Just imagine for a moment that you and your spouse have split up after a very long marriage. You did not envision this change. You are shocked with the intensity and weight of your own emotions â€“ a painful combination of grief, anger, fear, humiliation, disbelief, sadness, failure, disappointment and others.
You spend hundreds of hours, reading about how to win your spouse back, getting counseling to help with your grief, journaling, making lists of what you did wrong and trying to talk with your spouse about â€œfixingâ€ things.
Meanwhile, your spouse treats you like someone with a highly contagious fatal disease and looks at you as if you smell like cow manure.
Little by little you wake up to the fact that your life has changed. Itâ€™s a done deal. Thereâ€™s no going back. You begin to see that by resisting change, you havenâ€™t noticed the opportunities opening up before you.
This awakening flows over you like warm sunshine. The heavy feelings of fear and loss are replaced by the lightness of freedom and optimism. Suddenly, the future looks brighter and the present feels sweet.
With new perspective, you change your behavior.
You focus on those things in your life that are special to you â€“ your children, family, friends, job, hobbies and interests long forgotten. You read about finding new love and making successful relationships.
Your lists and journal entries change to what you did not receive from your previous relationship, what you want from your next relationship, what qualities you want in your next partner, what you have to offer a new partner, etcâ€¦
You begin to take an interest in YOU. You are excited about the process of creating your future. The past no longer holds you hostage. The past is no longer who you are or who you want to be.
After some time, you feel ready for the D-wordâ€¦Dating!
Datingâ€¦uh, how to begin? Itâ€™s been a long time since your last date. Oh boy, you are nervous! You read about it, talk to friends about it and start hanging out with single people. Maybe you go clubbing more or join a singles activity.
From dating and relationship reading, you already know that seeking lasting love is a numbers game. It takes time. The early dating experiences allow you to â€œget your feet wetâ€ – help you learn about what you do and donâ€™t want.
You already made up your mind: no compromise in building the relationship you want just to avoid being alone. You will not â€œsettleâ€ for the first available and willing person that comes along. No way!
Then, you find someone you are attracted to and you two decide to â€œhave lunchâ€.
The day of your first date arrives. The excitement makes your stomach feel full of butterflies. At the restaurant, your date is waiting. Things go smoothly until this person mentions that they are married with 2 young children. Strike 3 â€“ the batter is out! You kindly explain that obviously you both are not looking for the same kind of relationship and that you apologize for any misunderstanding. Yuk. Bad start.