I was a poised, powerful, and confident woman … until I went on a date.
In fact, I’m a wee bit embarrassed to tell you what I put myself through the day I went on my first post-divorce date—four long years after my paperwork had been signed.
We were scheduled to meet for dinner. About 2:00 in the afternoon, my anxiety kicked in as I began to go through my wardrobe.
I put on nine different outfits. Spent 20 minutes with each one, critiquing myself in the mirror and fantasizing how each accessory might influence my date’s reaction to me. Are these earrings too big? Is peach too demure? What about my neckline, too much cleavage … not enough?
Then I went through it all again with all manner of hair and makeup possibilities.
By the time I arrived at the restaurant I was exhausted. I felt like I’d already been on fifty dates that day … and I had been rejected on most of them.
As far as the actual date, it was not just our first. It was our last. I can’t remember his name, or anything we talked about, but I do know I looked good. At least I thought I did.
Sadly, this exhausting scene played out over and over again … until I made a major shift in how I dated …
I began to partner with the Divine.
Once I did this, I deepened my ability to love myself and also found the courage to unapologetically express my wants and needs. From this newfound inner strength, I approached dating feeling a combination of fearlessness and deep trust. I literally quit caring what these men thought of me. I became wildly detached and I welcomed rejection. In fact, I no longer saw it as a “rejection.” I genuinely saw it as God’s protection.
Because I learned how to lean on God and not my small, scared ego, I got better and better at showing up as my authentic self in this new world of dating. One of the ways I did this was by letting go of focusing on them and instead focusing on me and what I wanted.
Eventually, over time, I mastered expressing my truth, wants and needs in other areas of my life; and my whole life transformed. I was able to do this because I knew:
something WAY bigger…had my back.
Fast forward a couple of years. I had a date, a new man. We agreed to meet at a Starbucks. I was encouraged when I first saw him. Finally, a guy who looked like his dating profile picture. Hallelujah!
The conversation was easy. I felt relaxed, even hopeful. Then he asked, “What books have you been reading?”
My first instinct was to pick something mainstream. I struggled to remember a best-seller I had glossed over and returned to the rack at Barnes and Noble.
Instead, I heard a voice in me say, No Vickie, you’re not going to turn your back on who you are so this guy will like you. No matter how good looking he is.
“A New Earth by Eckart Tolle,” I answered.
After I explained to him the premise of the book, he leaned backwards slightly and said, “Oh, so you are one of those New Age types?” with a tinge of disgust.
I felt a burning sensation well up in me. It was a combination of fear of rejection coupled with an extreme desire to people-please. I was tempted for a millisecond to give him the answer that would keep me from being rejected … but just for a millisecond. At that very moment, I felt the voice of my authentic self roar up and say, Oh hell-to-the-no Vickie! Not after all this work, not after all you have been through are you going to give this guy the answer HE wants to hear!
“Yes,” I answered.
He said, “You mean like … like chanting and … meditating and crystals and all that stuff?”
I leaned back in my chair, put my hand on the table and braced myself for the inevitable. “Yep, that’s me.”
Practically before I could get my words out he said (with increasing disgust), “Then we are not going to be a match.”
“Apparently not,” I shot back, with a confidence that startled him.
I skipped to the parking lot. My authentic self was doing inner cartwheels. Once in my car, I screamed, “Yes, yes, yes you did!” That day, I crossed a threshold. I showed up on every date 100% my authentic self … never to return.