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Giving Up Love for Lent

Dear Philippa,

When my girlfriend broke up with me about six months ago, I completely stopped dating. I've been burying myself in my work and spending time with friends. Now I've met someone I like through a friend, but how do I know if this one's going to stick around?

�Matt, Allenstown, PA


Dear Matt,

It sounds like you've been smart enough to give yourself some time to recover and heal. The question you need to ask yourself is not what the other person will do, but whether or not you are you ready to start dating again.

There are no certainties or guarantees about how others will ultimately act. You cannot control or often predict their behavior. You can, however, control how you think about your life and yourself. There are thoughts that act like, what I call, Mental Velcro�they catch hold and create the positive experiences in our lives.

When we feel good about ourselves and open ourselves up to possibilities, we attract the right people into our life.

When you're recovering from a loss it may seem difficult to reframe your thinking positively. Here are some ideas that can help you.

Think about the people in your life who you enjoy spending time with�people who just like you the way you are. Imagine dating a woman with whom you feel the same way. By getting in tune with how you want to feel around someone, you will develop radar for zeroing in on the right ones and recognizing the wrong ones.

Turn on some of your favorite music and take some time to fantasize about being with the right woman. All great achievers use visualization to overcome fears and reach their goals. Imagine how wonderful it feels to have found each other. See yourself spending time with this right woman and how great you feel when you are with her. Shut off any critical and overly analytical thoughts�just dream.

The mind does not distinguish between imagination and reality, it sends out the same biological responses such as pheromones; this causes others to be attracted to you.

Write down a positive statement like the following, "I am open and trusting and I attract loving and loyal women who are ready for an enduring relationship with me." And, read it often. If you are a spiritual person, preface your affirmation by thanking God for this guidance.

Matt, take all the time you need to reframe your thinking. There is no time clock that says you have to ask this woman out now. Allow yourself time to become friends.

When you are truly ready to date again, go out with several different women and enjoy learning about them and yourself. Be up front and let the women know you are at the discovery stage and trying to figure out what you want in a relationship. This should open up an honest dialogue with your dates and help you get to know each other better.

Most importantly, remember that there is a woman out there, right now, who is looking for a guy just like you. When you have prepared your mind and healed your heart, you will recognize her.



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