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Looking for love – the second time around

ROCKWALL, TX (Feb. 8, 2015) Even though some prefer the single life, many are still looking for someone to share their lives with—someone to love and be loved by. But past experiences can color the way each person approaches dating.

Those searching for love “the second time around” may find themselves love-struck by Cupid, sweetly enriched, or deeply perplexed.

Growing up in a different culture gave me a different outlook. I felt self-conscious when girlfriends would ask, “Are you dating anyone?” I began to use the excuse that I scared guys away (which might have been true at the time)!

I decided to do some research on dating.

Online dating garnered both positive and negative reviews. Jeff, one of the men I interviewed, said that online dating weeds out people who are not compatible; it is practical for people whose time is a commodity.

“I recommend it [online dating] for younger people. It’s efficient,” he said.

Jeff also pointed out that there are pitfalls. Ashlee, a single woman in her mid-thirties, echoed Jeff’s concerns:  Is it safe? Do men or women represent themselves accurately online?

“There are too many choices. Guys will continue to search online to see if they can find someone else better,” Jeff said.

The women I spoke to felt that online dating seemed more like going grocery shopping. I tend to agree. At times, I wonder what happened to meeting a guy/gal the old-fashioned way?

A handsome, middle-aged man once invited me to his home for lunch. His welcoming demeanor put me at ease. As he prepared lunch, he encouraged me to look around the house. His home radiated with warmth and positive energy. I admit, my curiosity peaked and I decided to scan some more in search of information that would help me see deeper into this man’s life. Soon, my eyes found a photograph of him in his younger years. His now dirty blonde hair still shows hints of his once golden blonde hair.

This man’s rugged appearance and glowing accomplishments caused my mind to drift away. I was reminded of the great mythology gods, their leadership and exploits (yes, I have a big imagination)! For the sake of confidentiality, I will call this man Captain Thor.

What woman wouldn’t want to be saved by Captain Thor? Yet, as I talked with him, I saw the “other side of the coin.” Looking beyond his strength and charisma, I heard his heart say, “Guys are more sensitive than what women think. They don’t want to be hurt, again.”

The reality is that many women are so worried about putting their defenses up to avoid being hurt again that they miss the fact that men feel the same way—they just hide it better.

Thinking about dating? Here are some tips:

Ladies—Behind all the strength and confidence men exude, there is a heart that is sensitive and must be handled with care.

Men—Behind the shyness, quirkiness, confidence and/or loudness displayed by a woman, there may be a fiery heart full of embers waiting to be rekindled.

When on the first couple of dates, do not talk about past relationships, health or finance issues. Leave your pets at home—no need to over-talk about them. And restrain your hormones; they can get in the way of getting to know the “real” person. Not that either of you should be deceitful, but avoid talking about the negative, in order make it a positive experience for both. Finally, never judge a book by its cover. Take your time, and cautiously take the risk and open your heart again.

By Blue Ribbon News guest columnist Enid Reyes, a Life, Relationship & Life Transitions Coach and founder of Rockwall Grace Center for Family & Community Development. Enid recently launched her new business, Life Compass: Life, Relationship & Life Transitions Coaching.

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