QUESTION: I am 29 years old and still living at home with my parents. I don’t get to date much because I work long hours. I have noticed that I’m becoming more and more comfortable living with my parents, and I’m afraid I’ll get stuck here if I don’t date more. I don’t trust men that much, so it makes it hard for me to open up to people I meet. Would like your thoughts and advice on how to become more active in dating. I do want to get married one day.
PROFESSIONAL: Lisa Velazquez, M.A., Romance & Relationships
Thank you for your question. Felicidades on taking your first step to finding new love. Here are seven tips that will help get you started.
1. Love by Association: Familia
You are very lucky to have parents that love you and make you feel safe, but you need to be brave and take leap of faith for true love. If you continue to spend the majority of your leisure time with your parents know that you are manifesting exactly what you don’t want. Be sure to explore the reasons why you are still living with your parents? Do you have traditional values? Are you building a business? Is it the economy?
Or are you just afraid to leave? You may just be settling for the love and security from your parents, because of your fear of getting hurt the way you may have in a previous relationship. If you are afraid to leave, I highly recommend that you start saving some of that hard earned money for your own apartment, because once you start dating again you are going to want and need your privacy.
2. All Work and No Play Makes a Dull Dama!
Stop hiding behind work. Be sure to get a good nights sleep and eat healthy throughout your days to keep your energy up. You will focus better at work and leave in time to enjoy your life. Instead of working hard work efficiently and you’ll see that you have free time. But you might be thinking, Lisa I have to pay bills and I have a lot responsibility at my job. I say, so do the men that want to meet you, but they’re smart enough to leave the office (because they’re efficient) to go to socialize, eager to meet you. Time is life. When you waste your time you waste your life.
3. Getting to the Heart of the Matter
The foundation of any healthy relationship is trust. We trust the person we are in love with to respect our bodies, our business and our hearts.
Before I even discuss how to be more active in dating, it is crucial for your emotional well-being to understand where your trust issues are coming from. Only then can you heal your heart by forgiving and letting go of your past hurts. This is the way to rediscover self-love and confidence. Please understand that forgiveness is about releasing pain and suffering, so that you can be free. It is in no way a free pass for the person that hurt you to be let off the hook. You must start to forgive to receive new love.
4. Emotional De-Clutter
Your heart cannot receive love when it is filled to the rim with pain. I recommend that you write a letter to the person(s) (that caused you to feel that men are untrustworthy) explaining how they hurt you (but don’t mail it). Also, refrain from calling them, sending a text or contacting them on social media. This is about giving you real closure. It is not a pass to reconnect with this person.
After you finish writing the letter read it out loud in its entirety. If you begin to cry then let go, let flow, Chica. It means that you are releasing and healing. Take deep breaths then tear the letter into pieces and throw it away. Afterwards, take a shower and wash your hair. Later make a list of (realistic) character traits in a partner you do want on an emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical level. Also, make a list of positive love affirmations and start reading these out loud everyday and have faith. You have the power to choose who you let into your life and heart. Please love yourself first by making this choice wisely.
5. All Dressed Up In Self-Love
Now it’s time to fill your heart to the rim with self-love. Use some of that hard earned money on a gift for your mind, body and spirit. Plan a holistic trip to Kripalu (I love this place!) in Massachusetts for a short vacation. Try one of their retreat and renewal programs or do some beauty and bodywork treatments and enjoy nature. Or if that’s not in your budget you can stay local for a spa day, take a personal development workshop at Open Center and read a self-help book and journal to process your thoughts and emotions. Maybe even buy yourself a nice outfit for a date for the renewed fabulous you! The key is to make it all about you to feel good on the inside and out.
6. Bringing Sexy Back!
Now that you’re all dressed up in self-love, make the time to play on Saturday for a girls night out (with like-minded ladies only) for dinner and dancing. On Sunday enjoy brunch with girlfriend(s) to recap the fun and how much of a hot chica you were last night. After a fun weekend you may be filled with so much confidence that you will be excited about meeting someone (if you didn’t already). On Monday, I’d bet your colleagues would notice a change in your demeanor. Strut your stuff by to going out to lunch to grace the universe with your presence and smile at your admirers. I am sure there will be plenty.
7. Get a Life and Keep it!
Ok Lisa, but how do I become more active in dating? Start seeking and accepting invitations to socialize!
The key is to take action by associating with like-minded people such as single people that are healthy, positive and active as well as confident happily married women. These women would be delighted to introduce you to great people to date.
Since you are very career-oriented, join a singles group for professionals. Also, you can join different singles groups such as cultural, athletic, charitable, creative or whatever activities spark your interest. Many of these groups have co-ed dinner and dancing events, which can help break the ice over fun group conversation. You may date or become friends with some of these people outside the groups and get invited to more parties.
Remember to find interests to do on your own as well. There’s nothing like solitude to reconnect with your true desires and passion for your own life as an individual. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? A belly dancing class or perhaps creative writing? Give it a shot! Be sure to fun have creating your new found individuality for it will always keep you interested in life and interesting to your future partner.
If you want more advice on this topic check out my article 8 Dating & Sexual Resolutions to Attract the Love You Deserve and feel free follow me on Twitter for daily tips.
Lisa Velazquez, M.A. is a Sex Educator, Relationship Coach and Motivational Speaker. She is Founder of Wonder Womyn, where the mission is empowerment through sexuality and relationship education.
Lisa offers women straight practical advice with compassion like a trusted girlfriend over lattes and mimosas. She is passionate about empowering women through personal development in order to guide them from heartbreak to self-love. Lisa has been a featured expert in New Latina Magazine, My Latino Voice, Urban Latino Radio, Power Women Radio and Identity Magazine. She currently provides coaching/education via telephone consultations, workshops and her online advice columns. Lisa attended Teachers College, Columbia University for a Masters in Clinical Psychology, and is a Certified Sex Therapist, Sexuality Educator and Facilitator for Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy.