"Ask April" Author of the best selling "Date Out Of Your League" at AskApril.com
Learn how to get back in the game after your divorce
If you’ve been burned by love before - particularly if there’s been a divorce - the thought of dating again can feel daunting… if not nearly impossible. Why, you might wonder, would you put yourself through the torture of another relationship? How could you ever make yourself vulnerable and open again?
The answers, though they may be hard to believe, are that you will date again, that relationships don’t have to be as difficult as your last, and that despite even your own reservations, you will likely allow yourself to be vulnerable again, too.
Why would you? Because getting back in the proverbial game once a good chunk of time has passed is an important step toward taking control of your new life. And because, with the right partner, life is just better.
How can you? By following the five steps below, designed to help you understand where you may have gone wrong before, not make those same mistakes again, and redefine what it is - or rather who it is - that would make an even better partner in your “new life”.
1. Make a list
You may have an idea in your mind about what you do and do not want in your next partner, but actually writing it down is another matter. First, making a list will force you to firm up any lingering questions you have. Second, the act of writing is a powerful one that in- and-of-itself can give you a new perspective. And lastly, once you’ve put pen to paper, it’s hard to go back on your word (especially when that word is staring you right in the face in non-eraseable ink!).
2. Learn from your mistakes
Let’s face it, we all make mistakes. The difference is that there are some of us who keep making them over and over (and over and over…), and there are some of us who learn from them. Making sure you fall into the latter group is they key to not dating the same type of person who burned you last time, and simply to becoming a more mature person. As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
3. Date lots of people
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, it can be understandably tempting to jump right into another. But before you do, make sure you understand your own motivations. Are you really in it because he/she is the right person, or simply because you want to be comfortable again? Dating lots of different types of people is like your own personal security measure to ensure you know what your options are (and that you even have options) before making a final decision.
4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable
This is perhaps the most difficult step of all—especially if you were badly hurt in a prior relationship. But finding a way to trust again is essential to the health and survival of any future relationships. Of course, no one would advise you to go around trusting anyone and everyone willy-nilly, which is why steps 1-3 are designed to get you in a place and with a person who is worthy of your trust and vulnerability. It’s always a risk, but you can be smart about it.
5. Know when you’ve got a good thing
Much like allowing yourself to be vulnerable again, recognizing a good thing when it’s staring you right in the face can be more difficult than it sounds…particularly when you’re always looking for something to be wrong with the person you’re dating. And while it is advisable to have your eyes open and your “red flag radar” on, try and also be open to the possibility that there are truly good people out there who will treat you right, without ulterior motives or cruel intentions. Trust me, I know it can seem like they’re few and far between, but they are out there. It’s just a matter of knowing when you’ve found them.
Now put on your best game face, throw yourself back on the court, and play ball!
Ready for even more bold, brutally honest, and always helpful dating advice? Visit Web site, www.AskApril.com There, you'll find informative articles, expert columnists, interactive quizzes, and free giveaways! And don't forget to also check out my workshops, designed to help you find you real "soul mate"!
© April Masini. Making it happen for you!
If you’re ready to get serious about finding a relationship that will really work for you—but aren’t quite ready to sign up for an arranged marriage—then my workshops on dating, love, and all around success might be just what the doctor ordered. Please visit www.AskApril.com.