Breakthrough Dating Idea: Dance With Yourself For A While


Beautiful woman pruning flowers in the garden

 

A friend of mine, Laurie, who’s been divorced for a number of years and has her annulment, recently began dating again and then suddenly just stopped. She started to get a little depressed and when I talked to her about it, she mentioned the things that were bothering her.

 

First, she said after the first two or three dates she went on, she realized dating was a totally different ball game than before she had gotten married. “Well, to start with, it wasn’t very fun!” she said. “I guess it was nice at first, but then he started talking about things like what he wanted in a serious relationship and sex… I’m not ready for that, yet.”

 

Understood, my friend. Dating should be fun as you get to know someone to see if you possibly might be meant for each other. But as we talked, Laurie discovered the real problem behind why dating wasn’t fun for her. “He asked me what I liked to do so he could plan our next date, and I froze. I couldn’t come up with one thing I liked to do and I felt ridiculous! It had been so long since I had done something for me, I just didn’t know what to say.”

 

Laurie is not alone in feeling this way. Men and women who get divorced, and certainly those who lose their spouses through death, have often spent many years focused on their families, catering to their spouses and raising their children. Frequently, the things they like to do have take a back seat to what is good for the rest of the family. Then, throw in a divorce and you can feel like you’ve totally lost yourself. You emerge on the other side of it all and now, the task at hand is to find yourself again.

 

If you’re ready to date, you might just take a step back before jumping in and see how much you know about yourself. How much of you has changed since before you were married? How much of you is exactly the same? Do you feel confident in who you are?

 

This is a great time to start spending quality time with yourself. It’s important to know yourself as completely as possible; what your likes and your dislikes are, what your list of things are that don’t sound that great but you’d be willing to try… all with the goal of being comfortable just being you.

 

I went through this exercise, myself, over a period of about a year and it was a huge breakthrough for me in how I chose the people I dated in the future. After doing things like taking a day trip to see sights I was interested in, having lunch or dinner at a restaurant on my own, and even taking 4 days to spend at the beach I began to feel extremely comfortable in my own skin. I went to the driving range to practice my slice a lot, went fruit picking and saw the movies I was interested in seeing. It helped boost my confidence because enjoying the time I spent wasn’t contingent upon someone else.

 

Eventually, as I began to date, having fun became easy and simple, as did seeing how well I fit with my date.

 

No one wants to go through another divorce so why not do all you can to make sure the next choice you make for a spouse is the absolute best one? Take time to know yourself and like yourself. And, if you’ve already done this, feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section. You can never have enough good experience to draw from.






14 Comments

  1. Kathy-730470 March 14, 2013 Reply

    Nice blog. Great words of wisdom !!!

  2. Naomi-825244 March 14, 2013 Reply

    I laughed out loud at the third paragraph. “What would you like to do?” Oh dreaded words! I have never been married, but my family has been through some rough times and I’ve had to be rather, ah, nurturing and protective of my younger sibs so I’m always doing things with them or taking them places they want to go. Someone recently asked me, “what would you like to do,” and I panicked…thought for a few moments…and said honestly “I have no idea.”

  3. Courtney-885262 March 14, 2013 Reply

    Not knowing thyself seems to be a major problem for people who get married young (under 25). I’ve noticed that women in particular identify themselves as being a wife and mother, and they’re unsure of who they are without those things. It’s good to know who you are, what you like, and be confident before and during a relationship. One day the kids leave the house, after all… Good advice to your friend. Go find yourself before adding another person to the mix.

  4. Carol-737878 March 14, 2013 Reply

    This is an excellent article! I would say to Courtney, even if you got married at a slightly older age, after a long-term marriage ends, one may not remember what their primary interests were before the kids came along, etc.
    I attend a Kathy Troccoli concert several years ago. She told us that she had been ruminating about being single & she had a dream in which she was actually dancing with Jesus. It was a comfort to her to realize/remember that there is always someone who will partner her!

    • Courtney-885262 March 14, 2013 Reply

      How can one forget the things they loved to do? I know kids are the biggest deal in anyone’s life, but is a passion for hobby x really so hard to remember?

