Moving on from a relationship is difficult. No, it’s more than difficult. Tons of things can spark a rush of emotions; a song, a picture, or driving past an old haunt where you shared so many romantic moments.
Here are the 3 signs that you might be ready to date again.
Sign 1: You Feel Like Yourself
After any separation, there are going to be moments of sadness, frustration, loneliness, and even rage. The good news is these painful feelings will pass. There will also be feelings of release, elation, freedom, joy. The rollercoaster of emotions can bring on anxiety that could impact your ability to function at your peak performance.
A few signs your joyful self is returning:
- Hobbies begin to be part of your routine (learning a new sport or skill could be a great strategy to help you get out of the doldrums.
- Starting to make plans with friends
- Becoming more aware of your happy authentic self
- Sleeping patterns are stable and you wake up refreshed
- The idea of leaving the house and entering the real world, where other people are roaming around, is no longer terrifying
Sign 2: Your Ex No Longer Hides In Your Heart
Time isn’t always the only balm you need to move on. Here are a few signs that show you’ve moved on are also stages of dating again.
Moving on from your ex is a big step, that can reward you with a feeling of freedom and happiness. This happiness is what will make you irresistible to your next potential partner. It’s best not to rush into a new relationship. If you can take a time out and explore what went wrong in your last relationship.
What Did You Miss in Your Last Relationships?
- Did you miss red flags? (Did you fail to make note of the yellow cards?)
- Did you become addicted to the sex or emotional high of being with this person?
- Were you triggered by their behavior? (This can add a feeling of anxiety, that can be misread as exhilaration.)
- Did you let your hope and optimism blind you to some fundamental problem early on?
- Did you miss the fatal flaw? (In my case, dating a few drinkers, has proven to be problematic. My new maxim is “drinking is fine as occasional entertainment, but not as daily required sustenance in their life.)
Sign 3: You Know What You Want
Once your heart is clear of the baggage from your last relationship, you better prepare yourself for the journey ahead. It’s a long road to finding a solid and healthy relationship. But you’ve got to date, you’ve got to start, in order to achieve your goal. If your goal is finding a long-term relationship, you’ve got to get started. You’re getting older, your potential partners are getting older, and there is no time to waste.
Can you write out the characteristics of your perfect partner? Do have a type? Is there a love language that you know won’t work for you? What about emotional intelligence? Sobriety? And how about a healthy athletic lifestyle?
The Uber List of My Aspirational Partner
- The spiritual connection is strong and easy. (You’re both oriented towards a higher power of some sort. And you’re in agreement, even if your forms of spirituality and worship are different.
- A friendship forms the basis for your time together. You are both kind and considerate of the other’s energy, feelings, and physical well-being at all times. This is not an act. This is how you walk the talk. You are kind. They are kind. Always.
- Their vision is aspirational as well. They have plans beyond the daily grind, beyond the job of parenting, making money, or staying in shape. We need to be aligned towards individual goals on higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy.
- The joy they bring into your life is tangible, palpable, and consistent. Just thinking about them makes your entire body smile.
- Requests, resets, and upsets are not dramatic or frequent. This person has gotten their own shit together, and are willing to contain their own issues when they show up in your partnership. (See: Braving)
- Sex has a spiritual and sacred quality. Sex is sex, yes, but sex is also a gift. When sex is connected, there is a higher level of enjoyment and satisfaction. The orgasm becomes less important than the act, the loving is more important than getting off. (See: Sexual Intelligence)
- They express their affection openly and easily. I was so amazed after my divorce when my first girlfriend was so lovey-dovey. It felt so new and refreshing. [And the “ah-ha” moment was, “Holy shit, in 10 years of marriage, I rarely received words and non-sexual touches of affection.”]
- They are available for a full partnership. They would like to be my co-pilot. Their ideas and leadership factor clearly into the trajectory of the relationship. They know what they want in a partner, and guess what? YOU ARE IT. And the ninja-lover move is, they can tell you YOU ARE IT with their actions alone. Words too, but actions are where relationships exist.
- You both feel energized together, even when you’re not in the same state. Even a text can make your heart flutter. (Caution: a delayed text response can also cause unnecessary heart palpitations.)
- They are a badass. In previous relationships, I have overrun or blown through partners. When my fire becomes white-hot they either catch fire themselves (with competitive rage or fearful anxiousness). My REAL PARTNER will be a badass on her own terms. She does not NEED ME, she WANTS ME.
- That constant craving. When you know you know. When the love is so big you cannot stop thinking about them. Their smile. Their laugh. The warm fuzzy you get each time they tell you they “like” you. It lights up your system. (Your chakras are energized.)
What I Know Now – 11 Years After Becoming a Single Dad
There is plenty of life ahead for me. I’d rather spend that time in relationship to a badass compatriot than alone. BUT, in my quest for the BIG LOVE I will not sacrifice or give up on my UBER LIST. Not ever.
This is a hard one. I have the desire to be flexible. I don’t really want to follow my own advice a lot of the time. But personal integrity is the core of my being. The integrity of this blog is only through my transparency and authenticity. I may not know what I’m talking about, I may write a lot of stuff that doesn’t resonate with you, but I am merely attempting to understand myself, my emotions, and my process for seeking and keeping a lover.
I am here. At the moment, between BIG LOVES. And as I move forward in the closing months of 2021, I will stay pure and clear with my intentions. I will aspire to something greater and stronger than I’ve ever experienced in my life. I will hold steady in my faithful quest.
I DO KNOW, that she will arrive. And when she does, both of us will be ready. It may have sparks, fits, and restarts, but it will have a fire, the BIG LOVE FIRE that burns away all the past issues and traumas that need to be released. In the hot flames of a lover, and a full-time partnership, a fully committed lover, we will both find our BIG YES, our BIG LOVE, and OUR BELOVED. (See: Beloved)
May You Be Safe.
May You Be Loved.
May You Be Healthy.
May You Live with Ease.
John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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- Self-Care and Appreciation: Can I Love All of Myself Right Now?
- 3 Required Traits for Building a Lasting Relationship
- Emotional Intelligence Essentials for Long-Term Relationship Success
- Pausing in the Gap: Trying to Force An Answer Is Not the Way
- 7 Habits of a Sizzling Sex Life: Relationship Building
- The 3-point Formula for Loving Relationships: Where You Lead I Follow
Reading List: What is Love (Redefining what we want in our lives and loves)
- The 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman
- Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – Brené Brown
- **A General Theory of Love Thomas Lewis, M. D. et al.
- The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love Thomas Moore
- ** Care of the Soul Thomas Moore
Here are a few of my books on Amazon:
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce: Advice and Strategies on Learning How to be Loved Again
- Fall of the House of Dad: My journey through divorce, from loss to joy, again and again
- A Good Dad’s Guide to Divorce: One father’s quest to stay connected with his children
- The Sex Index: Getting Our Love Languages Right in the Bedroom
- Here Comes the Darkness: Surviving and Thriving After a Mental Illness Diagnosis
- The Third Glass: When Drinking Becomes an Issue
- The Storm Before the Divorce: When One Parent Wants Out, That’s the End
- Dating 2.0: Aiming for the Love of Your Life