Fast forward to living in “divorce world.” You’re lonely and want to meet someone. You think you know what you want and want you don’t want, but maybe it’s time to start over. Yes, there’s certainly things in those categories, but maybe you’ve placed things in the “don’t want / don’t need” groups that you didn’t want or need 20 years ago and now you do. If you keep them excluded and don’t consider them, how will you really know?
You may also think to yourself: How could I stay with my ex for years? How can I trust myself to make the right decisions on love when I made such wrong ones? What do I really want?
Some tips for navigating this new phase of your life:
• Be open to new experiences: It’s likely that part of why things declined in your marriage is due to routine. This is what we do all the time and we keep doing it the same way. I get it. Routine is easier. You don’t have to give much thought to it. But that’s exactly the point. Instead, now try to do new things, without being immediately dismissive, such as: (1) listen to music you’ve never heard; (2) eat food you haven’t experienced or maybe only experienced a few times; and (3) experience different locations. You like to hang out at places on the riverfront. Now try some downtown, or even out of town. Even driving to somewhere new can cause different sensations in your brain because you’re not on autopilot. I recommend trying all three of these several times to get a good sense of whether they’re the right fit for you.
• You’re likely in a pretty negative place right now. Jaded from years of unhappiness. Much of your thoughts go towards regret, confusion, sadness and animosity towards your ex. If not kept in check, this will absolutely spill out into your dating. I’m not saying you shouldn’t exchange stories with your date. That can be a bonding opportunity and a way to get past the usual chit chat into something deeper. To see how much insight your date has, and you have as well.
• Date as much as possible: You’re in your 40’s. You used to meet people in college at a bar when a friend of a friend introduced you. Meeting someone at a bar doesn’t appeal to you anymore. So what’s left? Seeing if any of your married friends and family know other single people? That list is going to be very short, and likely not enticing. So many people give meeting people to date online a try. There’s tons of apps out there, some based on different themes, and all typically with a search filter to help you narrow down your search based on the parameters that you want: gender, location, etc. Try not to narrow things down to your “ideal” partner. You don’t know what that is, so why limit your search? Just exclude your absolute deal breakers (such as someone who desperately wants a child and you absolutely don’t). Then go on some dates. It’s been decades since you dated, you gotta exercise those dating muscles again before you jump right back into a serious relationship.
I can be here for you through this challenging process. Just give me a call at (302) 273-0700 or email me. You can improve the quality of your life. I’m here to help.
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