Three weeks after my divorce I was gallivanting with a junior article clerk, intoxicating looks, half my age for two weeks on an exotic island… temporarily forgetting that my life was in shambles… a 40-year-old single mother of two teenage sons…barely qualified attorney… hardly self-supportive… very irresponsible for a start. We’d go on long hikes, spend afternoons wrapped in my bed sheets, travel to tropical beaches…never to reach the crystal blue waters…It was a blissful experience but like everything in life, it had to end. And then I was left to face myself… had to deal with reality. Over the next few years, I attended support groups, shed tears over past choices, spent nights reading growth books, tried to make sense of the madness. Until, eventually, I realized I was done. I had faced my demons. I was ready to move on. And I have learned the lessons I was supposed to learn….
The most important one – Life is to be lived. Mistakes will be made. Always. No matter how old we are. As long as we correct our mistakes. And learn from them. There are no guarantees in life. You will probably make more wrong choices…choose another wrong person. So what!!! Who says life is only about making right choices… Even if it takes a lifetime of attempts to eventually end up with the right one… THEN SO BE IT!!! All’s well that ends well!! And if you don’t find him, then you have lived your life to the fullest.
The others –
1. Stay single until you can be sure you’re starting a relationship for the right reasons.
A truly loving, committed relationship is about sharing life experiences, learning and growing with someone who is self-aware and free of the past hurts, and being open and willing to doing the work it takes to exist in a safe, drama-free space together.
To reach this place, you must first commit to learning the lessons you have to learn on your own. That’s the only way to escape the ending of your last failed relationship. Let yourself fall apart and know that it’s OK not to be OK for a while—maybe for a long time. The grieving process can be lengthy and painful. But there is so much necessary growth waiting for you in the time after a breakup. You can’t skip the hard part and go right to Phase 2. This is the task you have to complete.
2. Love yourself more than you ever thought possible.
You’ve heard the sentence “No one will ever be able to love you more than you love yourself.” Kick out the roommate in your head that tells you you’re not good enough, beautiful/handsome enough, young enough, or wealthy enough to have a wonderful, loving, and supportive partnership. Replace self-deprecating thoughts with thoughts that affirm your wholeness, such as, “I am awesome and deserve someone who knows my worth,” or “I am completely lovable just the way I am,” and “I am deserving of great love.”
3. Learn what a healthy relationship looks like, and take your time.
After being married or in a long-term relationship, it’s easy to idealize the next person you date. Healthy relationships start off slow—as friendships. Commitment, then intimacy, comes only after a physical, mental, and emotional connection has been made and consistently demonstrated over time.
4. Have fun.
When you do decide to date again, approach it as an adventure rather than a burden. Prepare yourself as much as possible, then let go, have fun, and trust the process. There is nothing as enjoyable in a relationship as to laugh, to enjoy… Enjoy the process of noting how you feel when you are around this person. Is there a lightness and joy or an anxious pit in your stomach? Is there ease or awkwardness? Are there feelings that something is just “not right”? Practice non-attachment, rely on your personal support system, and stay curious about other people’s worlds. Learning how they fit in with yours can be a joyful process rather than a painful one.
Enjoy the journey. It’s part of life. It is why we are on this earth for…..