  5. Kathy-730470 March 14, 2013 Reply

    Courtney after marriage and when kids come along your main concern is your children. Their needs come first and your interests and hobbies come second. After many years of being a wife and a mother you sometimes can’t remember what it was like before you had kids. You can lose yourself and who you are. After divorce you can find yourself wondering who am I and hmmmm what do I like to do ?? If you give yourself some time before you date you might discover what you like to do now and who you really are as you are not the same person you were when you were taking care of children and a wife in a marriage.

    • Courtney-885262 March 16, 2013 Reply

      Kathy, yes, I’ve seen that happen to women. They dedicate everything to their kids and husbands and forget who they are without those things constantly in their life. And as I stated in the first post, it seems the biggest problem (not always) with women who marry young. Men, because they go to work, never seem to lose themselves to being a father. Oh I know that motherhood is demanding and women give their all to their children, but I guess I do not understand why a woman would ever forget what she loved to do prior to children. I see a huge problem with moms who don’t know who they are outside of Mom. Please don’t misunderstand, being a Mom is the most important job in the world, but to forget the first 20ish or so years of your life? To not remember that she liked to paint, or hike? A woman not giving herself some time alone to do things she enjoys, even every once in a while, sounds like a road to problems (as the original post is about!). That’s what I take away from this article. A woman’s individuality, her identity, shouldn’t be remolded once she’s married and gives birth; she takes on a new role, but she is still HER.

      Women need to figure out who they are and love who they are.

  6. Lesley-158563 March 14, 2013 Reply

    This brings to mind the CM blogger Barb Tess – has she written lately?

  7. Lisa-801067 March 16, 2013 Reply

    I think this blog points women in the wrong direction ***”I’ve noticed that women in particular identify themselves as being a wife and mother, and they’re unsure of who they are without those things”**** Ok bare with me for a moment, that last sentence…how would that relate to the Blessed Virgin, Mother Mary, and before i get slammed for this think, who would she be, would we even expect her to think like this, and imagine putting the words “be comfortable in my own skin ” and attribute it to thoughts she would have. Sorry but I will desire to immitate the femininity and humility and heart of Mary. Motherhood and spouse, God’s role for women, try not to keep throwing off the role and call to Motherhood and marriage, it is a Vocation, a gift and a joy.

  8. Kathy-730470 March 16, 2013 Reply

    Courtney,

    Motherhood to me was very important. I loved being a mother. I felt it was my vocation and a blessing. I was very thankful to be fortunate enough to have 5 children. I worked full time as well when I was having my children. My children were born fairly close together. So between working full time and having 5 children I didn’t have a lot of time or money to do things for me. My children were number one. After having my children and now twenty years later I can’t remember what I liked to do or what it was like before my children. My children were the priority for so long. Now as a divorced woman I need to find out what I like to do and what my interests are. I think it is good to take time to be on your own before you are able to date. It is a time to be self sufficient and independent, and to discover what your interests, hobbies and dreams are.

  9. Heather-294940 March 16, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Lisa, I enjoyed your article! I too noticed that it took some time to find myself again. I began going to movies alone, going to museums alone, sitting in bookstores alone and eating out alone. I agree that you really need to get comfortable doing these things by yourself – thinking your own thoughts – content with who you are – before trying to walk down the path of dating.

    Courtney – it’s not that women forget who they are…it’s that people mature and the things that once seemed important are just not that important and it takes some time to figure out where you are in life and what you new passions are. Hope this helps!

    • Veronica-674700 March 16, 2013 Reply

      Agree that we change after divorce and/or after kids grow. We mature and have some of the same interests, but also new passions in life. It is a precious gift to know yourself and love yourself.

  10. Veronica-674700 March 16, 2013 Reply

    …good article…I identified with: “frequently the things we like to do have taken a back seat to what is good for the rest of the family”….totally true for me, especially when my son was little. However I never forgot the things I enjoy doing!!  I always tried to keep doing some of them. Now, several years after divorce, I’ve found tremendous peace and joy in enjoying myself. I think that’s the time when you’re ready to enjoy life with someone else. It just takes time to get to know people and find that special someone who can share the same level of peace and joy..

  11. MJ-951904 March 19, 2013 Reply

    I am a senior senior citizen, recently widowed. I am wondering how mature ladies might regard starting a friendship/relationship/marriage with an older man who is in good health and active although chronologically no longer a youngster. Do they look at the guy’s picture with some interest until they get to the listed age? Just jwondering

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