From what I’ve seen, many newly divorced midlife singles date with an intent to make sure that they don’t repeat the past. Men often retreat into play, fun, no attachment and no desire for long term commitment while women often have maintain an attitude that they are “owed’ a perfect mate after enduring years of what may have been a bad marriage.
Excluding those who are co-dependent and tend to latch onto someone new quickly, what typically happens is that the next seven years or so of dating results in ongoing disappointment and an inability to establish new, positive relationships. This can lead to a bitter, jaded approach for both men and women.
What’s the best way to break this pattern? The lucky ones (or should I say the smart ones?) do some inner work on themselves.
- They take some time away from relationships to focus on friends, family and developing other interests.
- They learn to enjoy time by themselves and establish healthy boundaries.
- They seek the lessons from the past and are not seeking to blame. And when they are ready to resume dating, it’s with a new attitude and mindset. They’ve let go of old patterns.
- They’re not looking to rescue anyone.
- They have reasonable expectations, and understand that perfection doesn’t exist.
- They understand that developing a new relationship will require much give and take from both sides.
And for those who practice daily gratitude and forgiveness, they will find unexpected joy to be a daily part of their life. They will find new doors and adventures open to them on this midlife journey while they experience a newfound inner peace.
If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who has done the work who is over 50. The best can truly lie ahead for you if you can consider the past, learn the lessons from it and then learn to let it go.
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