When are we ready to date again after a divorce or breakup? I’ve heard this question asked in earnest hundreds of times from clients and workshop participants. I wish I could tell you that there’s a traffic light that turns green and gives you a clear signal – go! The decision to get out there again is complex and highly individual. In my experience as a divorce and dating coach, we don’t first heal completely, declare that we are totally ready, and then start dating. Why? Because we can’t fully heal alone.
We absolutely do need to take significant time to be alone in order to nurture ourselves, to focus on our goals, and to work on our personal development. That amount of time varies from person to person. But even if we take ten years to focus on ourselves, healing is a process that needs to continue out there in the world, within the context of relationships. We may think that we are completely healed, but when our buttons get pushed by potential partners in the dating world, we will feel our wounds again.
Here’s the good news, when we feel our wounds again, we get the opportunity to work on healing, growing, and transforming. It takes time, strength, perseverance, and eventually a partner that helps to create a feeling of safety. But the progress we can make in our healing process while we are “out there,” is exponential. Often it takes support from loved ones and professionals to help us work through our challenges and achieve the growth, but we can get there. Healing is an ongoing process and an evolution.
So please, without question, take a significant amount of time to be alone and focus on you. But don’t get stuck alone in a cave or up on a mountain, attempting endlessly to heal yourself and waiting to feel ready. Gather your courage and discover a whole new layer of healing waiting out there for you in the world of dating, it has the potential to bring you rewarding new love, better than ever before. Yes, “We CAN learn to Love Again.”
*Some of the above concepts originate in the wisdom of Kabbalah: http://kabbalah.com/