Dating Again After a Breakup or Divorce
Our guest blogger is author/therapist Rachel Sussman, whose brand new book “The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce” is amazing — and available today! Read on for her insightful thoughts.
Even though she wasn’t feeling stellar, Carrie decided that the best way to recover from her breakup was to immediately get back out there and date. And that’s exactly what she did. She dated, she dated, and boy, she really dated. By the time she came to see me for relationship counseling, she was exhausted and singing the blues. “I got right back on the horse. I scheduled at least 3 dates a week. I was on every internet dating site. I didn’t turn any dates down. But it was simply awful! I met the worst guys. And the few I liked didn’t ask me out for a second date. Now I’m sure that there are no good men out there. I’m destined to be alone forever.”
Dating can certainly be challenging, and I honestly do feel Carrie’s pain. But her misfortune was typical because she was making some classic mistakes. Making a great match and falling in love is a slow, thoughtful and somewhat organic process. When we take our time and make good decisions, magic can happen. Alternatively, when we barrel ahead like a Mack truck with extreme anxiety as our fuel, accidents repeatedly occur.
I regularly implore my readers to take it slow and steady, yet I don’t always get full cooperation. We live in an instantaneous results-oriented world, and often times after a breakup or divorce we rush into a new relationship to avoid feeling the pain from our previous split, or because like Carrie and thousands of others, we are afraid of being alone.
I definitely want to encourage folks to get back out there and date. Many of us deeply desire to be in loving, committed relationships. It’s perfectly normal to want that and it’s absolutely possible to have one. But in order for romance to occur you have to follow some basic rules, which are:
*Yes, you will meet lots of potential suitors when you are ready to date.
*You are ready to date when you are:
– Fully healed from your last relationship.
– Have a complete understanding about why it ended and what part you played in its ending.
– Entirely transformed from the experience.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s discuss what makes someone a really great dater. You are ready to begin dating if these statements describe you:
The “right” reasons to date:
• You are fully transformed from your breakup and you want to continue expanding your already expansive life.
• Your state of mind is optimistic and enthusiastic, and you feel confident and empowered.
• You have a new or renewed positive association with romance and you see many benefits in participating in a new one.
• You have an open mind about dating and are up for the process, even if it means some occasional bad dates, rejection, frustration, and disillusionment.
• You understand that it will take time to meet someone and you will not try to rush it.
• You comprehend what a healthy relationship consists of and have made a deal with yourself that anything less than a great one is a waste of your time.
• You feel that you have so much to offer the right person and have the confidence and motivation to put yourself out there until you find a match that meets the majority of your realistic criteria.
• You have a great support system in place to cheer you along.
If you agree with all of these statements, you have a strong foundation and are ready to move ahead. Alternatively, if any of these statements do not resonate with you, you would greatly benefit from putting some additional time and commitment into your recovery. Remember that the more seasoned you are, the better your outcomes will be!
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