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Therapy and dating

H Updated
I had kind of a bad evening yesterday, which means it was kind of a standard evening. I sat in on my own (again) and watched TV. That is all I have in my diary until my birthday at the end of the month: January really is awful. A few months ago I was in therapy, I loved my therapist. Though when my ex stopped paying half of the rent and bills I could no longer afford to see her. She helped me realise a few key things: 1. that my ex had fundamental issues from childhood regarding abandonment from his mother at the age of 6 - it would take a life time of therapy to fix 2. with both of us coming from divorced families it was almost a foregone conclusion that we would break up 3. that things from my childhood meant I play the role of 'rescuer' I attract damaged people as that is the relationship / role I feel most comfortable in 4. I have low self esteem and I put my self worth in the way other view me. I want to be liked & loved It was an eye opener to say the least. There were a million other tiny moments of clarity but those are the four that most stuck with me. When I first started seeing her I was very gungho about wanting to date other people. I haven't been on the dating scene in 10yrs and thought it was a great idea and distraction. I was out with a friend in a bar and she signed me up to Tinder (which I came off of a couple of days later) for the evening as a game: I had had a flurry of interest, offers of dates from doctors, lawyers, bankers and a whole bunch of other men. I had also been asked on a date from a friend of a friend and about a week after the breakup I had been asked on a date by a man when I was just out for dinner. Suffice to say I was flattered and it made me less daunted about being single. However when I told my therapist this you could see the panic flare beneath her eyes, it was the only time I'd seen her strongly react to something I said: she strongly cautioned me to come off of the dating scene, I wasn't ready, I should be looking at myself and improving my feelings of own self worth, building my life up without a man, I was repeating patterns of looking to external sources to fill an internal void. She made me agree that I would wait until at the New Year before I started dating. However over the coming months with her she saw a change in me and suggested that maybe I could go on some friendly dates. Certainly wait at least 2months before I get intimate with anyone but at least go out there and 'test the waters'. By this point I was fully on board with the waiting until the New Year and the thought of dating turned my stomach so I said I would stick to her original plan. However I had a 'setback' over Christmas (see previous post) and my plan to start dating again turned to ashes. I know that my therapist would probably caution waiting and getting myself back into a good place so that I'm approaching my 'new life' from a positive place and not out of 'negative' emotions of revenge / trying to get over him / looking for validation.... But at this time I am literally dreaming of my ex with other women, I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think about is him with these other girls he has been seeing and dating, I've lost EVEN MORE weight. I am now down to 8st 7lbs which at 5st 6 looks HIDEOUS. I keep thinking of him and I want to throw up. Basically I feel like I need a distraction: I guess so long as whomever I go out on dates with knows that it is just some fun to meet someone new would be okay with it? Even writing this my head is telling me 'leave well alone' but my heart and stomach are saying 'go find a guy to have fun with, everything else is just making you feel sad and lonely'. But I look at the dating scene and I feel ill. It seems futile. Like dating has moved on so much that dating several people at once is the norm, online seems to be the only way to meet people and dating has become more 'disposable'. I am old fashioned, I loved meeting people with whom I have a rapport and then seeing where it goes. It seems my ex has already managed to do this which kills me as its so rare for me to have a connection with a guy, yet he can do it within weeks of asking for a divorce. Through tears on New Years day I signed up to Match.com, Guardian dating an Plenty of Fish. I have had a lot of emails from guys, some of whom are half decent but none of whom have caught my attention. Being online leaves me feeling rather raw & exposed as some of the men only seem to want one thing and it just makes me wonder if all men are like this? Are guys only on these site to meet women and get laid? It feels that even the crutch of having a cute guy to distract me isn't there because I can't even find a guy who I like who genuinely likes me and doesn't just want to sleep with me. People keep on telling me that I will meet someone, that I'm a catch and a million other platitudes. I don't feel like it. I think they are just trying to make me feel better about the situation that I find myself in. I will keep my dating profiles active but perhaps only look at them every week or so but it honestly feels hopeless. It would be lovely to hear some success stories about people who have found happy relationships post divorce. I don't mean 'finding themselves' or 'making new friends' or 'rediscovering old friends' I mean people that have managed to find happy and healthier relationships post breakup. I really need some inspiration as the way I'm feeling now I feel like I won't ever find anyone. Or I will find someone and it will just be me settling because I want a family and the guy is 'nice' - which lets face it isn't fair on anyone. At the moment I just feel like the 'nice guy / girl' seem to get screwed and lives fall to pieces, whilst the people who just up and leave seem to pick themselves up and have fabulous lives of there own. Why can't the nice people ever seem to find other nice people and live happily ever after? Maybe I'm just too much of a romantic and need to be a realist.

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Thank you both for your comments, they are gratefully received.
Mitchum, thank you. I hope to get to feeling gorgeous_happy soon. I am getting myself back into therapy to work through the painful emotions so that I can come out the other side stronger than ever. I shall certainly keep an eye on the events page :)
RockSteady, you are an inspiration! I am looking forward to "being normal" with someone again. I am glad that is has worked out well for you.
H
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Looking through the tags to your blog tells me you're in emotional turmoil and as others have said, it's the wrong time at the moment to start thinking about dating. 'Planning my new life' means finding yourself again. What you're finding at the moment is that you're hurting, lonely and scared. We get that. We've been all of those things.

Believe me, you have a lot of healing to go through so I'm a little surprised your therapist suggested that.

One sentence that leaps out at me is, 'I am old fashioned, I loved meeting people with whom I have a rapport and then seeing where it goes.' That's not old fashioned, it's common sense and applies even today with the speed dating, internet dating etc etc. Being with people and just doing things, going places is all part of the healing process now and if you meet someone you like and have a lot in common with, then a relationship becomes a reality.

Many wikis begin that journey meeting other wikis. That way you can get out of the four walls and spend time talking with people who understand how you feel without having to explain a thing. They know. Watch for wikimeets on the Events page. Once you get to know wikis near you small groups meet up for coffee and a chat or a meal. You will make friends here who will support you.

Watch that weight loss. The divorce diet is good if you needed to lose a couple of stones anyway, but when you drop too much weight it leaves you open to catching everything going around, especially at this time of year. Loving yourself covers emotional you and the physical you, so perhaps plan to put a little back on. Have a chat with your GP if you're anxious about it.

The plan is for lonely_confused to be gorgeous_happy. It starts here, today and we're here to help and support you. xx
M
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You are embarking on a whole new adventure and I think thats the way we have to look at life post break up / divorce. I can feel that you are raw still and at the same time salting to open up to new possibilities. I've been down the path and started about 5 years ago. I would say take it slow and easy and expect that you will need to learn a great deal more again about being on your own, and being with other people or thinking about sharing life again. People who leave marriages do not necessarily have a better / happier time although they would like us to think that all the time. Internet dating I did and like you was despondent at how we seem to treat relationships like any another "commodity"! We tend to think that intimacy will help pro solve our problems and whilst it can be healing it can also be very challenging. From a male perspective I met or spoke to some woman who just wanted a guy as an accessory - like a nice new bag, or even worse to just "provide" and even father a child! Amazing! So it interesting to me when I hear that woman say guys just want "one thing"! Mostly I learnt how to trust more in life, try to stay healthy and look after myself and my daughter whilst being on the "look out". I met a lovely girl on the internet 2 years ago and we now live together. We are celebrating the art of "being normal"! Take care.
R