Finding oneself forty something and suddenly and unexpectedly single after a long marriage is heart breaking beyond description. I know because it happened to me. It's like being thrown off the beloved horse you've been riding all your life. Without warning an extended part of you unceremoniously dumps you off and the extension of your every move is gone. Your "everything" is riding away from you into a sunset you will never share. Frozen in disbelief, shattered to realize the ying to your yang is no more, a desolation seeps into every nook and cranny of your being. Hallow has a new meaning as it becomes your state.
You stand numb and paralyzed in an empty field staring out after your life for a long time until a new reality rides up. The new reality is the survival stage and you climb willingly into its bouncy coach and slide atop the cold leather seat, searching for who knows what. As the Survival Coach takes you across mountains and rocky roads and barren wasteland, you just hold on, mostly because you have no place else to go. I spent several years of my life there.
It's a long ride. You get what you need along the way. Each place with its divinely orchestrated cast is an earth school experience, in a whatever gets you through the night existence. Bitter and sweet, dumb and smart, pain and comfort, anger and love, all just stops along the way.
Emotions once feared become a tonic. Hysteria tastes like champagne as laughter and tears flow uncorked and their release creates a heady oasis in your desert. With nothing left to lose and no one left to judge you, finally you are free. An erratic and puzzling kind of free but freedom nonetheless. Loneliness is a great teacher, a master of our fate teaching us to face great fear among life's rapids.
Wants and desires, aftertastes and discards, it all becomes the energy in motion that eventually shakes the desolation out of you. Irony has a universal way of cleansing your core, revealing your beautiful soul. You meet the real you out on this road and finally honor her amazing being. This journey teaches you to become your own "everything" revealing that you are "enough".
One day you wake up and the wheels of the Survival Stage squeak to a stop and when the door opens you jump out for the last time. The desert has given way to lush green fields and you are ready to see the new horizon. It doesn't hurt to look at it anymore. In fact the sun is rising, peaking through and you can see some wild horses in the distance, free and grateful... like you!
As the sun shines on your new existence you admire every inch of the skin you are no longer afraid to live in. And so, armed with the "everything" that is you, you set out to find another whose "everything" is him. After all, two "enoughs" will be more than enough.
Once open to the search for other, new lessons begin. A different journey unfolds, one you are in control of. Your choices cause comedy, drama and whimsical tragedies to abound, weaving tales of dating games and misfit toys. Separating the men from the boys is never easy. Truth be told its daunting and stupid and sometimes painful. I expect its the same for them in their search for grown ups. Maybe separating silly girls from women is just as excruciating.
"Middle age dating" is a synonym for "I ain't got time to waste". Our fear is in charge from the beginning. We mistakenly allow ego and instinct to create our list of wants and check boxes. We are worried about being old and alone from the start, so, we approach dating skeptically. Men go after what looks good and are confused when like a shiny sports car, who is all show and no go, it winds up lacking the substance they require. Women travel in packs and lament how there are "no good men"! Men are hunters. All hunters know never approach a pack, its dangerous. Rule #1, you have to separate from the herd, if you want to be fair game.
The old safety in numbers approach only works for the scripts on "the Golden Girls".
Our lists of relationship wants read like letters to Santa full of fantasy and bling.
Ladies: "I want a guy who is good looking with dark hair and financially stable with a good job and no baggage and who likes to go out nice places and is very secure in himself and has great relationships with his kids." But, are you all those things? Because why would a guy who has it all together want to be with you if you have a mountain of bills, a suitcase full of baggage, aggravating disrespectful kids and you have to ask if you look fat everyday?
Gentleman: "I want a girl who is nice looking with a great body and an amazing cook and who is super sexy in bed and isn't a gold digger or drama queen, someone independent who understands I need my time with the guys." But are you all those things? Because why would a great looking girl with a hot body want a guy with a beer belly who can't even cook her a nice dinner and causes jealous drama when she wants a night out with her girls?
How silly it is to want in another the things we can not accomplish ourselves. We must first become what we need and desire in another to attract it into our lives. Whatever it is you desire- financial security, good family relationships, interesting hobbies... we must first be. Our checklists are better written from our hearts and souls than from instinct and ego. But understanding that is a journey all onto itself. Unfortunately few of us ever realize that. And so the circutus serial dating life driven by false beliefs and quick fixes controls us.
Our time and energy are better spent working on becoming our own "everything" before seeking it elsewhere.
For instance, if you are still wallowing about what your ex did to you, have an unreasonable jealous streak, trust no one. fly off the handle with unreasonable anger, have a drinking or eating disorder, terrible relationships with siblings and children, bouts of depression. need constant attention or have childhood issues... you may want to work on those things before you try to find a relationship to make them better. Otherwise you will find yourself in the world of serial dating as relationship after relationship doesn't work out.
We don't need to be a perfect specimen, but I do believe we need to be in the "healthy " zone before the rest of our healing may be done in relationship with another.
I don't pretend to be an expert on finding Mr. Right but here are a few of my keen observations from the last few years of dating and not dating:
Not dating is a big deal and I highly recommend it for a long period of time. Date yourself for at least a year to a year and a half. No sex, no dates, just be alone. Enjoy friends strictly platonic and same sex. Do things you always wanted to do but alone. This will be the best time of your life getting to know yourself without influence. Its hard at first but nothing gets you more ready for "Mr. Right". Trust me. If you have the guts to do this on purpose its tough but so worth it. And yes, I turned down many dates during this period- honoring my commitment to myself was more important. Being truly alone I became my best friend. It was something I never took the time to do and it was too long overdue to be ignored. And this is what my best friend taught me:
Don't date anyone unless you really like yourself. You can't like anyone else if you don't like yourself! I have found that the best relationships happen when you really like the other person- I'm not talking about the sexual attraction I'm talking about sincerely "like" them! This is key for sustaining any connection. You have to like who they are. It creates a flow. This more than good sex, makes you want to spend time with them. You really get to know someone on a deeper more compatible level when you "like" them.
Don't have sex unless you like looking at yourself naked in the mirror. Sex works better when you are naked and uninhibited. If you are trying to cover up or distracted by thoughts of insecurity sex will probably suck. You have to Love your body in order to love another body. Accept yourself and know how beautiful you are. Authentic Intimacy and deep connection can't happen if you are trying to hide something.
Love your life and be joyful from within. If you are not in a positive place no relationship you have will be either. Your negativity will seep into your partnership. Fix your life before sharing it with another. Someone who dates you to clean up your mess is a janitor or handyman not a partner. Its a recipe for disaster.
Clear your life of the debris from your past. If ex's are calling, texting or taking you to dinner and flirting and it feels like a "maybe" say bye bye. These are not "friends" they are crutches and break glass in case of emergency guys. They serve no point except to feed your weak ego. Get rid of them or weaken your current position with a partner. Sweep the porch to make room for Mr. Right. Like wise with booty calls - Mr. Right is not going to find you in Mr. Wrong's bed. He won't be looking there - so grow up. These place holders take up space that you can use for productive activities. Like getting to know yourself in preparation for Mr. Right!
The exception is - If an "ex" falls into the sincere friend category, and you are both grow ups with a nice connection this can be a nice relationship in your life. But be truthful about your relationship and respect it. Healthy people attract other healthy people.
Get out and live!! You are more apt to find Mr. Right in life doing what you love. If you love hiking or boating or baseball or meditation - do it and find a mate there because it forms a foundation for you to really "like" each other. Get out and be passionate about activities. The more active you are the more interactive your life is with people. The more people you are in touch with the more possiblity to meet Mr Right!
Know thyself! Know who you are before allowing another into your life. This is where dating yourself for a long time is key. Knowing your faults and strengths honestly helps you discern the right partner on a much deeper level. When you can discern during the initial phase of getting to know someone and then later during conflict what is real and what you need to own and what is not yours to own, it makes you less mutable. Being mutable in a relationship never works. You have to be your authentic self. You can't play a role or be scared to speak up in a loving and kind way. You must represent yourself authentically and with honor. Honoring oneself means admitting fault but also not backing down in a loving and respectful way when necessary. We can't allow ourselves to take on another's baggage. Knowing what is our work to do and what is another's is the balance of a good relationship. You can't have that unless you know yourself strongly without doubt.
Be able to receive and give equally! Love is a give and take energy flow. You must be able to give love and receive love in equal measure. This goes for giving and receiving help and allowing someone to share your life- it must be equal reciprocity with a partner. Work on removing any blockages you have to balancing these energies. Be honest when evaluating the balance you share with another. An unbalanced relationship will never end well.
Open your heart! Finally the most important aspect of all to finding Mr. Right is an open heart. Love. If your heart is open and you ARE love you react differently to life. You are less reactive and more compassionate. You are able to see another's shortcomings with patience and understanding. You are more patient with yourself too. This does not mean you accept bad behavior. It means you do not allow it to disturb you peace of mind while you respond to it. Never loving to your own detriment means honoring yourself and the work you have done to be healthy by discerning what is for your highest good. Love is always the answer. Love yourself this way and the rest will come. When we are the ultimate partner to ourselves, the ultimate partner comes to us.
Don't live with one eye on the door waiting for Mr. Right. Go about your business and do the hard work of becoming the best you possible. Truly enjoy all life offers you and be in gratitude for it. Then watch what happens. The universe will respond in kind!
Peace and love,
Spiritual Healer, Energetic Medium
This Blog is the story of the miracles, challenges and lessons of my life journey. Years ago when I hit a personal "rock bottom" my despair led me to seek answers and my quest for truth began. Amazing events propelled me on a spiritual journey of transformation.. Miraculously, through these experiences my life has become my teacher and my friend.... I hope my words connect us and allow us to walk together for a time as teacher and friend to each other. The most valuable thing we have during this human experience is our connection to love. The love in our soul for a higher power and others is the only thing that is real. I honor these connections through my writing. Theses words are my gift inspired through the heart of Spirit for you. I hope by sharing my journey it will enlighten, inspire and ease yours as it does mine >> ... Peace... Georgia Rose