A reader actually asked about this, so I am digging way deep into my own archives of experience, as well as the experience of a group of women I call “sisters”.
One of the women who I speak with regularly thought she noticed a pattern in her life that was leading her to date again. I flashed back to over 20 years ago, when I had a long-term relationship of about 5 years end. The first thing I wanted to do was actually be alone; however, it lasted only a few weeks. I was in college and thought the way to get over a relationship was to immediately jump back into one. Oh boy. If I could give myself some advice…I know exactly what I would say.
5 Tips on Dating After Heartbreak:
- Are you comfortable being alone? If the answer is yes, then it might be time to explore, not necessarily date, but probe the idea again. If the answer is no, then that really needs to be researched a bit longer. It goes from being you and so-and-so to you. You can really start to test what it’s like being just you again and what compromises you have made over the years for you know, good ole’ so-and-so.
- Check for a repeat pattern. Do you tend to choose the same people again and again? What could you do differently this time? Don’t dwell on this too much or beat yourself up, but definitely use this as a wake up call. Note, click on the linked words to read more on a pattern you must break!
- Listen to your gut feelings. If something is probably a mistake, it is. <<< Seriously listen to that feeling and just say no to the date, the call, the re-bound date, etc. Don’t ever let someone talk you into doing something you are not comfortable with, even if it’s a blind date. It might be the best thing in the world, or it might be a mistake. Listen to your own feelings and explore them. Take time. You can actually have phone conversations like in the old days with the person before you ever even go out.
- Do not be desperate…be true to yourself! Worse than being alone is actually being in the wrong relationship. Trust me on this. Especially a verbally abusive or physically abusive one. That will take some time to heal from and the wounds might run deep. You don’t want children around that, and you also don’t want your inner child around that. Take long, deep thoughts on what you want to create in a relationship this time around. What would it look like for you? How would you feel? What are the ways you would be supported?
- Time doesn’t heal all things. <<< Why people say it does, is beyond me. Take as long as you need. There is no one else in this world who has to live with your decisions except for you. Don’t make the wrong ones! It can spiral out into the life of your family and over time, yes, they will hurt as well. Remember your self-talk, the talk you say in front of your children about an ex, or even how you talk to yourself in front of a new person. What are you putting out there on social media? Hatred and anger? Dirty laundry? Take some time to process in a journal. Not on social media. Find the good in your life and hold on tight!
In the end, you will know when you are ready, but there really is nothing wrong with working on yourself for a while as you put the broken pieces back together. You will eventually be okay again and you will know when you are ready to trust someone once again with that precious thing called your heart.