If you’re like many women, you’ve been through a divorce orother serious relationship ending. And when it happened, at least one of thefollowing thoughts probably haunted you for a while:
"I'm a failure in love"
"I'll never find love again"
"The pain I'm feeling will never go away"
"Hell will freeze over before I completely trust or love anotherman"
Eventually, with time, and some work on yourself and yournew life without the ex, these kinds of thoughts don't haunt you. Or at least,not quite as much! Then you start meeting new men. Maybe love even finds youagain -- provided that you want to be found.
But if you’re like the majority of women who have been takingthe Divorced Women Dating Survey (here), your #1 concern about dating after amajor breakup will continue to be:
"Choosing the wrong kind of man again"
Believe me. I know from personal experience what it means tokeep choosing the wrong kind of man! I changed my ways, though.
First and foremost, I stopped being so bitterly disappointed with myself.For being drawn to the wrong men. For various relationship choices I’d made. Forthe inevitable "failed" relationships in my life. Then I learned how to be gently curious about the mistakes I’dmade, and what I needed to do differently in future relationships.
Although some women come out of serious relationships withvery little sense of self-blame, most of us keep punishing ourselves aftera big breakup -- sometimes for years on end. In fact, even if our ex didterrible things to us, like lying, cheating, or abuse, we’ll keep kickingourselves for having trusted him in the first place!
As long as we’re kicking ourselves, we’re doomed to makethe same kinds of mistakes with a new wrong man. Because intense self-blamewill keep us from learning from and makingpeace with those mistakes.
Oh, and you know what else happens when we’re non-stop hard on ourselves for relationship failures?
We're more likely to get drawn to men who aren't that gentlewith us, either -- or we find a way to push away the ones who are.
The next time you’re kicking yourself forlove-gone-bad, ease up, okay? Continue to be curious about the mistakesyou've made, but in a gentler way. Learn from the bad (and good...)choices you've made. Make peace with your past.
When you do, you'll free yourself up for better things in the future.
Are you going through, or facing the possibility of, marital separation or divorce?
There's an excellent online resource and community available to you at TheModernWomansDivorceGuide.com. This informative site is all about empowering women, legally and emotionally. Check it out. You'll find moral support and practical advice on a large range of topics there.
And I'm pleased to be one of the site's guest contributors.