Dating After Divorce 

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Whether this is your first time in the dating world or you are newly divorced and entering the dating world, there are some steps you can take to help guard against divorce. There are no guarantees and why not do everything you can to live happily ever after with that someone special?

Guess what: those superficial things you think are so important don’t hold a candle to these two foundations of a good relationship and/or marriage. Stop shopping for the right one with your superficial glasses. Put on your big person pants and let’s dig into some interesting conversations that have more staying power than “cute butt or sexy eyes”.

Developing an observer in charge of turning your mirror inward, I believe, is a key component of getting clear the offer you are and the offer you want as a partner. When you are in the blame game” “its not my fault, it is everyone else’s fault” any partnership is going to have its limitations. Getting on a journey with your self requires courage, consciousness, feedback from a trusted advisor, vulnerability, insight, and the refreshing ability to apologize for starters. Knowing your strengths and challenges, competences and incompetence’s, where you are a beginner and where a master, is the first step of this journey. Surrounding yourself with people who value this consciousness and are seeking it as well is refreshing. Clarity about who you are with all your foibles builds confidence and self-esteem and is very attractive.

Unfortunately, when people don’t take the time for a self-journey, they are at risk for blaming, hypocrisy, being judgmental, and insecurity runs rampant.

What do you mean a self-journey and how do I start?

I believe when life sends us life lessons; it is time for us to really learn. Read good books about developing your authentic self, finding your voice, find your dharma/gift/raison d’etre, turn the mirror inward and really look at yourself. Hire a therapist/mentor/coach who can help you see your blindness’s.  Learn to be that person in a serious relationship who can say. “I recently discovered I am very controlling. I am working on shifting that so if you feel I am overly persuasive with you let me know.” How refreshing. Now I don’t have to spend months beating my head against the wall to be the one to show you the blindness you have. And if I have that openness as well there is a fiery intimacy developing to have that level of vulnerability and conversation. When two people start with a history of “self “growth, it is a good indicator the “couple’s” growth might be important as well.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough how important a self-discovery journey with one’s self is before finding your partner. Many people believe if you like to do a lot of the same things your relationship will work. Having things in common is part of the picture, and my assessment it is not the glue.

I really believe the glue is the gift of knowing who you are, the good, the bad, the ugly, your opinions, your goals, your dreams, what makes you laugh, cry, get up every day, and having the courage to share the above with someone who can do the same. When you have this vulnerability with each other, you add being able to resolve conflict respectfully, and you have lots of juice for each other, the game of a successful relationship becomes more interesting.

Being able to resolve conflict respectfully is the next jewel in mastering a successful relationship. Find a paradigm that works for you or follow some universal guidelines:

  1. Make I statements not you statements
  2. Don’t use Never or Always
  3. Agree on a time to talk
  4. Provide evidence or be specific
  5. Request the new behavior

So e.g. at an agreed upon time and I like a setting such as a bath/hot tub ask for a conversation about finances.

“I would like to set up a financial system where I get an agreed upon amount of money every month rather than asking you every time I need money.”

If things get too heated I recommend a break and try discussing things while dancing. Whatever works you have to learn to resolve conflict respectfully!

Couples have to have the “he/she is under my skin”. “I think about my partner when I am not with her/him. We therapists cannot provide this piece.

So if you are about to enter the dating world and you want to have success, I recommend you start with number One! Have a date with yourself and get to know yourself as others know you. Get help to identify your blindness’s and become the person you really want to be.  Once you find someone who perks your interest, knows who they are, has enough of the superficial stuff to pull you in, it is time to practice resolving conflict.  In addition to the above recommendations, pages 94-95 of my book Backbone Power the Science of Saying No have a step-by-step guide on how to resolve conflict respectfully. Couples who can do this are on the way to preventing breakups/divorce.

“Someday, someone will come along and help you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.”

© 2016 Anne Brown. All Rights Reserved

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