As someone that has been through a bitter divorce and came out the other side thanks to my incredible divorce attorney, I will tell you point-blank – there is life after divorce. There is even romance after divorce. If you were in a committed long term relationship that ended in divorce, and you are seriously considering dating again, then this will assist you in…
- gaining clarity about where you are in the process
- what you want from a relationship
- how to design a great relationship
- how to be successful and enjoy the process of self-growth
- finding love one more time.
If you have been married, or lived together in a committed relationship, you are not naïve about love and relationships. You know that a successful relationship is based on much more than physical attraction. It is based on common goals, values and beliefs. Successful relationships have a foundation of continual communication, respect and support for each other.
It is my wish that you be prepared you not just for a new relationship after divorce, but to allow a spiritual partner into your life. Some people call this finding your “soulmate”. In this relationship, you will not be asking the question, “what can you do for me?”, but “what can I do for you?”. You will gain great joy from being loving and giving, and your partner will feel the same way! That does NOT mean there will be no challenges. In fact, when you ask for your soulmate or a spiritual partner, that usually means spiritual growth… and that means constantly looking at yourself, evaluating your behavior, and making changes!
The #1 fear I have witnessed in people thinking about starting a new relationship is the fear of falling in love and getting hurt again. If trust is an issue for you, then your goal is to learn how to trust yourself (not the other person). No matter what happens, you can handle it! This means letting go of the unrealistic attempt to CONTROL the outcome of the relationship. Your new mantra has to be, “whatever happens… I can handle it!”.
Are You Really Ready to Date?
Take the following test to see if you are ready to allow a new partner into your life. Answer each question true or false:
- I have been divorced at least 6 months, or separated more than 1 year.
- Any victimization feeling I had during my divorce has subsided.
- I have taken responsibility for my divorce, and I have taken appropriate steps to recognize my part in the divorce and did the necessary work to make sure those particular behaviors/beliefs or actions do not recur in my next relationship.
- I have dealt with the loss of dreams and future visions I had in my last relationship.
- I now feel neutral towards my ex-partner.
- I can put my children’s needs ahead of my own feelings towards my ex.
- I have forgiven my previous partner.
- I have forgiven myself for my part in the creation of our problems.
- I know what my values and beliefs are, and I feel confident in myself.
- I like myself; I just feel that my life would be even more fulfilled if I had someone to share it with.
If you answered true to 8 or more questions, then you are ready to date and seek your spiritual partner. If you honestly answered false to three or more of these questions, then it is time to work on yourself, hire a counselor or coach, attend a self-help group, or purchase some good books on self-growth after divorce. It is important for you to first become the person you want to be, who will then attract the person you want in your life.
More Food for Thought
Have you dealt with your feelings around this transition in your life? Did you know that divorce is in the top five main stressors you can have in your life? You should have experienced many tough feelings and emotions during this time period, such as loss, fear, resentment, doubt, anxiety, confusion, distrust, and feelings of being unproductive. Before you move on, you need to have recognized and dealt with these feelings as they came up. Did you do that?
What are the gifts of your relationship? What did you learn? What are you most thankful for? If you know these answers… my bet is that you are ready to start dating!
Now, as you get ready to date, your feelings should be in the ballpark of anticipation, energized, confidence, satisfaction, focus and creativity. What is your own inner voice telling you about dating? Are you ready? Ask yourself, “why do I want to date?”. I have seen many people choose the dating route only to get caught up in lustful feelings… because truthfully, it does feel good. In fact, it feels great to have someone in your life who thinks you are the greatest. However, if it is only about lust, it is temporary… and what I want for you is the ability to create a conscious partnership. A conscious partnership is one in which there is polarity between partners and a continual feeling of wanting and desiring to meet the needs of the other. You adore each other… and want only the best for the other person.
If you have taken the path of self-growth after your last relationship and you are clear about your part in the divorce or breakup; you have forgiven your ex and you passed the readiness test; and you are able to articulate the gifts from your relationship and your intuition tells you YES, then you are ready to start dating. Go forth and be brave! Remember to have fun, be trusting (that does not mean be naïve), be loving and KNOW, that whatever comes your way… you can handle it!