Finding love again
How quickly we forget! You would think after my many years of singularity, I wouldn’t need any reminders, but apparently I do.
Yesterday my friend kept saying, “I wonder if I will die alone?”
I remember when I lived alone, the toughest part of each day was when I laid down to go to sleep. I don’t know why, but I would always wonder if I would be going to sleep alone for the rest of my life. And sleep is not so different than death in small ways.
I have been married for the past seven years, so I’ve had plenty of time to get used to fairly constant company.
My husband and I allow each other lots of space. We agree with one of my favorite quotes about marriage that says something like, the best you can do for someone you love is be “the custodian of their solitude.” But I now find it hard to even imagine him not being there most of the time. Especially in the evening for dinner and for intimate talks at the end of the day.
Yes, I can remember wondering if I would die alone. None of us know how or when we will die. My lonely friend had a heart attack a few years ago.
Marriage is no guarantee of anything. But the fact that my friend is thinking so much about love and death indicates to me that he needs to get serious about believing in love again.
Do the work you know you need to do, so you are ready to find love again. Time’s a wasting, so take the risk. Focus on what you really want this time.
I sincerely believe that someone is out there, just dying to meet YOU!
Believe and seek wisely. What you seek is seeking you. – Rumi
I know when you are in the middle of a nasty divorce after a bad marriage, “tying the knot” may appear more like wrapping a noose around your neck.
But please don’t give up on love altogether. We have all misjudged people before. WE HAVE ALL made mistakes.
The first job of anyone in this situation is self-forgiveness. Yes, I remember clearly how angry I felt towards my soon-to-be ex, but even more so towards myself. My intuition had been quite clear from the start: “This is NOT the man for you!” But me, in my infinite stubbornness, thought that he would improve or I would somehow make our marriage work. Now I believe, if you are thinking you are going to “make” your marriage work, you are WRONG!
First accept what you do have control over and what you don’t. This means letting go of the illusion that you can control any other person’s behavior except your own. Too many of us spend our lives trying to control those around us, and not enough time focused on what we do control about ourselves and our daily choices. Let go of the notion that you have control over your marriage or your spouse. For if you should succeed in “making” your spouse do anything, you’ll probably regret it later.
I have a much softer view of marriage now. I only imagine a partner who wants to be with me more than anything in the world, someone who swears that I am the best thing that ever happened to him. This is the new relationship I found after my own traumatic divorce.
However, this did not come about through mind control. It came to me one day after a few years of living alone, learning to love myself unconditionally, and deciding NO ONE would ever treat me with anything but respect again.
Decide against “making” your next marriage work. Decide instead to choose someone who treats you with respect and appreciation from the start. Life’s too short to stay in a crappy marriage and if you’re in one now, you certainly know it!
To quote Dr. Phil, “We teach people how to treat us. If we disrespect ourselves and our own needs, so will everyone else in our lives.”
The first step is in changing the way you treat yourself. If you feel angry or frustrated, this is an important message from within telling you that you no longer want to be around those who choose not to treat you with love and respect.
In relationships, you get what you are, and if you have changed and gained even the smallest degree of self love and respect, you will no longer be able to tolerate being spoken down to or treated badly. Be glad of these changes, and get away from those that don’t understand where you are headed now.
Don’t try to control others and don’t let them control you anymore. Just leave and move on to a whole new life full of self-love and appreciation.
I did back in 2001. It wasn’t easy, but it WAS the most important decision I ever made to improve my life.
If you are divorced, older or widowed and thinking your life is over, please go see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Learn how to believe in LOVE again!
The more we learn about how our brains work, the more it seems we are programmed for love as much as we are pre-programmed to love chocolate or breathe.
It turns out love truly is a chemical reaction we can study by using MRI machines. Those in love display an interesting interaction between hormones and neurotransmitters in their brains.
Four hormones – dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and serotonin are critical to the love reaction, but various other chemicals cause interactions still largely unknown, data suggests.
So far research has shown that dopamine makes you focus on your beloved and desire more time with them. It is critical to your brain’s reward circuitry. Dopamine causes your brain to seek out highly pleasurable experiences, so high levels of dopamine in your brain make you more susceptible to falling in love.
Just about anything that gives you pleasure will elevate dopamine activity in your brain, even eating chocolates. See how we have become an obese country with fattening foods everywhere and so easily available? It seems delicious dopamine-producing foods are much easier to come by than love!
