Dating after divorce or the death of your spouse is something a person should approach carefully. Trust me, being alone and lonely for a little while longer is better than turning your whole world upside down by getting involved with the wrong person. It takes a while to get your head on straight after a divorce or the death of a spouse, especially if you were in the relationship for a relatively long period of time.
When my husband and I divorced after eighteen years of marriage, I found myself in a world that was completely alien to me. Having spent the previous eighteen years as a wife and mom, I was accustomed to a home life, yet there I was alone in an apartment with only a television for company. It was a sad and lonely time in my life.
My job supported me and also kept me sane. When I was in the apartment, my thoughts were filled with finding another partner, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I didn’t go to bars and didn’t want to take a chance on the internet. I’d always heard that people were eager to setup single people with their single friends, but no one ever offered to set me up.
Then it dawned on me that nearly everyone I knew was married or living together and I was the only single member in my group of friends. I felt so out of place. Everybody I knew had a “slot” they fit into and I didn’t. I was accustomed to a home life, but it was gone and I wasn’t dating so I felt like I was in some kind of limbo.
It was the time of year when everyone was told to turn their clocks back an hour, but I somehow missed it and got up an hour early. When I got to work, they were closed as were the surrounding offices. I realized then that it was the time change. I went to a nearby coffee shop to have coffee and wait for the office to open.
The coffee shop was busy with people sitting at the tables and some at the counter, chatting over coffee and donuts. I took a stool at the counter and ordered coffee. Most of the people there were around my age, and listening to their conversations, I realized that many of them were single and visited the coffee shop regularly.
I considered it my opportunity to meet someone and started going to the shop every day. I got to know many of the regulars and within a couple of weeks, a man asked me out. To me, he was very handsome and extremely charming. He took me to an Italian restaurant and since I was new to dating, I didn’t ask the right questions.
When you find yourself single after a long relationship, you need to fully understand exactly what it is you’re looking for in a relationship. Not having my head on straight, I didn’t really know at the time what I wanted. I believe I was simply testing the waters to see where it led me. As it turned out, the handsome, charming man I had met was a total womanizer, and I had no idea until after I had fallen for him.
My whole world was turned upside down. I had been dating him for weeks and had really gotten close to him. I had hopes of someday being his wife, when before I met him, I told myself I would never marry again. So again, my mind was even more confused.
Then, I met another man. He was everything I thought a man should be and I was crazy about him. After dating him for a few weeks, I found out he was married. I thought I had found happiness. I thought I had found the “slot” in which I belonged. More confusion.
The next man that came into my life was very nice. We dated for a while, but for me, there was just no chemistry. I liked him, but had no desire to be anything other than his friend. He was a decent man so I had to ask myself if maybe I was attracted to all of the jerks in the world and turned off by the decent men. Confused again.
Finally, after a lot of soul-searching, I had to ask myself, What am I looking for in a man? What do I want out of life? Am I looking for another husband and home life, or an intimate companion that I see periodically? Am I looking for financial security? Do I want to stay single and date whenever I feel like it? What do I want?”
Therefore, when you find yourself single after a long relationship, these are the questions you need to answer before you get back into dating, otherwise, you’re going to run around in circles and your life is going to be a mixture of hurt and confusion.
The circumstances in your life have changed drastically, so you have to ask yourself, where do I want to go from here? Until you can answer that and get your head on straight, it’s best not to date. You may not know what it is you really want at that time in your life.
However, when you finally figure it out, you’ll know what to look for. But during that time of transition, how do you deal with the empty loneliness?
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (Rev. 3:20)
Jesus stands at the door of your heart, and when you invite him in, he will never leave you.
Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20