Maybe like me, you spent most of your life in a relationship. Suddenly you’re single, you’re over 50 years old, and you’re still hoping for a happy, healthy and intimate relationship.
Have you checked out the blogs out there? This one has some good advice, like writing down short and long-term goals for yourself. It urges you to, “Loosen up! Don’t look for perfection. Try to have fun.” That’s all great advice. But there’s one thing most blogs don’t tell you, so I will. DON’T DATE DURING THE FIRST YEAR AFTER SEPARATION.
That’s my advice and, no, I didn’t learn it the hard way. Some deep-seated instinct advised me to take that time for myself. You don’t spend nearly two decades with someone and expect to find happiness by hopping straight into the arms of another. You need time’s healing hands to do its magic. After years of molding your behavior and your interests to your ex’s, do you even know who you are without him? Take the time to find out.
Here’s what I found out in my year off: I’m a way stronger person than I thought I was. All by myself, I made my six-bedroom home look like a show-home and kept it immaculate for six months until it sold. In the world’s biggest yard sale, I got rid of everything I didn’t need and packed up the rest, moving to a new home. I have painted countless rooms, mowed grass, raked leaves, changed the ribbon in the weedwacker, fixed my bicycle, and even changed the tire on my car! I kept my poise at work and met my writing deadlines, even with my personal life in complete upheaval. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. I got skinny and I got sick. But then I slowly and surely rallied. Walking helps. I never got to take that vacation walking the pilgrim’s path of El Camino de Santiago in Spain, but I’m pretty sure I’ve covered as many miles as if I had, with just my dog for company, and this is what I learned: I can make it in the world alone if I have to.
But I don’t want to. At exactly 11 months and 11 days of being single, I decided I had shaken off the past and was ready for a new future. Thanks to some clever marketing strategies on the part of Match.com, I was enticed into typing up my profile, uploading my pictures, and handing over money in the hopes of finding a hero for the next chapter of my life. I had healed my wounds, and I was ready to fly again!
Join me next week for a recounting of my magical first date! Until then, happy reading!