In the Wilderness: Single. Alone. Two are usually better than one. Or so we are taught to say and believe. You may have friends who seem to have it all. They travel around the world with their hubbies. They live in beautiful homes. They get their hair done, facials and get mani-pedis every week. They are happy! Well, here’s the key: Be happy for them. Their life is meant for them. God has a great life planned for you, too. Believe it and you will see it.
Single: Singlehood is an adjustment. Going places alone may be challenging, especially when there are so many couples around you. Sitting solo in a restaurant or at the movies or even church may be uncomfortable at first, especially after spending years as a couple. But, check out your surroundings. Notice the couples around you. Do they look like they’re enjoying each other’s company? Are they talking to each other? Or are they sitting there, eating in silence, perhaps feeling alone even though they’re not? Who’s better off?
Alone: Accepting aloneness is hard work. But you can do it. Think of it as breaking the couple-hood habit, and know that it’s okay to go it alone. You may have to adjust your sleeping habits by giving up your side of the bed as addressed in Nancy Meyer’s popular movie, Something’s Gotta Give, starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. In it, Keaton’s character, Erica, tells Nicholson’s character, Harry, “Sleeping by myself took getting use to. But, I got the hang of it. You gotta sleep in the middle of the bed. It’s absolutely not healthy to have a side when no one has the other side.” So, slide on over to the middle of the bed, until you’re ready for the other side to be filled.
In the meantime, indulge in you. Spend a day at a spa. Get a massage. The soothing touch of a professional masseuse can ease the stress out of your muscles and lift your spirit. They don’t call it massage therapy for nothing. Often in marriages, we let ourselves go while we’re caring for our spouses and children. Let this revitalizing, invigorating, and relaxing activity become a new habit in your life. Honor yourself.
Perhaps at first you’ll like the freedom to go and do as you please. You’ll flaunt the, “I’ll show you” attitude. You’ll enjoy hanging out with your friends. You’ll look forward to meeting new people, and going to places where you could never get your ex-spouse to go
Dating. Again. Survival Notes from authors Paula Flemming and Alexis Yancey
Partying and going out every night is great for a time and that’s exactly what I did. But, I learned, and you may, too, that only works for a while. I had to allow reality to gleam through the fog, and force me to take stock and be still. I had to give myself permission to turn inward. I pray you do, too. I hope you, like me will enjoy discovering who you are and discerning who you want to become.
Determine what type of person you want in a mate, or even if you want a new love interest right now. Figure out what you want your life to look like and who you want in it. Stay centered. Recognize that some men our age prefer to date younger women and that some younger men have a preference for older women. Be careful. Don’t fall into the trap of dating any and every one. Be selective; be mindful of the red flags. Don’t ignore them. Make sure you’re being appreciated and not used.
Dating: Take things slow. You may be excited about dating again, even a little nervous. Relax! Look to have fun, to laugh, be adventurous. You’re charged and you’ve changed. You’re creating an electrifying new life. So, determine what type of person you want in a mate, or even f you want a new love interest at the moment. Figure out what you want your life to look like and who you want in it. Stay centered. Recognize that some men, especially middle-aged men, prefer to date younger women and that some younger men have a preference for older women.
Your divorce may leave you extremely eager yet at the same time, fearful and vulnerable to opening your heart to love again. So be very careful. Don’t fall into the trap of dating any and every one in search of romance and love. Be selective; be mindful of the red flags. Don’t ignore them. Make sure you’re being appreciated and not used. You may surprise yourself by wanting a whole new type of relationship—something, or someone different from what you’re used to. Just make sure you’re laughing, happy, and loved.
Before you take on the dating scene we encourage you to check out the late Dr. Myles Monroe’s Facebook video, “Ladies, Five Things You Must Know Before Dating,” The list below is what
Dr. Monroe says a “God authentic” man must have and do:
The video elaborates on each. Look at the first scripture below. It describes what love is and how it should feel. If you’re not getting that, you’re not getting the love God wants for you.
An additional exercise that I and my co-author recommend is to make of list of 5 to 10 qualities you want in your next partner. This will help keep you on track as potential mates show up in your life. But don’t forget to also assess yourself. Do you have the traits a person like this would want in a mate? This exercise can help you find your next honey and also help you become a better partner.
Sex: You may have to face the cold, hard fact that you no longer have a sexual partner. Your love-making mate exited when the marriage ended. You may have been used to having sex several times a week or more. Coping with the chaos that comes with divorce may keep your mind off intimate moments for a while, but eventually, your sexual appetite will kick back in. Resist casual sex. You may have to deal with the “M” word. Okay, we’re grownups here. Some of you may have never faced this situation, or the thought of masturbating makes you cringe. Know that it’s okay to love yourself. Get stimulated. Why not invest in a good vibrator? At least until you’re into a loving relationship again.
Scriptures to pray out loud:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
Journal the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing about being single again.
What’s your next step?
Research indicates that women 40 and over are less likely to remarry compared to their ex-spouses. Don’t let that bring you down. People defy the odds all the time, you may remarry
if you want to.
The world is large and so is your life. Explore it. Get up and out. Go to church, the park, a restaurant, or take in a movie. Surround yourself with positive people. Travel to other countries and across your own. Live in and love the world. Remember God loves you and wants you to live life abundantly. Enjoy your life!
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Alexis Yancey is an accomplished Emmy winning television asnd radio producer who is the owner and executive producer of Alexis Yancey Productions. She has produced for CBS News, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and many others. With Paula Drew Fleming, she is the co-author of the book: Divorce. Wilderness. Peace. A 40-Day Healing Journey book and workbook.
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I co-wrote: Divorce. Wilderness. Peace… A 40 Day Healing Journey, written by Paula Drew-Fleming and me, Alexis Yancey. We are two recovering divorcees on a mission to help women and men get a jumpstart on healing from the wilderness that divorce and broken relationships throw you into so they can find their way back to peace and
strength. "A very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
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