I have quite a number of girlfriends who have decided to remain single. I’m not sure if they are saying it or that the universe will surprise them with a new man or if they really mean it. These days it is not so horrific to want to be single, because (1) there are not a lot of good, single men around to meet and (2) our eyes are focused on the wrong men. I used to have a three-page list of what I wanted in a man. I shopped around using that list and ta-dah – I attracted the ‘wrong’ men. I was asking for a man that did not ______, instead of one that had a specific quality.
The New List. After a few rounds of revolving door dating, I created a new list, a five-point adaptation. He had to be funny, a devoted man, a generous spirited man with family values, and lastly, he had to be looking for a committed loving relationship, unwounded from his past. Well, the past wounds are a difficult one to find because we are all wounded children inside, however as long as someone is open to find healing; it’s there to be found. The best thing to me about stepping into a relationship is how we learn about you. A friend of mine says it’s like putting miracle-grow on our defects. It’s true! I cannot believe, as time goes on, how much I learn about me and out of that – I become a better girlfriend, mother and person.
All about ME. So, as much as I like being single in my own world – I adore being in a relationship for what I learn about me and about the world I reside in. It’s a place I can contribute on so many beautiful levels, and receive so many gifts at the same time. I’m learning now that people live in their All About Me worlds.
AND IF YOU DECIDE TO DATE AGAIN,,,,
Have fun. Well, you made it to date TWO! Just remember that we are just as scary to the opposite sex as they are to us. On date two, try and be natural AND try to not over-analyze everything that occurs. Dating after a divorce is intimidating enough as it is – without having to try and impress the other person. Sometimes, after divorce, people talk about, complain about, and rant about their X’s to anyone who will listen. Do not do it on dates – if you want to continue dating a person you really like.
Don’t take anything personally. When we date, we are vulnerable, not unlike how teenagers feel. ‘Does he like me?’, ‘Does he think I’m cute?, ‘does she think I’m smart? She gets worried if his eyes are off of us and on someone else at dinner. He is concerned if we look like we aren’t paying attention to his story at dinner. Try not to take anything personally, most of the time it isn’t about us. It’s human nature for people to be stuck in their own world. This is a good time to dip your toes into dating waters and get comfortable without evaluating or critiquing.
Remember, your date is as scared as you. We’re all little people inside of our grown-up selves. We carry about pain from the past, disappointments that are hard to get over and dreams that have died before they ever really materialized. Sometimes disappointments in the area of love and romance are the hardest to get over.
They’re Nervous Too. So when you’ve made it past the first date and find yourself with someone you actually like and would like to see again – remember your date is nervous too. Instead of watching for signs that he or she may hurt you, just enjoy yourself and know you’re with another vulnerable person on the planet, who is just as unsure and nervous…just another person looking for love.
Leave the kids out of the conversation for now. So many post-divorce daters jump into conversations about their children (not just how old they are, but their entire childhood history and genealogy gets revealed). If you leave the children out of the equation for now, you can get to know the person (not the parent); and you’ll be able to ease yourself back into dating and romance as a man or woman – not as a parent.
Uncover. There is always time to reveal your parenting styles and share…but the first or second date is better for determining if this PERSON could be right for you…