I’ve been back in the dating world now for almost three years. Granted, if I’d done what my therapist recommended then I’d have said, “I’ve been back in the dating world for 2 years. Meaning, I would have taken 6 months to a year away from dating after my divorce. I’ve yet to meet someone who did that, and that is why many of us have been or will be single for many years. It is because we are trying to build relationships on weak foundations. Let me explain.
First let me say I am writing not as an expert, but as someone who wants to help you learn from my mistakes. One of the “red flags” of dating started waving when after two years I began to realize that almost the same exact people were still on the dating apps (including me). Yes, they would come and go, but for some reason these amazing men and women were in and out (mostly out) of relationships. I kept hearing people say, “I’ve been single” for 10 years or more. And listen nothing is wrong with that…if that is what the person wants for their life. However, that wasn’t what I was finding. They wanted to find “their person.”
As I stated in my previous blog post, I began to believe that many of us couldn’t find our person due to the fact our foundations are shattered. Many of us are trying to build a relationship on foundations made of sand…including me. In the words of Old Dominion, “Are we written in the stars, baby, or are we written in the sand?” I want my relationships to be written in the stars so they don’t easily wash away. It is why I hope you’ll join me in reading my blog posts so we can do our part by repairing our foundations. Remember, you and I can only choose to fix our foundations. We have no control over others. So make sure you choose to date or enter into relationships with others who want to put in the work as well. Many will just want YOU to change while they remain shattered.
For some, the foundation has been shattered by a father or mother who wreaked chaos on a family. They were unfaithful, suffered from an addiction, and or they were abusive, and we’ll discuss that in future blogs. However, when you and I go through a divorce or breakup our foundations can be critically damaged. From this point forward we’ll just use the word “breakup” to include all the above! The damage a breakup causes is why psychotherapist tell us to take time away from dating afterward. We have to take the time to repair the foundation! So ask yourself, what is the longest amount of time you’ve gone without dating? Keep that in the back of your mind for now, and lets look at some things that occur to our foundation during a breakup:
- You begin to lack trust in others
- You feel as though you are unattractive
- You may feel the need to control everything
- You are lonely and will do anything to fill the void
- You think sex will feel the void
- Self Medicate to kill the pain
- You assume you need to be a pleaser so you don’t lose the next “one”
- You believe God has failed you…so you’re done with Him
- You think you’re unlovable
- You think you are irreversibly broken
- You believe you need someone else to make you complete or happy
- You rest your happiness on others
- You assume you are unable to manage life alone
- You think you need someone to tell you what to do
- You believe that you need to tell others what to do
- You must remain in control so as not to be hurt
- If you feel as though you’ve found the one…you must run
You could add to the list and feel free to do so by making comments below. As I continue to blog about establishing a strong foundation we will dive deeper into the above “cracks” breakups cause. Today let’s look at one of my cracks that has caused major problems, and that would be mistrust.
What did your breakup say about you? No, not what is everyone else (including momma) saying about you…what did it say to you? I’m still processing it somewhat, but for me I think it made me very insecure and scared beyond belief. Many of us dating in our 40s and beyond were married for 15 to 30 years, and one day found ourselves single. We assumed that we had met “our person.” We assumed we had chosen correctly. We assumed we were a great husband or wife. We assumed a lot of things and then felt like we’d made an ass out of you and out of me. So what does this mean you find in my/our foundation?
I realized a few months back that this has caused me to run when I begin to truly care about someone. It is a decision that haunts me daily. I have trouble trusting that someone can truly care about me, and will stick around, and thus I run before they have a chance to ditch me! You hear how messed up that is right? The truth is, if you want to have a great relationship then you have to be willing to handle great risk. There are no guarantees. However, we have to be willing to allow ourselves to love and be loved all while knowing it may not workout. If you aren’t there yet…then don’t start dating just yet.
In my next blog we will look at how many of us develop a need for control, and how that weakens the foundation for future relationships. I love you and hope you’ll share my blog with others by clicking below, and signing up to receive my posts by email. I am a guy who loves love! I want a healthy relationship and in fact…I know I will one day find it. I hope we can do it together! Join me on the journey.