No one gets married expecting to be divorced. Divorce happens. Divorce happens a lot. But, divorce isn’t a death sentence. You can come out of it relatively unscathed. I didn’t, however. I had a pretty challenging journey from divorced to dating and finally to remarried to my happily ever after.
As I reflect on my journey, I think (as most of us usually do), “if I knew then what I know now…”. So I wanted to share my lesson learned with you, my biggest mistake after my divorce to give you something to think about when you’re stepping into dating after a breakup, separation or divorce.
I Made the Biggest Mistake After My Divorce …
I had a bad couple of last years in my marriage. I was borderline starved for affection and longing to feel special, beautiful and wanted. I was absolutely vulnerable. Thats how I re-entered the dating world. There were plenty of men who were waiting in the wings to take advantage of that vulnerability. While I take full responsibility for my actions, my weaknesses or choices during that time were from a place of want. But, lessons learned and never repeated.
As I wrote about in a previous post, my divorce had made me emotionally unavailable and I was CHOOSING the wrong people on purpose because I knew they wouldn’t commit, they would more often than not be assholes and they would almost always treat me poorly. I enabled their bad behavior. What I allowed, without a doubt, always happened. I did choose emotionally unavailable men as well. I also take full responsibility for this. What a shit show my dating life was, by my own hand on the most part, but again, lessons learned and never repeated.
What am I getting at? While some people who get divorced run the other way from dating most don’t. What I see time and time again from many divorcees (including & especially myself) is jumping into things way too fast and almost blindly. We’re in such a rush to replace our exes and boost our egos that we make a lot of really poor choices. Enter those who are waiting just to take advantage of that vulnerability, catfishers, or, those who say all the right things, who will do all the right things … or those who are unbelievably hot … how can you resist? But resist you must!
Slow & Steady Wins The Race When Dating
While it’s good to let loose after a bad relationship or an even worse breakup, you need to manage your expectations and protect yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in a tornado of passion and excitement, so appreciate it for what it is but don’t jump into the fire too quickly. I learned quite quickly that a fire that burns too hot too fast will also die out just as fast. I learned to keep my feelings and expectations in check. I learned that slow and steady wins the race when dating.
The biggest mistake I made after my divorce was being too eager. I didn’t take my time, I didn’t take care of my baggage, I didn’t take care of me, I didn’t enjoy the journey, I didn’t manage my expectations and I didn’t keep my emotions in check, I jumped into everything too fast. But I didn’t see that what I was doing was only giving me misery. I didn’t realize that first I needed to prioritize what my needs and values were and what I really wanted … I needed to prioritize me. When I learned these lessons is when I started making better dating choices and when I met and married my happily ever after.
It took me a few years, but each experience taught me more and more. I learned from my mistakes and generally didn’t repeat them. Now I am helping other divorcees find their luck in love and their own happily ever after by prioritizing what’s most important. Sometimes that means holding off on dating until you’re really ready for the roller coaster.
Something for you to consider, because, remember, divorce isn’t a death sentence and you can find love again – an even better love. Just take your time and enjoy the ride!
READERS: Are you recently divorced or divorced and dating or recently broken up with someone? Share your thoughts & perspective in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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