past two years I’ve heard so many women saying, “I don’t feel worthy”, “I can’t be bothered”, “It’s a chore”, “I don’t enjoy dating”, and so on.

Dating may sometimes seem like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

I really enjoy my own company but the thought of sitting at home alone every other night is not appealing to me. I also like the company of others – others like as in my girlfriends – but let’s face it, they’re not always available to go out. I also wanted to meet new people and expand my circle of friends too. So I started dating.

Fear can easily rise up when it comes to dating after having been in a long term relationship.

But fear never gets you anywhere, unless you acknowledge it and push it away!

Don’t let the fear of dating take away what could potentially be a lot of fun. What I have found over the years is, that dating is a time to get to know yourself more. I’ve met new people from different walks of life with diverse lifestyles, different personalities, and with that, I have learned a lot about myself.

I was in a relationship for 20 years – 17 being married – and yes, at first the thought of putting myself out there scared the hell out of me. However, I chose to push through the fear. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve become braver.

I’ve not only gone out there and enjoyed myself, but made some incredible connections and great new friendships too. While sadly I have met a few losers along the way, I’ve learned so much more about myself too, and that’s priceless.

What is your attitude to dating?

This is the first question you need to ask yourself. What do you want from it? To get out and meet new people? Make some connections? Or maybe more…?

Get real with yourself!

Going on dates does not mean ‘sleeping around’ nor does it say that you’re ready for your next long term relationship. By choosing to let go of fear and by embracing your single status, you may actually find a beautiful friendship or even a new love. In my view, it is a process.

With dating generally, you need to go in with an open mind and not let others dictate how you date or what each method means. Brush off any judgment, whether it’s meeting someone at lunch walking in the city, meeting someone in a bar, being set up by a friend or meeting someone online.

Actually, I love dating

Yep, you read it right. People have different views of dating or what dating is but for me, I love it.

What is the definition of dating? Or better, your definition?

My definition of dating: Getting out there and meeting a possible right one or right now. Experiencing life, enjoying the company of others.

But, what are you looking for?

When I say I love to date, I have to admit initially I was a little hesitant. However, I decided to be myself and not look for an outcome.

I wanted to feel nice again, dress up, and meet new people. After all, it had been 20 years. I was feeling unworthy and had no idea how to speak to the opposite sex, let alone kiss another person. Of course, it wasn’t going to be easy. I was fortunate that in the early days of my dating I met a friend of a friend and we connected. We started seeing each other but we didn’t live in the same city so it was a nice transition back into dating. I started to feel like a woman again and started to feel like me, Joanne.

Over time, I found online dating – Tinder, to be precise – and found myself at times consumed by this app. It gave me the scope to meet new people easily and I liked that. But, was I becoming a serial dater? Whenever I was child-free, I would go on a date. Dates! Plural!

It seemed to be so often and at times, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. I had moments where I was asking myself; should I be looking for the one? No! But, I knew I enjoyed having conversations, coffee catch-ups, drinks, movies, dinner and connections with new friends.

With the benefit of hindsight, I may have overdone it a bit, and now don’t date like I did in the early days, but I still love to get out there and meet new people from time to time.

Dating gave me the confidence to get back out in the community and accept my single status

If the thought of dating scares you, then you’re normal! But try to change your mindset to focus on the enjoyment of going out, the possibility of meeting new people, the making of new friends and face the unknown, the curiosity and the excitement. And, with that, you will find yourself and what is right for you. You will connect with some amazing people, and you will learn more about yourself along the way. You may even find the right one.

Happy Dating.

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Joanne Michelle

Joanne is Founder of Joanne Michelle and is a certified Health Coach and Divorcee who has set up Canberra’s first one-on-one break-up coaching program; offering health and wellness advice and practical techniques to help provide much needed support to women after their break-up or divorce. Joanne’s mission is to support and EMPOWER women to rediscover their identity after their break-up or divorce. With lack of support during her own personal experience, Joanne wanted to ensure women have the much needed support on offer. Going through a break-up or divorce can often be a mentally and emotionally devastating time, not to mention stressful. With this in mind, Joanne is now providing a coaching service to support women after their break-up. Joanne is caring and approachable, and knows first-hand, life doesn’t end once you divorce. For more information, please visit www.joannemichelle.com.au or email [email protected] More about the Author

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