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The two biggest fears divorcing clients bring to me are whether they will have enough money to live and whether they will ever find love again. Whether you were married 5 years or 25 years, returning to the world of dating after a divorce can be a daunting task. If you were married a long time, it is especially scary, but it is important not to let yourself become so paralyzed by fear that you choose to rule out putting any effort into finding love again. Here are 5 things to consider before returning to the dating world after your divorce:
- Where are you in the healing process?
Divorce is a major life event. Like any other life changing event, it requires time to heal. How much time is a very individual issue. If you are still thinking about your ex frequently, whether your thoughts are good or bad, you are not ready to date. To be able to attract a healthy relationship, you need to have healed from your previous one so take the time to heal and work on you.
- Have you reclaimed you?
After a divorce, it is common to feel insecure, unwanted and full of self doubt. This is not the way you want to feel about yourself when you re-enter the dating world. Often, following divorce many people feel a loss of identity. They don’t know who they are anymore. In order to know what you are looking for, you need to know who you are as a person, separate from your ex-spouse.
- Are you in a position to attract what you want?
We attract into our own lives what we put out into the universe. If we are bitter, and have walls up, we will attract people who are similar. If we are emotionally available, we will attract others who are emotionally available. In order to attract what we want, we need to know what that looks like. We need to make sure that we don’t repeat negative behaviour patterns from our previous relationship that may cause us to make the same mistakes. We also need to consider whether we are ready for a long-term relationship, or whether we are better suited to just get out there and meet a variety of new people by dating.
- Do you have a realistic vision of your ideal mate?
All too often people approach dating with a rigid checklist of what they want and won’t even consider someone who doesn’t meet all of the criteria. It is easy to become extremely picky as you get older, especially if you are happy with the other areas of your life, and feel that you just need someone to complement an already good life. While I would never suggest for a moment that anyone should settle for something less than they desire, just be mindful that you haven’t set the bar so high that there is no living person who can meet it.
- How do your children factor into your dating life?
First and foremost, dating is an adult decision and children should never be the one telling you whether or not it is ok for you to date. Young children won’t understand it and older children should not be telling their parents what they can and can’t do. Having said this though, children are always our first priority. If you have young children you will want to be protective of them and need to decide who it is appropriate for them to meet and when. It is also important though that when you are ready you don’t let your children hold you back from finding a new love.
We all deserve to find love again following a divorce. Don’t let the hurt, betrayal or blow to your self esteem hold you back from doing something that could bring a great deal of happiness to your life.