Delaine Moore reveals how casual dating can mirror major unhealed issues from former relationships.
My girlfriend’s dating life is VERY busy. And I salute her for that. Almost two years out of an emotionally abusive marriage, we concurred that her rushing into a committed relationship would be dangerous: she’d probably end up with a bully again and/or losing herself in another man instead of exploring and discovering her own true colors. A Man Who Earns Me
The other day, however, as we chatted by phone, a startling revelation arose: even though she appeared to be ”exploring herself freely” by dating four different men, there was more going on beneath the surface. Digging deep we discovered was that all the men she was dating, added-up, were mirroring the same major issues she’d dealt with in her marriage.
Was this some strange coincidence? We didn’t think so. It is said, after all, that the universe will continue to send you the same lessons over and over again until you get them. The top three issues she was being challenged to face were:
1) Settling For Less. One of her ‘suitors’ had dated her off and on since she’d first separated. And there was no denying he was a wonderful man in many ways. But he also didn’t fulfill her in a lot of BIG ways. Nonetheless, she spent countless hours trying to convince herself they ‘could’ work. She even created a pros and cons list of their relationship, as if it were simply a matter of common-sense deduction. This was all deja-vu to me: when she was married I’d heard these same arguments (placations) about why she was ‘should’ be happy and stay married.
2) Following His Lead…Like A Puppet. Another one of her men was a dynamic, highly-opinionated, ball-breaking kind of character. She’d fly by plane to visit him only to find her entire weekend planned for her with his friends/family. Any free time was spent doing what HE wanted to do, and she was expected to go along with complaint. If she protested at all, he POUTED and IGNORED HER. This was her ex-husband all over again! Even though he had a different career, a different street address, a different face, she’d chosen the same kind of man and dynamic yet again. Are You Seeing Him For Who He Really Is?
3) Lack of Sexual Excitement: While married, she was sexually rejected by her husband so many times that her self-image had taken a severe beating. His rejection translated into “You aren’t desirable – as a lover or a woman.” Since separating, she’d reconnected with her sexual self and indulged in the pleasures she’d yearned for. But two of the four men she was dating had ‘issues’ around sex. One lacked stamina and couldn’t keep up with her. Another one withheld sex from her when they had a fight. As a result, she often found herself feeling belittled and undesirable, emotions she knew all too well. Sex vs Lovemaking-Why Are We So Confused?
So from my friend’s personal revelations, I hope other divorcing men and women are reminded to take the dating and sex scene slow, instead of throwing themselves into another serious relationship. I’m not saying don’t get out there; no way! Just remember that each and every person you date, whether you see him once or for six months off and on, is a mirror reflecting back at you. So give pause, contemplate, and take a closer look in that mirror.
Written by Delaine Moore, for Divorced Women Online