All The Single Ladies: Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions
SINGLE FILE - New!
by Susan Deitz
All The Single Ladies
Here’s the Answers to a Few of Your Questions
I finally ended a long marriage that was filled with lies, cheating and mental and verbal abuse. (It took years for the divorce to become final.) My therapist, children, family and friends all are encouraging me to start dating again and begin a new life with a new man who deserves and respects me. I shudder at the thought. Whenever the topic is even mentioned I begin to shake and sometimes even cry. I’ve been so scarred by my past relationship that the issue of trust is more than a hurdle; it’s like breaking through a brick wall. I’m very happy surrounded by family and friends—and happy to finally be on my own. I know I have many good years ahead (I’m approaching the age of 50), but why must they be with a partner? Must I start dating again to “heal” and make my life “complete”?
—From the ‘Single File’ Blog
At 50, you certainly have earned the right to determine your own life—for now, and for all time. You’ve had such trauma that instinctively you shy away from the merest mention of another marriage. Listen carefully to those inner cues; their wisdom is undeniable, and it is signaling a delay in partnership. Now that could be for all time—certainly a fulfilling life can be lived without a husband—or simply for this recuperative phase, however long it will be. The nurturing support system of family and friends you have around you is a most wonderful treasure, but they don’t feel what you feel, even now as you remember the past. Your physical reaction to that memory speaks volumes about your readiness for dating. To me, it is the final word, all that matters right now. What’s the hurry? Right now you need time to recuperate and get to learn about yourself apart from the past. You’re growing into a whole new person, and you need time to appreciate yourself as you mutate into a woman on her own. (Imagine the self-confidence that will bring!) You’ll know soon enough when you’re ready for the rigors of dating; those same viscera will signal your yearning for the love of a good man. Don’t hurry your healing.
Learning To Love
Some friends say I’m too full of myself, that I’m too conceited to fall in love. But really, I know myself very well and like myself. Will that keep me from finding love?
—From the ‘Single File’ Blog
The short answer is NO. But it’s the longer one that clears up misconceptions that have found a home around loving self. The truth is, if you don’t think you’re good enough to be loved, who will? And while you’re pondering that one, consider this: When you start loving yourself and doing the small acts of love -- planting the garden you want, taking piano lessons, taking the weekend trip you’ve been dreaming of -- you’re telling yourself you’re good enough to fulfill your yearnings. (For a long time I’ve been urging unmarried women to use their best china and take that exotic trip now -- instead of saving the really good things for marriage!) The thing is, when you begin to nurture yourself in tangible ways, you’ll start to feel fulfilled and cared for! (Yes, please do read that one more time.) And as you start to fulfill yourself, you’ll become a more giving person. Your personal fullness will spill over onto those you love. And in that filled state of being, you’ll be more able to take the risk of falling in love. Yes, it’s a risk. But when you’re filled with satisfactions you’ve given yourself, you’re more likely to risk falling in love. The point is, if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone. (With thanks to David Viscott’s great book Risking.) Lots to think about, eh?