...and I feel guilty. I'm single for
the first time in ten years - and happy about it - but the dating rules seem to
have changed so much. I met a couple of guys recently who I got on well with,
but, to my surprise, they ended up asking me out and I rather awkwardly turned
them down. I'm worried Tm giving men the wrong signals just by talking to them,
and find it hard to 'reject' someone I've unintentionally given false hope to.
This has made friendships difficult and 1 feel like I can't just have fun and be
myself any more. What am I doing wrong?" Kate, 33
EMMA SAYS Hurrah! A woman who has the sense to
realise that after a decade in a partnership, being alone is vital. It's
tempting to say lucky you', what with all these men falling at your feet, but I
realise this is a real issue for you.
You say things have changed in the
dating game since you were fast single, but the real truth is it's you who's
changed. You’ve become a confident, self-assured woman who knows what she
wants, and that makes you attractive. These guys like you because you're fun. Intelligent
and interesting enough to develop an easygoing friendship with, which is great
because it reflects that when you do meet the right partner, he’ll have to be
one hell of a guy to catch your attention?
When you meet men and want them to
know you're unavailable, state it Say, I’m really happy being single right now
and I want to keep it that way', then if they come on too strong, you can
remind them of your position, You only have yourself to answer to - if guys
decide to ignore the fact you want to be 'just friends', that's their issue,
and if they react badly when you turn them down, you've learned they're a
friend you can do without.
Be confident with your life choices
and don't rein yourself in - you don't need to protect other people's feelings
by appearing quieter or less sexy. Be confident in your own skin and enjoy
flirting and being attractive to the opposite sex. The fact you're so concerned
about your impact on others demonstrates you're not arrogant: you're mindful about
your behaviour and that's a nice trait to have. Don't sweat it when men mistake
the signals you give off and make a move, just be adult and tell them you're
not interested. After a long relationship, the best medicine is to get out, try
new things and have fun.
HOW TO BE
1. GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
become single after a long relationship, you don’t realise how much you’ve
changed. Rather than ‘rebounding’, take time to rediscover your single self.
2. LOOK AFTER NUMBER ONE
You need your
own best friend, rather than relying on someone else to make you feel good.
Treat yourself well and put your own needs first.
3. STATE YOUR CASE
blame a guy for trying, so be clear in friendships of any type. Be honest and
state what you want from the onset to avoid embarrassment and confusion later