Finding love again
Ever since I began thinking and writing about how best to change my own life, I have been looking for the ideal charity effort that I could put all of my support behind.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”
My husband and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this week.
Looks like we’ve finally made it past those dangerous first five years, but there has never been any doubt with us.
Why is that? Maturity I guess, and lots of previous experience with divorce and living alone. In other words, we may be slow, but we are trainable.
When you fall in love at age 49, and especially the way we did, you know when you’ve met your match. We both feel mighty lucky, after decades of trying!
We both had finally learned the most important lesson when it comes to marriage: choose a partner with similar core values, someone you naturally share genuine friendship with. Find a partner you would choose as a friend, a BEST friend!
Ask yourself, if we weren’t in love, would we still be friends?
When the excitement and passion we all experience when we first fall in love wears off, what will there be to keep us together? Romantic love is short lived and generally insufficient to maintain a long successful marriage. The love you think you feel when you first meet is often a mirage, for deep love develops slowly with each shared joy and challenge.
After the intense physical attraction wears off, will you share similar activities and interests? Will there be that dependable friendship and intimacy that comes from years of shared laughter and tears? What will you be sharing for a lifetime with this person you care so much about now?
One thing you should share is feeling more concern for your partner’s well-being than yourself, in a healthy way.
Are you waiting for something to happen before you can believe in love again? You will wait FOREVER!
I know it sometimes seems impossible to believe that there is someone out there who will come and love you. I know I had lost all faith myself after first my divorce in 2001, and then getting dumped from my job in 2004. Optimism was out the window!
And yet I also know that the man I had been waiting to meet forever lived only ten miles away, and he was struggling to believe just as much as I was.
As soon as I did my work on myself, getting past my past heartbreak, I was ready to believe again. And then I met him!
I’m afraid we all believe it is the mechanics of meeting the right one that stands in our way. But this is simply not true. It isn’t about which dating site you choose or how you act on your first date.
It is about first forgiving yourself for past mistakes, and then preparing yourself to believe in your own judgment and inner wisdom this time. Because even if you met the right person today, you wouldn’t know it if you feel bad about yourself.
And if I could find a way to feel good about myself as I sat there unemployed and divorced, you can too. It just takes a dedicated effort on your part and the proper tools. That is my gift to you!
In my book How To Believe In Love Again, I walk you through this process. I explain how early trauma has caused your problems with trust, and created self-shame deep in your heart. Then I show you how to work through these difficulties.
Self-healing is where you begin to prepare for future love. Then you must begin to trust your inner wisdom again, for it can tell you what you need to do next to heal your heart.
I know this all may sound hard, but how much do you want to find love again, and know you have finally succeeded this time?
I saw something silly but thought provoking on TV the other night. It got me thinking. The show suggested that women seek out men who are some combination of sensitive, but also dangerous.
So I got to thinking about all of the men I had ever been attracted to in my life, and this somehow rang true. Not that I’m proud of this fact, but men who were completely kind and sensitive were somehow scary to me, especially when I was younger. I felt somehow manipulated.
Of course I also avoided those who simply scared me! They seemed harmful to my health.
But there seemed to be some magical combination of sensitive, an interested and good listener who actually remembered what I said and seemed to care, with an edge of mystery or even a little danger, which attracted my interest. Now, at age 57, I wonder why that is.
In spite of my history of being attracted to men who do dangerous things, even I was surprised when, at age 49, I fell in love with a “motorcycle guy” … black leather jacket and all! Something about that macho image, created mostly by the media I’m sure, captured my imagination.
Just now I asked my “motorcycle guy,” after almost seven years of marriage, what he thought that whole danger thing was about. He said that only one woman had told him that she was attracted to him because of his dangerous image, and others had rejected him because he “wasn’t exciting enough.”
Now I see that this is quite a subtle and difficult edge to maintain for men. Be sensitive but not TOO sensitive. Be macho but don’t scare women away.
The fickled world we live in… I guess we all have to just be ourselves and hope for the best.
I know most of the time, breaking up does not feel like a golden opportunity. But just for a few minutes, try re-framing your break up into your best chance of ever getting EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE!
A break up usually feels like some sort of crisis or lost opportunity. It is one moment in time when we should spend time focused on who we are and what we want to happen next.
Too often it makes us feel like a loser, especially when it comes to divorce.
Fight the urge to see it that way! You actually have two choices in how to feel about what is happening right now.
Too often we see any sort of rejection as a sign that we are worthless, and will never find a lover who truly loves us for who we are. This reflects how poorly we see our own true value. The more you feel worthless, the more you need to spend some serious time working on yourself to improve your self-respect and esteem.
BEFORE going forward to some other relationship, work on changing how you see yourself now. I have learned that we get what we are in relationships.
If you should find a way to see real value in yourself, and believe you have lots to offer others, you will then attract those who also have something to offer you.
Here’s a fresh way to view your divorce or break-up:
“I think I’ll spend some time working on feeling much better about myself, and then go out and find someone who is so much better for me!”
That was my experience after my divorce back in 2001. Initially I felt all was lost, but then I taught myself how to believe in myself and love again. I have every confidence you can do the same!
“There’s a light in the depths of your darkness…Let it shine!” – Dan Fogelberg in the song “The Gambler”