Suddenly Single? Now What?
I don’t need to tell you relationship break-ups and divorces are generally painful experiences. The longer you’ve been together, the harder it is, and the older you get, the more you may wonder how you’ll ever bounce back.
After all, once the dust has settled after a bust-up, the photo albums have been excised as necessary, and you get used to sleeping in the middle of the bed, a new kind of horror presents itself. Ohmygawd. You have to start “dating” again.
You’ve been off the market for years! You have no idea how to get back in the game, what the rules are, or even if there still IS a game.
Well all I have to say is, hallelujah baby!
Why, oh why, would you want to “date” like a twenty-year-old anyway? Bleah! Forget THAT. It’s time to make up your own rules.
The greatest reward that comes with maturity is the freedom to choose how you live and who you want to be. And when you find yourself suddenly single, it’s doubly true. Or even triply. For years and years you’ve been living as half of a partnership in a particular universe with its own set of laws. Every decision you made was affected be “we.” That no longer has to be the case.
The very first thing you should do as freshly minted single person is forget about dating altogether. How do you know who would be best for you when you’re not even sure who “you” is?
Take some time to figure that out. Forget about the rest of your life with someone else. Focus for just a bit on yourself. Take out a piece of paper and write down what YOU want your future to be like in five years. Where do you want to be living? How do you want to be spending your days? Will you be more fit? Or have finally finished a degree? Will you want to live closer to your grandkids….or much farther away? Learn to play the oboe? Cultivate orchids? I will bet you’ve never done this little exercise. Never thought just for a minute about what YOU want.
Once single, too often people (and statistically more men) are in a great hurry to become a “we-some” again. If that is the only focus of your activity, is it any wonder it’s unsatisfying and frustrating? I think the focus of your activity should be something groovy you enjoy doing. Like golf, or needlework, or (in my case) scuba diving. Instead of a “date” go out and find other people who like to do the same thing, and do it with them.
Let’s face it, we don’t have a lot of free time in our busy days as it is. Sure seems to me we should use that time doing something we enjoy.
The most wonderful thing happens when you’re doing something pleasurable. Your face lights up. You’re passionate. Relaxed but stimulated. Your eyes glow, there’s a little spring in your step and somehow your hair looks shinier (that’s if you still have hair). The point is you come alive. You feel alive.
And you don’t think people notice? Hells bells! Of COURSE they do! You look darned sexy all lit up like that! How can a 50-word online description, or nervous first-time conversation or chat room repartee ever capture you in wondrous, full bloom 3-D doing something you love? It can’t!
The best possible advertisement you can do for yourself is to just go out and do what you enjoy doing. You’re bound to meet someone who loves doing it too, and even better, loves watching you do it.
So, what if all you ever feel like doing is just staying in? That’s ok too. But that’s your ridiculously obvious signal to yourself that you’re not ready to meet anyone anyway. If your most favorite activities are completely solitary, there’s nothing wrong with that. But then you lose all your moaning rights if you say you feel lonely.
I think there are very few people on Earth who don’t enjoy some sort of interaction with other humans. If the only place you can find happiness is by yourself, you need to dig a little deeper to discover why.
But for the vast majority of us, companionship is very high on the shopping list. The thing is, it should never be higher than “making myself happy.” If you figure out what makes you happy, and then go out and do it, I can just about guarantee you will find someone else who wants to do it with you – either where you live now, or in the next city to the left or two countries to the right. Go out and meet people. They’ll introduce you to more people, and somewhere down the road, there’s a good chance you’ll meet The Person. And in the meantime, you’ll have a darn good time! If you ask me, that beats the heck out of a crappy date anytime.
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