The post-divorce landscape has been covered in rocks and rough terrain, but lately the path has gotten much smoother. Time and space can give us clarity if we allow ourselves to properly heal.
One of the hardest things to do after a marriage ends is to date effectively. I know that I'm the rule, not the exception when it comes to this. In the beginning, I'd let anyone who showed even a measure of care for me into my life right away. You can imagine the hurt this caused. Time and time again, I would look past red flags and keep charging down the path with no thought to my own well-being.
Luckily, in January of this year, I reached a breaking point. It was painful, but healing. Not in the I "know" this to be true kind of way, but to DEEPLY know truth in a sincere way.
As a result, I've accepted dates much less. I know precisely what I'm looking for. I also know what I will not tolerate or "settle" for. It is a long list, to be sure, but I can remember vividly the first time I fell in love and how wonderfully I was surprised that this person did exist. The keeper of my heart. This time, I'll accept nothing less. I've watched him settle for what he stumbled upon, and he's miserable as a result. Simply enduring the trap he set for himself.
I've gotten good at respectfully breaking up with people who don't fit into my life the way I hope, and that was a difficult skill to learn. For anyone who has to break up with someone, I would hope that you would consider their feelings, but be honest with them. Give them the tools to move forward and overcome the things that held them back in the relationship, with a spirit of kindness. If you can't say it kindly, then by all means, omit it. By all means, make sure that you're *sure* about any choices you make romantically before you make them so that there is no confusion or mixed signals. Clean breaks are hard to come by, but I always hope that we can part having learned from each other and with respect for each other.
Have you had to walk away from something you knew wasn't right for you? What were some things that made that process a smoother one for you?