My really good friend has recently separated from her husband and she is now facing the dating universe, and she is not alone. So many people I know and am working with in my practice are struggling with getting back on the saddle. So, I wanted to dedicate some time on the subject.
There are many ways to get back on to the dating scene, such as, Internet sites, bar, club, matchmaking services, personal ads, hook-ups by friends and a few others. All of these avenues have the potential to work and get you a date. However, before you start dating I think you should start off with asking yourself a few questions.
What do I want?
Are you interested in just casually dating or do you want to get married? Some people are looking for just a sexual partner with no entanglements, some want a long term committed relationship or companion. When you can decide what kind of relationship you are looking for, you are then better equipped to go out into the dating world and find someone who has similar goals.
What type of partner am I looking for?
You need to know what type of person you want to spend time with. Write down all of the qualities that you would like to have in your mate. Pay special attention to their internal characteristics, and not just physical attributes. Don’t be surprised if you write down some of the good qualities that your ex-partner possessed.
Who do I want to be?
Figure out what type of mate you want to be. You need to figure out what happened in your previous relationship and why it didn’t work. What part did you play in it? This requires taking a relationship inventory of yourself. Am I selfish in my relationships, do I work too much or too little? Do I hold back or do I have unrealistic expectations of my mate or about certain relationship roles? Once you have figured that out… make a commitment to yourself to do it differently. If you can learn from past mistakes and not repeat them you are paving the way for better relationships.
Forgiveness is the only way to move on. Heal your heart by letting go of the hurt and disappointments of past relationships, and staying focused on the present.
Therapy can help if you get stuck. A therapist can help you in 5 sessions or less on doing a relationship inventory and opening the path of forgiveness.
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