To Date Or Not To Date – Are You Ready?

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After a break up or divorce, there can be a lot of pressure from friends, or society in general, for a person to put themselves out there again to find “the one”. A sliver of fear is inserted into our consciousness that being alone is bad. Dating sites on the internet abound. Social media sites boast groups to meet the man or woman of your dreams. But what if you don’t want to date?

When my marriage ended, I realized it wasn’t too difficult to attract a man. I, also, realized I didn’t want to date just anyone, or go from one relationship to another. I made the difficult choice to not seek a relationship. Why difficult? I had friends who didn’t understand my position, some even going so far as to pass judgment on me, saying I was afraid to take a chance again. Perhaps fear was a part of it, but not for the reasons anyone thought.

You know those feelings of excitement when you first meet someone new—you’re on cloud nine, the sun shines even when it rains, and you feel on top of the world? I longed to feel that, but I wanted to feel it outside of a relationship. I wanted to be so in love with myself and my life, that should I choose to be in a relationship, the feeling of joy would never end because my life already had it in spades.

Here’s how I went about it:

1.    Gratitude

I remember crying myself to sleep quite a number of times in the early days of our separation, feeling stressed out and lonely. Over time, I chose to focus on the love I had in my life from my children, family, and friends. By taking it one day at a time and feeling gratitude for all the wonderful people in my life and the opportunities presented to me to create the life I wanted, helped me wake up each day with a smile on my face. And believe me—each day gets easier and easier.

2.    Self-Care

As a busy mom of four, people ask me how I do it. I always chuckle and say, “I just do!” There are always places to go, homework to do, laundry, etc. I make a point to eat right, exercise, and take time out to relax, whether it’s daily meditation, a hot bath, or sitting on my deck watching the sunset. I encourage the kids to do what they can for themselves. And when I need a “time out”, I tell the kids I need one and I go off alone to chill out!

I’m also list maker. I prioritize the important things that need to be done right away, and what can wait. There is time to get everything done. When I need help, I ask for it— whether it’s for home renovations, getting the oil changed in the car, and God bless the carpool! The stress will always be there, but it’s how you look at it. I’m learning to manage better by being aware of when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and taking the necessary steps to whittle down my “to do” list into manageable pieces.

3.    Loving Alone Time

Whether it was at home, the movies, or grabbing a bite to eat, I became comfortable being alone. I have to spend the rest of my life with myself. Shouldn’t it be imperative I’m happy with my own company? And how is someone else supposed to love me, when I don’t love myself inside and out? In order to love “me”, though, I had to heal.

4.    Healing Emotional Wounds

Healing old wounds meant becoming self-aware. I had to understand what my issues were and where they came from. I didn’t want a new partner to be responsible for my baggage. I took the time to go for counseling and read books that aligned with my vision of what a healthy relationship should be. As human beings, we all have issues, but a relationship only works if both people are aware of their issues and promise to work on their part.

The Soul Mate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships by Mali Apple and Joe Dunn, and The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz are two books that resonated with me. If reading these types of books interests you, find what resonates within your own heart.

This isn’t to say I haven’t dated at all. The couple of men I’ve been privileged to spend time with brought a lot of meaning to my life and taught me valuable things about myself and relationships as a whole. I’ve been able to zero in on what I need and don’t need. Life has taught me that when I’m ready for someone to come into my life, he’ll show up, and if someone leaves, it’s not the end of the world.

And I can say this now because of the love I feel inside and out.

If you don’t feel like the dating scene is right for you, then don’t make yourself a part of it. We are born to love and be loved. Be happy and fill your life with Love beginning with you!