As with a bruise, push on that spot in your heart from time to time. Have you ever had a really nasty bruise? We have all been cheated on, lied to, taken advantage of and otherwise treated shabbily by those who lack integrity, honesty, moral decency, gainful employment or good hygiene. . Examine yourself carefully and ask yourself if you are capable of making yourself emotionally available to another. When you have been functioning in life as one-half of a couple, you understandably become conditioned to thinking of yourself in those terms. It really isn't as scary as it sounds.
When you sincerely enjoy your life as an individual, you are genuinely ready to begin the dating process again. Like it or not, you must first recover from the divorce from or death of your spouse and you cannot accomplish that kind of recovery in hurry-up fashion. As a society, we are accustomed to either traveling in packs or with a spouse or significant other; however, you must be content with your own company both within your four walls and in the outside world. After all, you are a good person and you did not deserve the pain that you are going through. For example, you are likely to be angry with an ex-spouse who was abusive or unfaithful. In other words, you must truly get to know the person that you are today, right now, this minute.
Have you been out to dinner by yourself? How do you cope when it seems like everyone's very happiness depends on whether or not you permit them to fix you up on Saturday night? The resolution of lingering anger is an important step before the resumption of dating. Alternatively, tag along with a friend the next time their office has a company picnic or function -- this is a great way to meet somebody who you know is responsible enough to hold down a career and who you can 'check out' with an acquainted friend before you agree to a date. This contentment will enable you to make wise decisions in your dating choices and when you do choose to introduce someone new into your life, it will be for all of the right reasons. Do you believe that most people are inherently decent, loyal, loving and are looking for you just as ardently as you are looking for them? Your emotional availability will have everything to do with two things; the amount of time that you have spent recovering from your divorce or the death of your spouse and your willingness to make yourself emotionally available. The companion element to being happy on your own is the ability to go out alone and enjoy yourself.
What do you do when it feels like everyone is trying to push you into dating and you feel like these same people are trying to instead push you over a cliff? You are entitled to live a life filled with happiness and if you choose it, that happiness can and should include another love by your side. How about a movie, a concert or a comedy club? In time, it looks like the bruise is cleared up, yet when you push on the spot, it still smarts. What is the first thing you do? Otherwise known as Analysis Paralysis, these factors may include the fear of experiencing another loss by divorce or death, the fear of intimacy and vulnerability or the fear of being hurt again. Do you have your own career, your own hobbies, your own pursuits, your own set of friends with whom you play sports, lunch, drink or dine? It just may not be quite time for you to begin dating. There may be several factors that are holding you back from the resumption of dating. Sometimes it feels like the foundation of your social life is so strong that you no longer find the opportunity to meet new and exciting people. Throw a barbecue or party in which guests bring a friend that no one in the group knows.
If it's still too painful to think about dating again, quit pushing yourself -- and don't allow others to push you either! It is absolutely normal to feel angry at whatever circumstances ended your relationship. Should you learn from your past experiences in order to avoid repeating history? During what may very well be the worst or most challenging time in your life is not the time to jump headlong back into dating. You may likely be angry at the circumstances surrounding your spouse's death. Rather than simply trying to fill the huge void left by a spouse; you are instead opening your heart to the possibilities of a new relationship that will complement an already-fulfilling life. While feelings of guilt are perfectly normal, that same guilt can unnecessarily hold you back.
This means a life that is yours alone; a life that is individually gratifying in its own right. Are you content with yourself on your own without being one-half of a couple or dependent upon children to fill up your time? Should you automatically suspect everyone you meet in the future based upon what has happened in the past? Embrace the fact that you are not the same person that you were when you committed to the person no longer by your side and that you must take the time and patience with yourself to sufficiently recover from the trauma that you have endured. By all means, honor, keep and treasure the beautiful memories that you have; however, in order to both be fair to and enjoy someone new, you need to be able to put the Ghost of Relationship Past in its proper place. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .