by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com (FREE LDS online dating site)
If you have been in a serious, long term relationship, an engagement, or even a marriage, it can be challenging to suddenly find yourself single again after all of that time. You likely thought you wouldn’t ever be here again in this position. Thinking singlehood and the dating life was behind you, suddenly you are here again. It can be a shock and a challenging transition. Even when you saw it coming—even when you initiated your breakup—it is still a big challenge to adjust, adapt, and embrace your new reality. Life becomes different in one swift swoop. So, how can you make a successful adjustment? Here are a few ideas:
1) Do not immediately date until you are truly ready. As soon as you break up and separate, do not date. If married, wait until your divorce is finalized. If not married (or your divorce is finalized), date again, but not until you are emotionally ready. You are emotionally ready when you no longer obsess about and bring up your ex, you are emotionally open and vulnerable for a new connection, and you can both give and receive love and affection without paranoia or sabotage. The reason most “rebound” relationships don’t work is because when a person isn’t ready, they will distrust themselves and/or the other person. Paranoia and self-protection will kick in, and they will sabotage what otherwise could have been a happy, healthy relationship. How much time is needed varies from person to person. Just have a self-awareness of your openness and vulnerability levels, and make your choices accordingly. That being said, when you truly are ready to date, do it. Don’t wait too long or avoid either.
2) Emphasize friends and fun to start. As a newly single person, you now have more time for friends and fun than you did before when your life was wrapped up with the ex. Enjoy yourself. Get out there. Mingle, meet others, have fun. Get out of the house and kick up your heels. The singles life has some advantages, and friends and fun are a big part of it. Take advantage of whatever singles opportunities are available in your area—ideally church oriented. Start safe, but start putting yourself out there nonetheless. Emphasize same sex relationships and truly platonic relationships with the opposite sex to begin.
3) Do some work on yourself. Heal and mend yourself. Go to therapy with a qualified licensed psychologist or marriage & family therapist. Work through the grieving process. Get some hypnosis. Read, listen to, or watch quality self-help books, courses, and other resources. Talk to your bishop as needed and follow his advice. Read some relevant general conference talks. Pray, study, and heal. Accelerate your grief resolution and healing process. Don’t just passively wait for time to heal your situation. That could take a long, long time. Be proactive and assertive in your healing process.
4) Hang out with the opposite sex in groups to begin. Go to singles activities. Go to group parties. Go to (or even better—organize) group dates, activities, and get togethers. In these safer arrangements, begin to meet and connect with members of the opposite sex in light ways. Introduce yourself, chat, flirt, and make connections. Break out of your shell and learn to initiate all aspects of your social life. Don’t wait for others to initiate and invite you to things. If that happens, fine, but do not count on it. You could be waiting for quite a while. Remember the old saying, “if it is to be, it is up to me”. Embrace the role of initiator. But start light.
Most people lack in self-awareness. Be aware of where you are at emotionally in the newly single transition process, and make your decisions accordingly. The problems here come in the extremes: dating too soon or avoiding dating too long, even quitting. Get out there, enjoy yourself, socialize, and date when you are truly ready. Remember, man and woman were meant to be together. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and then embrace your new singles and dating life and lifestyle. Get yourself ready to date again as soon as reasonably possible. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).
INFO FOR READERS--
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|2018-05-21||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Healthy relationships|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).