You were in a miserable marriage, went through a painful divorce, or are finally single. A scary thought keeps going through your head … “Am I being loved again?”
Fear of not finding love again can hold you hostage in an unsatisfactory marriage. It can haunt you when your spouse has left you.
The thought of no longer finding love tormented me as I withered into a toxic marriage at the tender age of 24. As a good Catholic girl, I struggled with the prospect of being treated like a second-class citizen by my church and feared putting myself out there in the dating game.
While I feared making another fatal mistake, I also entertained a burning desire that a good man would love me and accept me for who I was.
It’s normal to feel sad and lonely when thinking about or going through a divorce. The desire to bond closely with a partner is very natural. Especially if you’ve been rejected by your partner or regret wasting your “prime” in a toxic marriage.
Being married unhappily, being betrayed by a cheating spouse, or enduring a grueling divorce can also make you question your kindness and ability to love.
We all want to be loved. We were created to be and express love.
Don’t make a mistake. We are all loving and lovable. And that includes you.
If, like me, you grew up on the axiom, “When the King dies, the King will be replaced,” you may be torn between the time you need to heal your wounds and how you rebuild your life in a new relationship. You may feel the pressure of well-meaning friends and family members and wonder if something is wrong with you for not jumping into the mysterious world of dating.
So when is it okay to get back on track?
There is no right time to start dating. It is a personal choice that we must all make in order to appreciate our feelings and evaluate our unique circumstances.
But there is definitely a wrong time and a lot of wrong reasons to disconnect.
Here are 7 particularly bad reasons after divorce:
1. You feel lonely or incomplete.
We grow up with the message that we need a man to be complete. That you have to be married to be someone. A man is not the currency that determines your worth as a woman. You are valuable yourself.
Learning to enjoy your own business will allow you to have fun without relying on others for safety or entertainment.
2. You want to numb your pain.
Divorce is painful and there is no sugar coating. But time heals everyone and the pain will pass.
Early feedback to avoid divorce pain is like taking a pain reliever to treat the pain caused by an infection. It will only mask the symptoms while the underlying cause festers and may worsen over time.
Give yourself the chance to experience and process the pain. Take the time to reflect on your marriage and learn the lessons: how you got into this dire situation, what you learned from it, and what you would do better next time.
3. You are afraid that you will not be able to survive on your own.
If you’ve never lived alone or have been married for a long time, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of having to feed yourself, perhaps dealing with your finances for the first time, or not knowing what to do with yourself when You do it arrive in an empty house.
However, if you start dating a man as a meal pass or life jacket right away, you will be exposed to a relationship based on dependence and hardship. And that is disempowering. A healthy relationship requires equality and mutual respect.
Independence creates power. Dare to start a new profession, acquire new skills, and learn about financial literacy. It doesn’t just create a foundation for a successful life. it can lead to new friendships and personal fulfillment.
4. You want your children to have a father figure in the house.
You may believe that children need a masculine figure and hurry up to bring a new man into your life.
A new partner is not a substitute for the real father of your children. Not only does this put undue pressure on your new partner. It can also be painful or confusing for your children who may not understand this new man’s role in their life.
You are perfectly equipped to be a single parent. It may require some adjustment or support from your family or friends. But you can learn along the way and strengthen your relationship with your children because of your new situation.
5. You need a partner to prove your desirability.
You are loving and lovable. Period. No partner can prove to you what you don’t think is true.
Practicing self-love and cultivating healthy self-esteem are the means to gain a revered partner who loves you for who you are. You can only love and be loved by others if you love yourself first.
6. You want a partner to help you get over your ex.
Getting over your ex first and letting go of feelings toward them – whether love or hate – are prerequisites for a happy reconnection. Not only is it dishonest and unfair to a new partner to be in a relationship while they are connected with someone else. It will also prevent you from making any meaningful connection. A relationship based on deception is unlikely to last or be healthy.
7. You want to make your ex jealous.
Wanting to make your ex jealous is a sign that you are not over him yet. If you focus your energy on getting your ex’s attention, you are misdirecting the energy you need to rebuild your life.
You may be entertaining some of the thoughts or feelings mentioned above and wondering what is wrong with them. While you have to honor and process your feelings, you cannot let them run your love life.
This is a recipe for disaster that guarantees failure. Being insecure or emotionally unavailable can lead to you winning the wrong partners and perpetuating the cycle of unsatisfactory relationships.
Making sure you are up to date can help you build a successful relationship and not recycle the mistakes of your past. Well worth your effort.
I waited four years after my divorce to start dating and haven’t looked back. I gave myself time to travel the world, take on new hobbies and make new friends. In other words, I dedicated myself to being happy and having fun. When I felt safe and fulfilled, I decided it was time to bring the joy I had created for myself into a relationship.
I met some nice people, dated the wrong one longer than I should, and a few months after undoing that mistake, I met my current husband. I now live the high life with a kind, loving man in a beautiful home with three precious dogs, while I fulfill my most beautiful dreams and many experiences that I would never have thought possible. That can happen to you too.
Open your heart to create a life you love – this time on your terms!