Today before we start with the topic finding love, I want to start with a visualization. I want you to take a breath and I want you to visualize your most vulnerable self. Maybe that’s easy, maybe it’s a little bit of a stretch, but I want you to really see her. Then I want you to ask yourself a big question: When you see your most vulnerable self, how would she feel if she lost love again? I want you to notice the reaction. Was it, “Oh gosh, what did I do wrong?” Or was it more like, “F that, M’effers!” Or was it absolute grief? What did your most vulnerable self have to say about losing love?
Today we’re talking about dating and finding love after divorce. Whatever your immediate response was to that visualization gives you a clue about where you need to go next on your healing journey and how to better prepare yourself for both dating and finding love.
Five Categories Helping You to Identify Where You Are in the Process of Being Ready to Find Love Again
#1 Not Ready for Dating
The first category is that you are not ready to date.
To all women out there who are not ready to date yet, I see you and I also see all your people who are pushing you and want to set you up. This is because they think you are amazing, they don’t want you to hurt anymore, and they don’t want you to have to do this thing alone.
And I get that – and you get that! But, you’re not ready.
I don’t want to get hurt again
I admire you for a lot of reasons. It’s hard to say
“I’m going to do this right and I will get better. I will be stronger, I will grieve these losses, and I’m not diving right into dating again to solve my problems.”
I do have some examples of where you can take that too far. I have some clients who have become stuck here and are so afraid to taste love again. I know everyone can relate to this because, if you get a taste of that love and then it goes away, it would just crack you wide open again, right? In this scenario, you just need a little maneuvering out of this ‘thinking error’ as it is driving an inability to take the next step into dating. However, if you’re not ready and you can see clearly that you have some work to do before it’s time, you go girl.
Then there are four other places that have to do with dating and love. Some of them may apply to you and I believe that awareness is key to this transformational process.
#2 I Just Want to Feel Attractive
The next place or ‘category’ is the craving that women have to be desired. This feeling is so powerful in women because there’s so much rejection involved in post-divorce life. So much feeling that you are not enough or not cute, or that you miss feeling desirable.
Feeling desired is like medicine, it’s like a drug. It feels so good that sometimes women can get themselves into some trouble, as the craving to be desired by someone else overpowers the craving to nurture ourselves, which can set us back in the divorce recovery healing process.
Rejection can be a very slippery slope so I want you to notice if you’re feeling this way. Do you find yourself saying: “Oh my goodness, I would do anything to feel desired right now!”?
Practice Self Love First
You are desirable in so many ways. And if you’re not feeling desirable, or if you’re craving it so badly, just try to pump the brakes a bit. When the need to feel desired intersects with low self-esteem, feeling alone, and an anxious attachment style, it is a perfect storm to be walked all over.
#3 First Sex After Divorce
The next group of you dating candidates is (pardon my language here) the urge to be f*@%*d. This is a legitimate feeling for many reasons. It is a part of your essence, your womanhood, and your reproductive reality. This is an urge in women that is biologically based and powerful. Oftentimes in a post-divorce world, there is a switch that flips that opens that part of you back up. If you haven’t experienced that yet then don’t worry, you’re not strange. It’s different for everyone.
For many women, there is real freedom around one’s sexual self that comes in a post-divorce world and that is a beautiful thing – I’m here for it and I’m not judging it. I do want you to notice if you have some underlying attachment issues.
It is common for sex and attachment to go together and it can be really hard to tease those apart. It is risky for you to get f*@%*d and not get attached if you have an anxious or disorganized attachment style.
#4 I Just Want to Be Loved
Next, is the ‘wanting to be cherished’ category. This is along the lines of: “I’m looking for someone to love me, to cherish me, to be a companion and build a life with. To be in love with, to go on dates and have a romance with.” All of these things have probably been missing from your life for a long while and I think that this category is very different from dating.
Finding Love After Divorce: You are My Person
The ‘wanting to find love category’ often means that you have been on some dates and you think to yourself: “OK, I’m ready to find my person. I’m ready to do this thing over again.” This means that you have been doing some divorce trauma healing and grief work.
What is important to focus on here is: the success of your next meaningful relationship will be directly proportional to how much self-acceptance and self-love you have cultivated.
If you focused primarily on grief work and you haven’t focused on self-acceptance, or if you focused on getting over your ex and gaining your independence but you haven’t really dug into any potential self-esteem-related traumas, childhood traumas, or attachment style-related traumas, then it is too soon.
Dating After Divorce
Dating helps reveal the shadow work that we need to do and the places that need more love poured on them. Do not put yourself in this black-and-white spot of, “I can’t date until I get to a certain place” because it’s all for learning. It’s all for understanding ourselves better so we can accept ourselves in a deeper and more meaningful way.
I am not here to judge if or when you’re ready to date. I’m giving you the things I want you to keep an eye on while you’re getting ready.
If you are looking for love, please make sure you are strapped into the divorce recovery healing process, the self-acceptance process, and that you’re fully transparent with your accountability team.
Whether it’s your therapist, your pastor, your Reiki healer, your best friend, or your tribe.
The key takeaway is that women have to embrace the reality that our trauma healing doesn’t come without moving through our pain.
Our growth comes through pain. As long as you’re growing, you’re strapped in, you’re going to your healing places, and you’re being fully transparent, then you are well on the finding love journey and I am proud of you.
#5 I Want a Partner
The next group of people looking to date feel that “Adulting is hard and I need a partner.” I understand this, however, there are a lot of reasons to partner in life:
- Economic reasons.
- Pragmatic reasons.
- Family reasons.
- Health reasons.
There are a lot of struggles out there and please do not judge yourself. I see a lot of women in this space having a guy best friend. Someone who can help hang the picture frames or pick the kids up in a pinch, or maybe just make dinner together. But there are very real reasons for needing a partner that may not have to do with you being ready to find love or wanting to get f*@%*d. And I get it. However, if you are just maxed out and need extra support, think about all the places you can access that from.
I want you to notice where the judgments came up while you were reading this.
Notice really specifically which topics to do with dating and love in this post-divorce world had you bristling, because those are your clues to growth.
Self-Love Starts with Being Kind to Yourself Before Finding Love with a Partner
Uncomfortable feelings are an indication of where you need trauma-release work and areas where you have to pour some love. You must know that in this journey, it rarely comes all at once. We sometimes hear stories of people who experienced tragedies and rerolled in a year’s time and now they’re living happily ever after. I promise you that is not real. Healing and transforming after a divorce comes in revelatory layers.
Post-divorce healing is not a straight-line story. Just like my journey: Divorced, then doing a lot of work, doing a lot of work, doing a lot of work, a horrible relationship crash, and then starting over.
I want you to have some acceptance of where you are in your process.
Write down in your journal what really rubbed you the wrong way today and work on flipping that judgment into a deeper level of self-acceptance.
Whether you relate to being not ready to date, are craving to be desired, need to be f*@%*d, looking to be cherished, or seeking a partner to help you run your life. No matter where you are, embrace it. Talk about it. Write about it. Tap on it. Hit me up about it.
The most important thing is to be real about where we are so that we can move through it. My wish for you – and hopefully your wish for yourself – is that you get to have all of those things in one relationship. It’s not a promise, but it is a possibility to get to a place where you feel desired, get f*@%*d, are cherished and have help. You can have all those things, but it doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come cheap.
I’m here with you and I’m here to help you receiving and finding love after divorce. So, if you’re ready to become all of these things and have all of these things, let’s do it! Sending you all the peace and love.