You always wanted to find love and when you married him, you thought that would be it. You didn’t expect your marriage to end. Perhaps he cheated on you, or he just didn’t meet what you expected from a partner. It’s natural that you are disappointed, and that you have a hard time trusting men.
Your self-esteem may be depleted, and you may think that you will never be able to love again. I’m going to tell you otherwise. If you do the right things and develop the right mindset, you can definitely find the love that you always dreamed of. The fact that it’s so important to you, says that you can work on achieving it.
At this point, you are fearful that you will be hurt, or you have a hard time trusting men. If you went on dates with this kind of mindset, your will set yourself up for disappointment. There is a lot of work to do prior to being ready to date. Divorce recovery is a process and allowing yourself appropriate time to heal is essential. Learn more about 4 stages of divorce recovery. I assume you’ve already completed the initial stage of healing, Stabilization. Your next step would be the stage of Exploration. This is the process of figuring out what went wrong in your previous relationship and how do you want your future life to be.
Explore your contribution to the past marriage problems
It’s evident that your ex disappointed or betrayed you, but what matters at this point is to see what it is that you contributed to the dysfunction of your relationship. This kind of work will help you be able to move on and be better prepared for the new relationship. Reflecting on your mistakes doesn’t absolve your ex from his wrongdoing by any means. In my blog, I write about how the most well-intending women contribute to problems in their marriage. Learn more. Maybe he just couldn’t measure up to your expectations. And, of course, this doesn’t mean that your expectations should be lowered.
Explore who you are
Another important aspect to explore is what you truly want in your life. Very often we women live our lives based on what others expect from us. You finish school, get married, raise children, and work on your career. You simply didn’t get a chance to reflect and see what it is that you are truly about. What brings you joy? You’ve been busy accomplishing many goals, doing a lot of good work, and making sure that everyone is happy. What about you? What makes you happy?
You also married the man that you thought is good for you. When we marry young, we are not the most aware of what works for us. We live a life on autopilot, and we often make choices based on superficial characteristics, such as education, looks, ability to make money, etc. I don’t suggest that these may not be important characteristics for you, but we often accept them because we are raised to think that they are important and not because we feel it. Now is a good time to examine who you are, and what’s important to you. What kind of man would you like to spend your life with? What kind of conversations do you like to have with him? How should he treat you? What kind of activities would you like to do with him?
This process will help you be clear about what you want and what will not work out for you. During this process, you will also be able to heal from betrayal and hurt. It’s hard to maintain intact self-esteem when you go through a hard divorce or breakup. This is the time to heal, so when you start the next stage, Experimentation, you will be able to manage and carry on when you stumble across a jerk. Instead of giving up on dating, you will be able to move on with understanding that there are both good and bad men. Once you are clear of what goes and what doesn’t go for you, you will not be vulnerable.
One more, very important thing. Working on developing your emotional intelligence is essential. This will help you be more intuitive to know what kind of man is a good man and what kind of man is a good man for you specifically. As I already stated, we tend to live on autopilot, so we are not in tune with ourselves. We wind up “living in our heads.” This enables us to carry on through difficult daily tasks through thicks and thin, but we become cut off from our feelings and needs.
How can you work on your emotional intelligence? There are various ways. One of the things that I like to recommend, is working with a therapist that utilizes somatic work. This work can help you be in touch with your own emotions and be able to recognize them. It also helps you develop deeper intuition and awareness of yourself and how you relate to others. It can enable you to understand yourself and others and connect on deep emotional levels. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy utilizes somatic approach and is very helpful in working on relationship issues. Most importantly, this kind of work helps you become intuitive and able to connect with people or men in this instance.
The other things that you can do in order to develop intuition are engaging in activities that focus on skills that require usage of the right side brain. Examples are dance, yoga, arts, crafts, drama, etc. Any activities that involve creativity and movement will help you balance right and left brain. All your life up to this point was geared to keep you “up in your head.” These activities will help you learn how to drop down to your body and be able to feel, connect, experience, etc. I’ve been through a similar process too, and it’s so amazing. When you are able to feel and identify your emotions, you become more equipped to handle even difficult emotions than when you don’t feel them.
Suggestions for dating
After working on the healing process and exploration of what you want, you can start dating. You are ready to start Experimentation. As long as you go into it with a casual attitude, it should be easy. What do I mean by “casual attitude?” This is the Experimentation phase. Your agenda at this point is to meet new people and not to find your life partner. This is the time when you can practice flirting skills. With the casual attitude, you can be less anxious about the outcome, and perhaps you can enjoy the process more. You can also practice distinguishing between men that will be good for you and men that will potentially hurt you. Look at this process as a fun learning experience. By doing so, you can develop competence and start feeling more empowered and confident about the dating process.
If you have any further questions or need help, please contact me. Call or text to schedule a free consultation.
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