The Thing About Second Chances at Love
Oooooh la la. We are going there, sister friends.
I never really thought I would be the girl to write about love. Or relationships. Or really about second chances at finding your person. For the longest time, I was a married woman whose sole desire, and I believed at the time my purpose, was to be a wife and a mother. We were called to serve and work in vocational ministry and share the gospel together as a family.
That was the dream and that was the goal until one day, it wasn't.
As you can imagine, it was earth shattering. Not only for me. It was hard for my kids. It was hard for their dad....even if I am still angry with him for the choices he made. I have no ill will toward him anymore, truly I don't.
I want him to be happy too.
But, recently, I have decided to put myself out there and perhaps find my person. Something that I am discovering about myself, and what I wish I would have done more in my marriage, is how much I want and desire to invest in the relationship with a person. I am getting a second chance to do it differently. My kids are older now. Fourteen and Eleven years of age, and they don't need as much attention as they did when they were babies. I had been so focused on being a great mother and making sure their needs were tended to, that I am sure my poor husband felt neglected and rejected.
When you are young, and building a young family, it is hard on marriages. We used to share all the time with our college and young adults groups how important it was to connect with your partner, your spouse or you could grow apart.
The problem was, we weren't following our own advice. The breakdown of our love story was inevitable because we just couldn't put our own selfishness aside and serve the other. Then, when one of us made poor choices, it was ultimately the straw that broke the already crippled camel's back. Breakdown of marriages don't happen in a day. Most of you who have lived through a divorce know that. There were certainly behaviors in our marriage that were unhealthy, and I could no longer stay or tolerate them, but the breakdown began many, many years ago.
Now, I get a second chance. I now want to focus on that person, whoever he will be, if I am lucky enough to find him.
Before you all go and tell me he will be the lucky one, ladies, we need to put in the effort too. Believe it or not, men have struggles when it comes to dating as well. Do you have any idea how many times they are told no or are rejected when they ask a girl out to date? It is rough out there. I have certainly said my fair share of no's to guys who have asked for my number. One of my friends told me that online dating is exhausting, so he is single and does his own thing. I totally get that! So let's not act like the guys are the only problem.
Here is what I want to share with you gals:
Be confident. You are fabulous and gorgeous and desirable. You don't need a guy on your arm or to dress in the skimpiest outfit you can find in order for a guy to take notice of you. My daughter told me that one day she saw a guy checking me out at Target when I was in a sweater, jeans, my hair in a top knot, and very minimal makeup. Ha!!!! And I was with my kids!
That leads me to my second point. You don't have to be out there handing your number out and making it known that you are available. Men take their shot. Boys don't. Not because boys are bad, but because they aren't mature enough yet. They will get there.
If you find yourself interested in someone, and it appears that the feeling is mutual, don't play games. If you want to text him, go right ahead. If you want to see him, tell him. Honesty and being direct is the only way I know how to be. So, if I am interested in someone, I will tell them! If they aren't interested back, I expect them to tell me that. I am almost forty years old. This isn't high school anymore. This is a whole new ball game, folks! We don't have to play the game of "he has to text me first", etc.
Invest in that person. Listen, if I could do it all over again, I would have spent far more time flirting and trying to turn on my husband and have more fun with him that making sure my kids had every social interaction possible, every toy, every adventure. I put my kids first, and myself and my man last. This time, when I meet my person, I will be investing a lot of myself into that relationship.
Be okay with ending something that isn't right, even if it felt right at first. For me, it was the red flags that I ignored before I got married. I am paying attention to them now. I do not want to get married again only to get a second divorce. So, dating and putting in the effort, and then being okay with it possibly ending because you learn you two really aren't right for each other should not keep us from dating. That is the reality of going out with someone. Things may feel like they are great, but, once you see the red flags that you just cannot tolerate, or you see things that you really know you can't overlook, or you realize he is a great guy but not right for you, end it. It is only fair for him and for you.
Try not to carry past relationship traumas into your new relationships. This is hard. I am one who has a hard time of letting go offenses done to me by people I trust. But, I also don't want the guy I am dating to feel like I am comparing him to my ex or to whoever hurt me. That isn't fair, and it isn't right. When you build your relationship, it is okay to acknowledge and share with them any triggers or hurt you may be healing from, and if something they did or said triggered you, but remind them that it is not because of them and don't you dare make them feel like they are like them. Be vulnerable enough to admit when you are still healing, and be open enough allow them to love you and support you through it in the way they know how. Trust me. If a man really cares about you, he will do whatever it takes to make sure you don't hurt anymore. He wants to protect you and provide for you. Let him.
I am no expert in dating. This is all brand new for me. But my final advice for you, and this will have to be a brand new blog post for another day, is this.
Ladies, be comfortable with yourself. Know what it is you want. Be okay with being single. Enjoy the company of your girlfriends. Enjoy life. Go big. Dream big. Make things happen.
Know who you are. Trust me. People will notice.
Have an amazing Saturday,