Okay... It's been a year now since I've made my come back into the dating scene, yay! I've started meeting people, well "going on dates" to be proper, and in all honesty, I am pumped about finding love again. But even if this experience is an eye-opener, for some reason, I've found myself having a love-and-hate relationship with dating! What began as a natural process, has now turned into an anxious pursuit to finding Mr. Right...Wrong or right motives? When it comes to love, it's never black or white neither grey.
I am not sure how I found the strength to keep going after the divorce. It happened so fast! One day, I was Mrs ‘’So’’ and the next, I was a single mom; just like that! For the past four years, I have held my composure, kept going as if nothing ever happened so I wouldn't be reminded of the reality, my reality.
Somehow, I wanted to convince myself that I was still the same person, while deep down, I knew, everything about me was different. From my expectations to my smallest need and everything in between, my perspective of LIFE has shifted. Although I don’t want to sound like Adele, I do agree with her on that one: time does not always heal our brokenness unless we are ready to walk through it.
I have always been surrounded by loyal people and have a healthy relationship with both my parents. As a young Christian, I was very careful about choosing my friends. Reflecting back on my journey, before I said ''I do'', I cannot recall a betrayal of any sort from anyone. I did not foresee a situation like this happen to me so late in my life.
It's true, divorce sucks! It deeply affects your mental health. "Bonjour les dégâts'' if your first break-up ends up being a divorce not to mention the custody part...I clearly have underestimated the depth of my wounds and refused to validate my emotions for as long as could, which sucks even more. I thought that I was a "good servant", a "strong" woman, a "Christian", yadi yada...Yet for the first time in my life, I felt rejected and lonely even when I was surrounded.
LIFE is unpredictable! No matter how well prepared we think we are, there are certain things in life we can never be enough prepared against, and divorce in one of them. Trust me, believing in Jesus does not make us control our spouse nor does it make us immune to pain and disappointments. In tumultuous moments like this, I could only hold on to PEACE. God knows the unfairness of life and gave us this gift to remind us that He is still present with us, guiding us through the biggest life-changing decisions and the simplest ones. But in order for me to experience His peace, I needed to allow myself to:
I am still grieving. '' Three years is a long time, let’s find love again!'', my brain kept telling me. As I started dating, I realized that I was still emotional about the situation. The process of meeting new people, in a non-traditional way, became very uncomfortable and stressful. Some conversations were triggering negative emotions therefore bringing up insecurities.
After taking a step back, I realized that I was trying hard not to be alone but loneliness is not reason enough to get into a relationship. Thinking about it, all my life I was either living with a family member or my ex-partner. Now, it is time to grieve and let my emotions be with no restriction.
2.Seek healthy comfort
For someone who has always been surrounded, my craving for comfort and connection significantly increased after the divorce. As an immigrant, I have always struggled to connect with people on a deeper level. Ever since I said goodbye to my high school best friends and family to come to Canada, I worked hard at creating and building relationships with no expectation of reciprocity. The cultural barriers? The busyness of life?... I guess I understand.
Recently, I almost experienced a burnout and came to the point where I've decided to let go and trust God with that part of my life as well. This past year, in the midst of a pandemic, I am glad to see that my friendships are slowly but deeply growing. In such a short period of time, I've met the most genuine people and effortlessly connected to them. I feel appreciated and known for who I am.
3.Be honest with myself
It’s okay not to know but even when we don’t know, we still know that we don’t know.... right? (LOL) Just to say, there is nothing wrong with dating in the safest way possible as long as it aligns with our values. Well, it is easier to say than to do with my conservative upbringing but hey welcome to the "new" me! I really wanted to meet people and even when things were not clear in my head, I always made sure to come clean with where I am standing in life. Oddly enough, I am actually embracing friendship over 'boy-friendship''.
At the end of the day, there is no proper way to navigate through life's downs. We all have different mechanisms to cope with the pain; let's just strive to develop healthy ones. And while we do, let's not forget that as human beings, we evolve. Who we were yesterday is not who we are today and it is okay!
It sure will take a while for the people to warm up to that "new" you but you should not let the fear of rejection cripple you; true love conquers all! Therefore people who truly love you will keep loving you regardless.
Beautiful or ugly, my story is my own and as long as I am becoming more like the Creator, I will embrace this new ''me'' with no reservation. So let my soul be at peace!
If you have a similar story or went through a bad breakup or divorce and it still affecting you today, I pray for Peace to be the experience behind every decision you make.
Bye for now!