Just imagine for a moment that you and your spouse have split up after a very long marriage. You did not envision this change. You are shocked with the intensity and weight of your own emotions ? a painful combination of grief, anger, fear, humiliation, disbelief, sadness, failure, disappointment and others.
You spend hundreds of hours, reading about how to win your spouse back, getting counseling to help with your grief, journaling, making lists of what you did wrong and trying to talk with your spouse about “fixing” things.
Meanwhile, your spouse treats you like someone with a highly contagious fatal disease and looks at you as if you smell like cow manure.
Little by little you wake up to the fact that your life has changed. It’s a done deal. There’s no going back. You begin to see that by resisting change, you haven’t noticed the opportunities opening up before you.
This awakening flows over you like warm sunshine. The heavy feelings of fear and loss are replaced by the lightness of freedom and optimism. Suddenly, the future looks brighter and the present feels sweet.
With new perspective, you change your behavior.
You focus on those things in your life that are special to you ? your children, family, friends, job, hobbies and interests long forgotten. You read about finding new love and making successful relationships.
Your lists and journal entries change to what you did not receive from your previous relationship, what you want from your next relationship, what qualities you want in your next partner, what you have to offer a new partner, etc?
You begin to take an interest in YOU. You are excited about the process of creating your future. The past no longer holds you hostage. The past is no longer who you are or who you want to be.
After some time, you feel ready for the D-word?Dating!
Dating?uh, how to begin? It’s been a long time since your last date. Oh boy, you are nervous! You read about it, talk to friends about it and start hanging out with single people. Maybe you go clubbing more or join a singles activity.
From dating and relationship reading, you already know that seeking lasting love is a numbers game. It takes time. The early dating experiences allow you to “get your feet wet” – help you learn about what you do and don’t want.
You already made up your mind: no compromise in building the relationship you want just to avoid being alone. You will not “settle” for the first available and willing person that comes along. No way!
Then, you find someone you are attracted to and you two decide to “have lunch”.
The day of your first date arrives. The excitement makes your stomach feel full of butterflies. At the restaurant, your date is waiting. Things go smoothly until this person mentions that they are married with 2 young children. Strike 3 ? the batter is out! You kindly explain that obviously you both are not looking for the same kind of relationship and that you apologize for any misunderstanding. Yuk. Bad start.
The second date goes better. Your date is really hot, but there is one teeny-weeny, microscopic problem. You two don’t speak the same language. “Never mind”, you say to yourself, “I speak a little of the other person’s language and they speak some of mine. And, we have the same profession”. Alas, it plays out like this:
Date 1 goes very well. You are on top of the world. Date 2 goes well, but, you are starting to run out of things to talk about. Date 3 just gets quiet and uncomfortable.
Your date may be hot, but your conversations run cold.
These sorts of dating experiences continue. You are happy in the new life you have made for yourself and don’t feel lonely. You enjoy your dates, have fun and spend time with friends.
One day, you put your profile and picture on an internet dating site. Oh, what fun it turns out to be!
You begin connecting with people all over the world and making even more friends. You are surprised at the quality people that you meet along the way. After all, you had heard how only desperate people use the internet for dating.
Soon, you are meeting internet acquaintances for coffee or dinner. You feel fantastic about the whole thing. Over and over you meet high quality, successful and confident people using the internet dating site. You feel that, for you, the internet is a much better place to meet potentials than by going out clubbing.
Time goes by. You meet many wonderful people, have great times and grow as a person. You think “Hmm. it’s not bad at all being single. In fact, I like it a lot!”
Then, you see a profile on the dating web site you haven’t seen before. It really stands out as the profile of someone special. The words are magnetic to you. You contact this person and they reply.
The two of you bounce emails back and forth for a couple of weeks and then you start phoning each other. The more the two of you learn about each other, the more connected you feel. You feel that this person is looking for the same things in a romance that you are; and has the emotional maturity, loyalty and integrity required to make a romantic partnership work long-term.
It dawns on you that this person has many of the qualities on your list that you are looking for in a potential partner.
Over time, your phone friendship evolves into a romance?complete with physical chemistry. How can this be? You haven’t even been in the same room with this person?.
The day arrives and you meet for the first time.
The person looks better than their picture, better than you expected?and the attraction feels like burning jet fuel. The relationship has a fiery yet smooth take off and climbs higher and higher and??
Is there a moral to this story? Absolutely!
Change happens whether you like it or not. The quicker you stop resisting change, the quicker you will start enjoying it. There are tons of opportunities for love out there, even if you are 40, 50, 60 and beyond. Don’t settle for less than fantastic, just to avoid being alone. Look around to find quality people ?even in unconventional places Be open and ready to accept love when it hits you over the head!
I learned this firsthand. It was my happy BEGINNING.
Copyright (c) 2007 Ainsley Laing