In my role as woman’s counselor at GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, I regularly work with women who have been recently divorced. After many years of marriage and a period of time alone, they feel like they are ready to reenter the dating scene in hope of finding love again.
Unfortunately some women get involved in a new relationship much too soon without taking the necessary steps for self-discovery, healing and personal growth that are often essential after experiencing the intense feelings that typically follow the dissolution of a marriage.
I have observed that some women become quite worried and concerned at this time, which typically stems from thinking that they will end up all alone, which, in turn, leads to a great deal of anxious thinking and impaired decision making when it comes to potential relationships. As some of these women begin dating, they may ignore intuitive warning signs because they are eager to be in a relationship again. Many make excuses for a man’s bad behavior or they may justify and rationalize why he did what he did or why he didn’t do what he said he would do.
Other women are quite the opposite and summarily dismiss each decent man they meet because he doesn’t quite match every single one of the virtues, traits and conditions on their list of requirements for a “perfect man”. In other words, they are looking for a man who is completely free from flaws but that readily accepts all of hers. These unrealistic expectations keep many women from dating men who are perfectly flawed human beings just like all of us. Of course there are certain qualities and conditions that are must-haves and non-negotiables, yet other qualities can possibly be accepted.
Getting into the right frame of mind before taking the leap into the dating world is important. As a woman’s counselor, I have found that before a woman begins dating after divorce, it is essential that she find within herself confidence, positivity and self-love. When a post-divorce woman lives a life doing things that she find enjoyable and give her a sense of purpose, she often begins to feel that life would be perfectly fine if, perchance, she ended up alone, which greatly reduces anxiety producing thinking. My recommendation for a post-divorce woman entering the dating scene, is that you fill your time with family and friends who cherish you. Make new meaning from painful old memories and take the time to learn from your past relationship troubles. I suggest you honestly evaluate how you may have contributed to the problems within your relationship and I highly recommend that you strive to be physically healthy by eating right, getting plenty of sleep and starting an exercise program. And most important, I urge you to keep negative thoughts at bay by cultivating an attitude of gratitude and telling yourself healthy stories. In short, once you learn to love yourself by going within and then venturing outside of yourself and allowing the world in, you’re ready to find love again!
400 South Orlando Ave, Suite 206
Maitland, FL 32751
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*Marion offers counseling for women in the Central Florida area. Marion also offers distance counseling via phone for individuals within the United States struggling with dating challenges