Are you arguing your limitations?

Midlife women sometimes passionately, convincingly, compellingly tell me why no man would be interested in dating them. “Men aren’t interested in a woman like me who has wrinkles, bags, extra pounds and hot flashes,” she may start. “They’re only interested in girls half their age. And forget anyone wanting a feisty, intelligent, educated woman like me. They are too threatened by us,” she continues. And if I let her, she’ll go on. And on. And on.

IllusionsIn “There must be a pony in here,” I quoted Richard Bach’s book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. One of my favorite quotes from the book is,


“Argue your limitations and they are yours.”

The more you argue why no one would be interested in you, the more you convince yourself. Then you close yourself off from anyone who is the slightest bit interested. The 50-ish man who talked to you at length at the party the other night? He was very nice, funny, intelligent, and even kinda cute, but he wouldn’t be interested in someone like you. No, you’re sure of that. In fact, you saw him later talking to a 30-something beauty. But he left alone you noticed.

What about that friend of your co-worker’s who you met at her birthday bash? He was really fun and you enjoyed bantering with him. But he was a successful executive and ran marathons, so he would probably have disdain for your out-of-shape body.

The interesting owner of your favorite restaurant? You frequent it regularly, and he’s always nice, even flirty. But you’re sure he’s just doing that because you’re his customer. He probably has a girlfriend, but you know he’s not married because he’s not wearing a wedding ring. Besides, he’d probably rather be with a foodie — someone who understands his business.

Do you ever hear yourself having similar conversations in your mind? You are arguing your limitations. You are stopping any possibility of getting to know these guys better and perhaps going out, even if just for coffee. And if you suggest coffee and he says he’s in a relationship, so what? You’ve made his day by showing he’s attractive, and even if the relationship isn’t revealed until during coffee, you may have a new great pal.

So if you hear yourself arguing for your limitations, tell yourself to stop it immediately. Remind yourself you would be an interesting companion for a number of men. And open yourself up to the possibilities.

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6 responses to “Are you arguing your limitations?”

  1. Bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    OMG, you got into my head again!!! I am going to print this out and keep it with me so I can remind myself that I am OK as-is. Even if I do have terrible skin problems, I am an intelligent and compassionate person and that, in the long run, should be worth more to a quality guy (as it is to this quality gal) than having a conventionally pretty woman on his arm.

    Bravo!!! I really love this one!!! 🙂

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂

  2. Gatti Avatar

    I’ve been going through some drawings and papers from about 5 years ago when I was coming out of a fairly devastating depression. One was a card I used to have pinned to the wall which says “No Buts!”. That’s about it in an nutshell, I think.

    My ex was the master of “Yeah, but…”. I find myself doing it sometimes too, though I’m making a real effort not to. And now I have the most supportive, understanding, helpful, but-less (!) man on the planet who thinks I’m so wonderful even with my jiggly bits and my fine hair and my occasional burps and rumbles and my forgetfullness with names of things and all the other little foibles that make me me, that I know that my best self comes out when I’m with him, my honest, funny, creative, intelligent self. What a relief to have her back again and to have her appreciated!

  3. NYSharon Avatar

    Hi DG
    I think we say those things to ourselves because it hurts less than taking the risk in expressing interest and being rejected. In the long run we hurt ourselves more. I am reading “The Secret” right now. It has a very similar philosophy in that positive thoughts attract positive things. I am confident about my looks however I have found that men do look to date younger from my last year’s on-line experience. I found on line dating disappointing. I have been known to say “I will never meet anyone”. I have been working on thinking that the universe is wide open with any number of men who would find me wonderful. (Unfortunately, I live in a small town and the single dating pool is small to non existent.) What I have found is that younger men are much more interested in me than men my own age! That is good for my ego but not for a long term relationship. I am doing all the things they say to do to put your self out there, and I am expecting soon I will bump right into him! As soon as my daughter graduates from high school, I am out of this town.

  4. Gatti Avatar

    Sharon, I live in a village with about 1000 people and there were actually several men in the village and in the surrounding couple of villages that I could have dated, some of them expressed interest.

    After some years of being in a verbally abusive situation I just wanted to go out on some nice dates (and maybe eventually meet someone I really liked) so I went with internet dating because the pool is bigger and had a series of perfectly pleasant dates and all but one would have wanted to see me again, but I chose not to continue because there was not enough chemistry. I’d written in my journal what sort of man I wanted and I met a man who exactly fits, and more than I could have ever imagined. And I fit what he wanted.

    Chance? Or being clear about yourself and your desires? I was sure that sooner or later I would meet someone I liked, in the meantime I wanted to go on nice dates, which happened.

    Oh, and he’s four years younger than me!

  5. […] take on why midlife women undersold themselves on their dating profiles. They’d read “Are you arguing your limitations?” among other postings, liked what I had to say, so wanted me to share my thoughts with their […]

  6. […] take on why midlife women undersold themselves on their dating profiles. They’d read “Are you arguing your limitations?” among other postings, liked what I had to say, so wanted me to share my thoughts with their […]