Re-entering the dating scene after divorce or a long-term relationship can be intimidating and daunting to any woman.
Even the most accomplished, confident or beautiful woman can regress to the point of feeling like a pimple-faced, awkward adolescent at a middle school dance.
To say you feel “out of practice” may be a gross understatement. It is enough to make you curl up on the couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s while sobbing through reruns of romantic Hugh Grant movies.
You may even be convinced romance is just for the lucky or the young. To make matters worse, you may be feeling discarded, unappreciated or rejected by your former spouse or lover.
While the realization you don’t want to spend the rest of your life alone may be surfacing, you may also be asking if it is worth the risk to give love another chance, especially if you have just been burned and the wounds are still painfully fresh.
While the cautionary tales of “love gone bad” are ever abundant, sometimes hope springs eternal and you may find yourself considering “giving it another go.”
There are ways to wisely navigate through this “flowered meadow” filled with potential land mines.
1. Get really clear about what you want.
Wisdom does come through experience. By now, you know yourself and likely have some clarity about what you want and need in a relationship.
Do you actually want another long-term relationship or marriage, or do you just want some companionship?
You may find you need some time and space on your own to recover and avoid the sometimes ghastly “rebound relationship.”
“A renewed sense of joy just might leadyou to the best love you have ever had.”
2. Try not to take the process too seriously.
This is easier said than done since it may feel like your heart is on the line, but remember love and romance are supposed to be fun.
I think it’s sad when all the joy is taken out of the equation and is displaced by fear.
If you need to ease back in slowly, try to participate in social engagements and settings which feel safe and enjoyable to you.
Choose activities which interest and excite you since having a life filled with things you love is very attractive and rewarding.
While you are not likely to meet “The One” at a daytime yoga class, it is at least getting you out of the house.
Once you feel more comfortable in social situations, you can branch out and stretch a little by expanding your social circles and trying new things.
Then once you really get your mojo going strong, you can go to where the men are: car shows, business events, financial seminars and sporting events, just to name a few. Or maybe try Internet Dating?
A renewed sense of joy, hope and adventure just might lead you to the best love you have ever had.
Are you ready?
Michelle Marchant Johnson is a writer, speaker and relationship coach who partners with single women who want to find love and romance. Go to www.lovelifelifecoaching.com to receive your complimentary "7 Attraction Principles" e-course, "Love Notes" newsletter and request a complimentary "Find Your Love" coaching session. Michelle found love at age 43 and is a breast cancer survivor who believes life is meant to be filled with love and passion.