Dr. Helen Fisher, a primary love researcher and author of Why We Love: the Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love, is now convinced that love is a foundation stone of human social life. Her research results changed her thinking about the essence of romantic love. She has come to see love “as a fundamental human drive.”
Like the craving for food and water and the maternal instinct, love is a physiological need, a profound urge to court and win a particular partner. And when love is scorned, all sorts of bad things may follow; depression, stalking, homicide and even sometimes suicide.
Would you like to learn how to get back to feeling good about love, even if you have been scorned? This most basic human need changes through time, but it is possible to feel positive about finding love again!
Learn more about forgiving yourself and trusting in your ability to attract the right person. Will you trust your intuition to find the right one this time?
Do any of you remember the Ladies’ Home Journal column: “Can this marriage be saved?” I remember reading that column as a child, and even then I would wonder if the column should really be called, “SHOULD this marriage be saved?” Now many 50+ Baby Boomers are asking the same question, and they are deciding their answer is an emphatic “NO!”
Only 52% of American adults are married today, down from 72% back in 1970. Why is this? Partially because the severe stigma connected with divorce has changed in our country, especially among those 50+. Our new attitude is: why stay together when you no longer share anything in common?
It does not surprise me that more than half of marriages fail. Most young adults simply do not have the level of self-knowledge, maturity and self-respect needed to sustain an authentic positive and loving relationship over the long haul.
How many of us put all of our energy into understanding and appreciating this unique human being we have committed to through “thick and thin, in sickness and in health?” We all have our difficult moments when all seems lost or hopeless. We all have moments when our loved one does not seem all that lovable.
The way I measure any relationship is to ask myself this simple question: “Does being around this person give me energy or take it away?” My own perception of marriage is that it’s a great thing, but only if you find the right person, the one who improves your life on so many different levels.
What makes marriage work?
If you generally care about the other person’s needs more than your own, are good at working out your differences, share common interests, and your partner fills your needs and not just your wants, perhaps you should consider remarriage. If you desire the same kind of lifestyle in your future, and you make each other feel special in the long term, marriage may be a good choice for you both.
How do you feel about love now?
But if you have avoided involvement in relationships for the past few years, because of bad feelings about past mistakes in love, take some time to consider how you feel about love now. Are you feeling disillusioned with love? Explore those negative experiences from your past so you can fully understand how you lost your faith in love.
Only by first raising your awareness of your own personal roadblocks to trust and intimacy, and then creating new ways to work through these emotional obstacles, is it possible to access a healthier belief in the possibility that love might still be out there for you.
I found I needed to turn my beliefs around before I was able to embrace the idea of finally finding the best love of my life and then attracting that into my life. I knew I had changed. I was older AND wiser, but I also assumed I would never be happily married. Then I was ASTOUNDED to find new love at 49!
My book, How To Believe In Love Again: Opening to Forgiveness, Trust and Your Own Inner Wisdom is about how I changed my mind about love as proper preparation for finding true love this time. Do the “soul surgery” you need to now, so you are ready when you meet the one you’ve been waiting for your whole life.
You can find that one who can change your life and your beliefs about love, but only by first becoming the person you are inside!
May has been such a special month astronomically! First we had the super moon on May 5th, and last night an annular solar eclipse! Don’t miss these photos, because we won’t see another until 2023!
Eclipses can bring vast changes, and the news they bring always comes from the outside in to you, without any control over what you hear or what happens.
Eclipses look for weak links in any situation or relationship to bring it to light. They also shake us up, so that we can pull out of our rut and get moving again! They banish our hesitation, complacency, fear, and indecision, and fire up inspiration, desire, and determination!
All changes, even good ones, can bring stress. But stress can be good for us, which is why the universe provides it from time to time. Stress keeps us alert and moves us from one stage to the next, and always brings insight and maturity. Keep in mind that all eclipses are on a mission to illuminate truth in some startling way. They move things forward very, very rapidly.
Here’s a quote from the Zodiac Arts site about eclipses:
“All eclipses indicate change; solar eclipses signify beginnings and usually manifest as events in the outer world.
At solar eclipses we: begin something new, make promises to ourselves, commit, announce, present ourselves, show up, make plans, select events, make decisions, rise to the challenge, make an effort, change, mature, take on greater challenges, travel at a faster pace, feel restless, feel pressured by deadlines and a buildup of emotions, experience a crisis and feel excited.”
