I watch it happen all the time, dating gone bad; dating gone awry.
One of the greatest challenges we all face when moving forward after a breakup, or divorce, is not really knowing what we really want when we jump full on into the dating scene again; and it is the one thing that holds us back from getting what we want in love, and in life.
Here’s the secret. There is a difference between a “date” and a “playdate”; and understanding this difference will bring back the fun, flirtation and romance into looking for love!
A “date” is really when you are actually dating for love; spending intentional time with someone who has clear potential to develop a real, true and long-lasting relationship with you.
A “playdate” is an opportunity to enjoy reconnecting to the sexy, fun, romantic, sensual and feminine woman within; and sharing it with someone.
The trouble is when we get confused and think we are looking for one when what we really want, and need, is the other.
After divorce or a breakup, the natural inclination is to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and begin looking for new love; without really understanding what happened in the relationship or getting clear on what we want to happen next.
And so, we start “dating”.
But we forget about asking ourselves the most important questions:
- What did I bring to the table in this past relationship, or in my marriage, that I don’t want to carry into my next relationship?
- What do I need right now to feel happy, healthy and whole as a sexy, vibrant, and confident woman?
- What do I want my next relationship to look and feel like?
Instead, we choose one of two strategies.
We either set ourselves up on an online dating site, let our single friends know we are looking to date, or head out to the hottest single scene to see what we can find.
Or, we simply retreat; pulling inward and avoid the entire process while trying to convince ourselves that we don’t “need” love to be okay.
Let me give you a third option that might help you to find the joy, excitement and success of “dating” again.
The ending of a meaningful, long term relationship or marriage is one that throws us off balance. Even when it is our choice to end it, there is a deeper affect than most of us recognize.
We can feel rejected, unlovable, unattractive, insecure, and simply out of touch with our SEXY. And our driving desire to get back that lovin’ feeling and to make these feelings go away can lead us to one of the two strategies outlined above.
However, filling our time up with “dates” will never give us what we need to feel lovable, attractive, confident, sexy and in control of our destiny. But it will frustrate us by forcing us to feel that: