“Hi Orna and Matthew,
I want to know how to bounce back and create lasting love after divorce. I was married for 17 years and now divorced for 4 years. I’ve been focused on raising my kids so I really haven’t dated much. I did have a couple of boyfriends, but they were never serious relationship material. I’m almost embarrassed to admit to you that I never even told my kids about them.
The thing is, I’m tired of being on my own, and I want to share my life with someone. I want to have a different relationship than my marriage to an addict. He was and still is such a difficult person to deal with. I really want to do it differently this time but I’m not even sure where to begin. My kids will fly the coop soon and I’d love your advice about how to create lasting love after divorce so I don’t waste my time. I love you guys and can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
What an exciting time — you’ve finally decided to focus on and create something just for you! Dating again after divorce can feel daunting, but it can also be an exciting new opportunity. The biggest mistake people make when they get back to dating after divorce is that they don’t create a goal, they just see what comes their way. Because you already know your objective is to create lasting love after divorce then you’re already avoiding a big misstep.
Too many people approach dating like it’s a necessary evil. Sharing dating horror stories, committing too quickly, treating every prospect like they’re trying to con you, and wasting time endlessly researching people online are the most common blunders people make when they reenter the dating pool.
Even though you may not like the idea of dating, it’s the only way to create lasting love after divorce. Let’s focus on a bigger-picture approach to being successful at dating and relationship. Strategies and techniques are helpful but if they aren’t combined with a positive mindset, and some deep introspection, it’s likely you’ll get stuck in the same old patterns and cycles that have plagued you in the past.
5 Steps To Creating Lasting Love After Divorce
Keep in mind that your goal is to create lasting love, not just to have another boyfriend, so these steps are not a quick fix for meeting your soulmate in 30 days or less. If you approach these five steps to creating lasting love after divorce sincerely, then you’ll be in a position to select an ideal mate to share your life with for the long term.
Release Anger & Resentment
Lingering anger and resentment from divorce are commonplace, so accept the fact that these are natural and normal feelings. No one enters a marriage thinking it won’t last, you believed you’d be together for a lifetime. All relationships begin with a lot of hope and a vision of the future.
Before starting to date again you’ll want to release negative emotions like anger and resentment about your divorce. Imagine being on a date with someone who can’t stop complaining about their ex and you’ll understand why this is so important.
Even if you don’t share about your marriage or past experiences with your ex-husband on a date, they’ll come out unconsciously. These feelings will filter the way you see men, dating, and relationships in general. You’ll be in reaction to the past rather than having your heart open to find someone better suited for you.
You’ll also want to examine your own behavior in the marriage (be sure to include the divorce process). A relationship is a dance that happens between two people. Did you communicate your wants, needs, and desires in a way that they could be heard? Did you own the mistakes you made? Even when you were triggered and upset?
After doing this introspection, take time to embrace forgiveness for any mistakes you made, and for any of your own bad behavior. And then do the same for your ex-husband — this is something you do all by yourself, he need not be involved. Releasing anger and resentment allows you to step into forgiveness.
Ultimately forgiveness for you. It allows you to let go of the energetic dance you’ve been doing with your ex-husband. It doesn’t mean you’re excusing his bad behavior, but it will free your heart to create lasting love after divorce.
There’s a famous Buddha quote that sums this step up nicely, “Holding on to anger and resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Find The Golden Nugget Of Learning™
People and situations show up in your life to help you grow and evolve — like being in life school. Growth doesn’t happen during the good times, growth occurs through your struggles, difficulties, and challenges. The tougher the experience, the larger the growth.
People often ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The best answer we’ve heard is, “To make them better.” A diamond is created from being under tremendous pressure. There are tremendous gems available to you through the challenges you’ve faced.
The key to growing through painful experiences (particularly romantic partnerships that don’t last) is an exercise we created called: The Golden Nugget Of Learning. This process allows you to mine the relationship so you can step into a mindset of gratitude for everything it brought you.
No doubt you’re grateful for your children, and there’s a lot more for you to be personally grateful for when you focus on finding out how those experiences changed you for the better.
The Golden Nugget Of Learning can be one big giant golden nugget, or it can be a bunch of little ones. The process allows you to look at painful experiences as the observer so you can release the emotional stories keeping you stuck.
Finding gratitude for all of your life experiences, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is part of the journey to create lasting love after divorce.
Discover Your Attraction Patterns
Many people believe they’re attracting in a particular kind of person, as if they have a magnet inside that attracts emotionally unavailable partners, addicts, narcissists, or cheaters. This is not only incorrect it’s backwards! Instead, you’re attracted to a certain kind of person, your mind highlights people who fit your particular pattern. You’re the common denominator in all of your relationships. It’s your mind that’s highlighting a particular kind of person that sparks connection inside of you.
Chart out your relationship history to discover the common qualities that you’re unconsciously attracted to. These are not the things you want or need in relationship, they’re the qualities of the kind of person you end up with when leaving love to chance and happenstance.
Your attraction patterns come from learning about love in your family of origin. The same people who taught you to walk, talk, and tie your shoes also taught you about love. You learned about love by the experiences you had with love as a small child.
Long before you knew about yourself or how the world works you made decisions about what’s possible for you in love. The rudder on your very own Love Boat was set with particular coordinates of attraction. These coordinates were set by your childhood experiences with the people who raised you and the meanings you assigned to events when you were just a small child.
Identifying your attraction patterns and taking responsibility for them will keep you from repeating them. Look over your relationship history and see if you can find the patterns in your choices and behavior. Discovering these patterns will put you in the driver’s seat of your love life so you can make better, healthier choices that are more in alignment for creating lasting love after divorce.
Fill Your Own Cup First
You can’t expect another person to fill up the empty space inside of you. The idea of someone completing you as if they’re your other half is the recipe for a co-dependent relationship.
A relationship is not a good antidote to loneliness or low self-esteem, as a matter of fact getting into a relationship to feel better about yourself will leave you vulnerable to narcissists and other nefarious people who want to take advantage of you.
Learn to fill your own cup first. Start doing the things you want to do and stop putting off living your life until you have a partner to share it with. Travel, take on new hobbies, or invest in your interests and passions. Start living the life you want for yourself now! There’s nothing more attractive than a person who’s living their passions.
You don’t have to choose between being happy and single vs. looking for love. You can do both at the same time! Being happy and single while dating and looking for love with an open heart is actually the perfect recipe to meet your soulmate.
Practice Soulmating™ Instead of Dating
Rather than guarding your time and being super picky about meeting up with a new prospect, look for reasons to say, “Yes!” to a date. Stop evaluating a match on the first few dates and put your focus on discovering about yourself through the dating process.
We call this entering The Dating Lab. Approach dating like an experiment and your goal is to gather as much data as you can. The only way to do that is to go on a lot of dates, and to date a wide variety of people — those you find attractive and even those you don’t.
Attraction is a requirement for a relationship, but it’s not a requirement for a date! When you slow the dating process down you speed up the process of finding your soulmate. This counterintuitive approach to dating is the key to cultivate discernment through the dating process.
Use dating to discover more about your patterns so you don’t repeat them. How does your behavior change when the guy across the table is hot vs. when you don’t find him attractive at all? Are you able to speak your truth? Ask for things that you want? Or do you twist into a pretzel trying to earn love?
Dating with non-attachment and low expectations creates wonderful opportunities for you to connect with the right person rather than jumping into a commitment with a stranger.
Take your time before going exclusive and thoughtfully and consciously re-enter the world of dating. Creating lasting love after divorce is one of the most fulfilling aspects of a life well-lived.
This Swedish Proverb sums it up sharing your life with your Beloved:
“Shared sorrow is half sorrow. Shared joy is double joy.”
Lasting love after divorce doesn’t have to be hard, nor do you have to struggle along the way. There may be something you’re unaware of that is running your selection process. Did you know that you’re attracted to what is FAMILIAR? Watch this short video to explain what’s really driving your choices in love.