One thing I know for sure, my Shetland sheepdogs were one of the most important parts of my own recovery after my divorce. Their endless loyalty and love saved me at a time when I had lost faith in other forms of love.
I knew I could live without my ex, but certainly NOT my dogs!
As it turned out, my ex and I shared the dogs a number of years after our divorce, and that worked out pretty well. But when they were quite old, and going blind, I decided the best thing for them was to not change homes anymore. That’s when I was finally able to tell my ex to go away, permanently.
New research shows dogs do truly register “love” in their brains. Last night on the ABC News, they had a research report that shows how dogs react to different stimuli during a brain scan, the first pictures of an active dog’s brain!
This research has proven that dogs are capable of complex communications, and their brains do react to specific hand signs. They are now looking at how dogs process human information, and feel they have proven that dogs do have the capacity to love.
Like I needed a study to prove this to me! I have always been an animal person, and most of my life have preferred the company of animals to humans. Their extreme loyalty, their ability to sense when I’m feeling down, and their efforts to show me love exactly when I need it, never ceases to astound me!
Now I have a small Shih-tzu (the Chinese word shīzi 獅子) or “Chinese Temple dog” whom I love to distraction. He sits on my lap as I write this…
My new and improved husband may disagree, but I think Rasta is the PERFECT small pet!
Love can be such a tough subject as we age…
Do you want to learn more about the ins and outs of finding the love of your life and marrying past age 35? Three women friends who call themselves “The Garter Brides” married a number of years ago.
Now they have gotten together to share with you their unique handle on what it takes to make grown-up relationships work. Their book, Love for Grown-ups provides a mix of real-life lessons and strategies for staying flexible and enjoying humor along the way as these three 50+ women share what they have learned about finding love later in life.
First you meet the three Garter Brides individually, and learn a bit about how they happened to marry later. They admit they’re no experts, just older women sharing their own experience plus anecdotes served with “an extra scoop of attitude.”
Each chapter is organized around the key questions women commonly ask as relationships develop. They start off offering you a fresh approach to dating, because dating is different when you’re older. They then move on to developing your relationship as you work to combine two busy lives. There are chapters on “Fitting the kids into the picture,” “Moving in together,” and of course, “Having Your Wedding Your Way!”
I do feel I am a bit of an expert in this area. After my own divorce and with a graduate degree in psychology, I started my own version of a dating service for older singles back in 2004. There I spent hours learning about each of my clients and how their feelings about love had changed.
I learned from them that the biggest obstacle to love past age 35 or 40 is simply believing that love is still possible, and might happen again better than ever! I observed how the chances of genuine love happening are slim if you have feelings of rejection from your past or feel completely disillusioned with love. These feelings must be dealt with first.
I was thinking yesterday, how egotistical it is to believe that I could meet someone today, who suddenly could not live without me. It does seem like magical thinking, doesn’t it? I mean, what are the chances? Perhaps that is why we lose our faith in love. It just seems so unrealistic!
I know at age 46, after grieving my divorce, and then experiencing a job loss a few years later, the thought of someone falling in love with me was far from my reality. Why would anyone be interested in me? How could magic happen again?
That is partially the reason why I started my own dating service. I wanted to research and study how love works, and why so many of us lose faith in it.
From interviewing lots of others in my age group, many fairly recent divorcees, I saw how this works. We marry the first time believing in love. That is the story our culture tells us, plus we so want to believe!
But then things don’t work out. Perhaps love turns to disillusionment. Perhaps our spouse is unfaithful, super critical, or just plain mean. We divorce and feel certain that love is just an illusion created by Hollywood to sell things. Plus by then we may not be quite as attractive as we used to be, and then there’s all of that baggage we bring along with us.
See how we lose faith and maybe any interest in love in midlife? GET REAL! Why would anyone be interested in me now?
These are the questions that crop up, and they must be answered BEFORE you will ever find love again. Is love worth fighting for? Are you willing to take risks at this late date or have you thrown in the towel? Can you see yourself in love again or does that seem like the impossible dream?
These are also the exact same reasons why love does feel so magical when it happens past age 35 or 40. It feels like winning the lottery only better because against what seems like incredible odds, someone HAS fallen in love with YOU! Someone who has decades of life experience and plenty of baggage of his own wants YOU in his life, to make both of your lives better.
It is such a lovely feeling! TRUST ME!