What do we do after we are dumped?
Most of us hit the local supermarket for a gallon or two of double-chocolate fudge ice cream and tuck ourselves into the couch for a week or two and watch reruns of Downtown Abby. I still have the chocolate stains on my sofa cushion.
It always hurts, and we have all been there. For some of the luckiest of us it might have only happened once, early in our dating experience. However, for most of us it has happened at least a few times. A divorce after many years, or a breakup after a few weeks in a new relationship. The complexity depends on the circumstance. All of them are painful. I have one divorce under my belt. Not proud of it but, I have eaten a lot of double-chocolate fudge ice cream and I’m wearing the stretchy sweatpants to prove it.
Everybody hates change
Work comes up with new policies and procedures, or we have to go through the automated cash register at the grocery store. Humans are creatures of habit and generally detest getting out of their comfort zones.
The truth is change is a good thing. These words are not comforting when coming out of a bad relationship, I know. How many times did Thomas Edison try and fail before succeeding with the light bulb? Actually he failed 1,000 times before coming up with a viable bulb. Mr. Edison’s famous quote: “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have not failed once. I succeeded in proving that those 1,000 ways will not work.” Obviously, we would not want to try 1,000 times before finding the relationship that works, but we do want to find the “one” that works.
You are not a failure
When a relationship fails, regardless of the circumstances, we tend to blame ourselves. Having feelings of regret and depression are normal. Humans have emotions, and pain can be a great teacher. Dwelling on it, however, is not normal. You are not a failure when a relationship goes south. This seems like an easy thing to say, but you have to believe it. You may have made mistakes or poor judgment calls, but you are not a failure. Again, you are human.
Especially after a divorce, we can feel betrayed and lost. Divorces can be more devastating because of the issues surrounding them. There may be children and or property involved, and the process can be gut-wrenching before it concludes.
Do not rush
Once there is a finality to the bad relationship, we start to move on. This doesn’t mean we jump back into the dating scene immediately. Time to heal is very important at this stage because we are emotionally fragile. Focus on your work and re-evaluating priorities. Do things you did not have time to do before. Take an adult education class or get into a healthy exercise routine. This will help you focus on yourself, instead of the negativity surrounding the breakup.
This entire process from the end of the relationship to this point is a personal evolution. The world moves on, and so do we. Every experience in life teaches us something new, but it doesn’t mean we always enjoy the subject. The cliché ‘time heals all wounds’ is thrown around so much it has almost become white noise. I will not give clues to my age, (I watched Sanford & Son when they were not re-runs!), but I have been through a few things: divorce and deaths of family members. Time does heal the wounds, but what I have also
witnessed is that every person heals in their own time. There are no guidelines on this sort of thing, and definitely no wrong or right answer to it. Do understand this: Things will get better!
From cocoon to butterfly
You will know when you are ready to dip your toe back in the water. Being alone isn’t a natural state for us (No. I’m not saying you’re a freak if you’re single). As social beings, we reach out to others and want to be loved. Take things slow and make sure you have had enough time for yourself to heal.
Once the decision has been made to test the waters again, there is good news waiting. With today’s technology, we have a variety of options available at our fingertips. Gun shyness is very normal. None of us want to be hurt again and that is always a risk. Frankly, life can be ruthless sometimes. Remember Thomas Edison? Trial and error. You have an advantage now and definitely know what you are looking for. You have evolved….and ready to start your personal revolution.
With the internet and smart phones, the weapons of the revolution are far superior to those we may have had when we first hit the dating scene. There are several mainstream online dating sites (names withheld). We have all seen the commercials for them. In addition to the ones we may already know, there are literally hundreds of others for every preference, age, religion, or lifestyle.
Take your time
Make a list of what you are looking for and, frankly, what you are not. When you fill out your online profile be as honest and complete as possible. Most of the online dating sites are user friendly, even for those of us who may be technology challenged (That is me). An added bonus to these sites, is they allow you to exchange messages or emails with potential dates. You are not committed to someone who has a pretty face but may not have a matching personality. This allows you to take your time and gives you options.
The goal here is for you to be happy and to get on with your life again. Knowing that you have the control is empowering and actually will make the search more enjoyable. You have been through the fire and are a stronger person for it. Get out there and win the revolution!
P.S. Smile If you’ve had a recent break-up, realize things will get better. I’ve got your back!