I’m Excited To Date Again & This Time I’m Not Giving Up My Self-Respect Or Lowering My Standards

For a while after my last breakup, I avoided all men. I just didn’t want to deal with the stress, trouble, and heartache that a relationship can bring. I was also in a bad place emotionally and mentally, so taking a dating hiatus was good for me. Now that I’ve built myself up and learned to love myself again, I’m ready to start dating again. Here’s how I know:

  1. I actually like myself now. The way I feel about myself obviously has a huge effect on the way I deal with dating. If I’m feeling crappy, the last thing I want to do is go meet some new dude and try to sell myself to him. Now that I feel great about myself, my life and who I am, dates don’t seem like such a big deal.
  2. I’m more outgoing and friendly. Shocker — it’s easier to meet men when I’m open and happy and nice to people. Funny how that works. When I was feeling insecure, I would avoid making eye contact and instead go about my day in a bubble. Now I make a concerted effort to do the opposite and it definitely works in my favor. Men actually approach me because now I have the confidence to let them do so.
  3. I get less anxious making conversation. I’m always nervous talking to new guys, especially if I think they’re super cute. Now that I feel confident that I have a lot to offer, I have an easier time staying comfortable and present when I make small talk. I still get a little nervous, but it’s much improved. I don’t run away from hot dudes anymore!
  4. I know I’m worthy of big love. I’ve always longed for big love, but I never thought I could really have it. I didn’t believe I actually deserved such a thing. Now I understand that everyone is worthy of amazing love and I am entitled to the happiness I want. This has empowered me to be optimistic and open myself up to dating again.
  5. I don’t settle for BS guys anymore. Not only do I feel like I can date again, for the first time I feel like I understand how to date correctly. I no longer try to make myself feel something I don’t or imagine a connection that’s not actually there. I won’t put up with crappy treatment or anything less than a wonderful man. If that means I move along, that’s fine with me.
  6. I don’t take everything so personally. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and that’s helped me get more comfortable with dating. I always hated it because I really, really hated being rejected. I took it as a sign that something was very wrong with me. Now I understand that it only means that the other person is either not right for me or not ready for someone like me. That frees me to date without fear.
  7. I know how to walk away if it’s not right. This was my other major dating problem — I didn’t understand when I was dating the wrong guy. My instincts would bug me, but I ignored them and tried to make it work because I felt I was failing if it didn’t. My brain was wired all wrong. Now that I understand who I am, I also understand what I need and what doesn’t work for me. It was tough to train myself to walk away, but I’m much better off.
  8. I’m not self-conscious and awkward on dates. I’m comfortable with who I am now. Before it was pretty much a lost cause to go on dates because I couldn’t be myself anyway. I was too concerned I wasn’t good enough. I always tried to be the girl that I thought a guy wanted me to be and that didn’t work either. Now I just go with it and if a guy doesn’t like me the way I am, that’s okay. On to the next one.
  9. I don’t sell myself short anymore. I feel so good! I’m strong and empowered and I know that I truly can do anything. It’s a wonderful place to be, and it makes everything in life easier, including dating. Now that I understand my value as a person, I also understand that it’s not worth it to settle for a mediocre dude who doesn’t appreciate me. It feels good to demand what I want from my dating life.
  10. I’m more willing to take a chance and put myself out there. I’m less self-conscious and insecure, so I’m down to take risks now. I control how I respond to what happens in my world. I have to make the decision to try and try and try again. If I pick myself back up every time I fall, I’m bound to succeed in love someday. I have more optimism and hope in my heart.
  11. I’m no longer crushed by rejection. If you don’t try at all, you can’t fail. That used to be my dating motto. I couldn’t be hurt because I never put myself out there. I firmly believed that I was better off not feeling anything than feeling pain. It wasn’t a healthy place to be. Once I learned to take a deep breath and move on when I feel rejected instead of getting horribly depressed, I empowered myself to open up to love again.
  12. If something doesn’t work out, I have the tools to move forward. I get devastated by breakups — that’s no overstatement. I have such a hard time that I decide I’d rather avoid dating altogether. Love terrifies me because I know I can lose it at any moment. I haven’t been in a relationship since I changed my perspective, but I’m hopeful enough to start dating again. I trust that I’ll choose more wisely now and trust my instincts.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.