Not finding love again after divorce is a common fear among people ending their marriages. While dating again may be intimidating and feel strange, there are many options today that make meeting new people easy.
Liv was in her early 30’s and pregnant when she left her marriage. With a toddler and an infant, adjusting to living alone and co-parenting with a difficult ex, dating was important to her sanity. Liv however did not expect to find love again or to get married again but she did. Here’s Liv:
For me, the fact that I was able to open my heart again has been amazing because when I divorced I truly thought that I was never, ever, ever, going to put myself in that type of situation again.
That is what I felt marriage was like. I had seen my parents’ relationship fail and I had seen the mask that was my ex-husband’s relationship. I really thought that marriage was just a mask and that nobody could really figure it out. I was better off single.
Then I started dating my now-husband. He was actually my boss at the time. It was probably kind of risky because we were still working in the same area and my mother worked there. I was making stupid relationship choices at that point but this one worked out for me. It really did.
He understood how hurt I was and what was going on with me. He gave me the room to grow to loving him and when he did eventually bring up the idea of marriage, I was really surprised at myself that I was not adverse to it. I was excited that I had a relationship with a guy that was not an mess. We’re very simpatico.
They changed our reporting relationship at work and although he’s not my boss we work very closely together and we work very well together.
When I was ready for him to meet my kids we met at a neutral location. At the time, he had two dogs and we met near a lake near us. I just introduced him as somebody that was a friend of mine that had some dogs and that I thought they would like to meet him. We took the kids and the dogs for a walk and they had a great time. It was no pressure.
Then slowly we built it up. A few times we met for dinner. He came over for dinner. He had a house that’s about four hours from where we live now at that point and we went out and spent the weekend at his house. It was just a slow gradual kind of introduction.
Then I had a very bad car accident and while I recovering from my injuries I think he was pretty much over at my house every day. So the kids were used to him. My daughter’s got him wrapped around her finger. My son is a little more stand-offish. I think because he feels a loyalty to his dad and I know that his dad kind of enforces that. But they’ve got a very good relationship.
It’s really good that I’ve moved on and I’ve gotten married and I have a new child who’s just the apple of my eye and the apple of my husband’s eye. He doesn’t have any other children. He’s taken in mine and at fifty, I think that’s a significant thing for him too because I don’t think that he had planned on having children. He’s a great father and a fantastic husband and just a wonderful man. And I’m very happy right now in spite of all the issues that I have to deal with, with my ex-husband to this day.
Follow Liv’s blog at Live By Surprise.
The Divorce Coach Says
It’s helpful to realize that being in an intimate relationship is, for most of us an integral part of our being. While being a romantic partner may be just one of many hats we wear, it can be more fundamental to our core than the others.
When you choose not to date, you’re choosing to close off that part of your being. That’s OK when it’s a conscious choice such as when there’s simply little free time or you know you’re not emotionally ready.
When it’s not a conscious choice then it could be a sign that you’re avoiding some personal work such as building your confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes the resistance is from just not knowing the mechanics of modern dating and frankly, that’s an easy problem to solve. There are dating coaches who can support you through this.
When you start to see other couples and feel envious of their intimate relationship, it’s a sign you’re graving intimacy. I will admit to wishing for a way to fast forward through the dating process to a committed relationship but have to tell you that I haven’t found one yet. Your soul mate isn’t likely to magically appear one day at your desk or your front door. So if you want that relationship, you’re going to have to go through the dating process and the first key to making that fun is believing in yourself. You are a catch!
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