Some people who have become single after a break-up may find that it is not their hearts that needs mending – it is their self-confidence that needs repair. Self-confidence involves knowing the truth about yourself and knowing that another person loves you as you are. A break-up shatters this self-confidence, as this true nature has been seemingly called into question. Your self-confidence is affected because now you don’t know if you will ever find another person who values you for yourself. To begin to rebuild your confidence, thoughtful mediation is an effective first step. Take some time to find a quiet place for reflection. You might even want to write down your thoughts in order to better understand your emotions. Ask yourself what aspects of yourself you think are most attractive. (Take note that these are your opinions about yourself and not necessarily the same opinions of others.) You could write down:
- I think I am pretty good looking because I have nice-looking hair, a cute face, and a physique that I take care of regularly.
- I think I have an interesting personality, can converse well with new people, and have admirable life goals.
- I care about the people closest to me and do what I can to show this love to them.
After you have finished your list, read through it again. Are you convinced that these are really your good qualities? Don’t write down what you think are the “proper” things to say, because these might not necessarily be your true opinions of yourself. If you need to revise this list, do so.
Now it is time for a second list – but this time, you need to write down what you expect from any new date you meet with. You could write down:
- I want my date to be good-looking but not obsessed about his/her looks.
- I want my date to be pleasant to talk to and perhaps share the same interests and life goals as I have.
- I want my date to understand me and to express this understanding when we talk.
If you look carefully at this list, you will see that it doesn’t say anything like “I want my next date to be my soul mate” or “I want my date to commit right away.” A date is simply a way of exploring the beginnings of a relationship when commitment is not yet on the table. A first date is a time to go with the flow and get a taste of what might be without the weight of expectation.
Taking a slow approach to dating can pay off tenfold in the long run, because you have the chance to be your true selves, all the while gaining confidence that is not tied to the fate of your relationship. If all goes well, you will have the potential to develop an authentic relationship with maintaining your confidence as an individual.