Remember the childhood song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands”? It’s a fun repetitive song about being happy. For those of you who are single and not necessarily looking for a relationship right now, you might relate to the spirit of this song.
Recently I was contacted about a promotion by a dating agency I was a member of a few years ago. The rep was engaging and funny. She wanted to know what I had been up to, and I told her I’d been single for nine months. I also shared that I’d become a professional life & divorce coach, and joked about wanting to write a book about dating after divorce. She didn’t skip a beat.
“Well then, you could write off our membership fee as a business research expense! “I laughed. But more importantly, it got me asking, “Do I want to start dating again?”
Dating and relationships after long term relationship break-ups or divorce can be daunting, exciting, comical, and confusing – sometimes all at the same time! My experiences were all of those, especially after coming out of a fifteen-year relationship and marriage. Most had been fun and fulfilling, and at the very least, they were all fantastic growth opportunities.
I’m decidedly not anti-relationship or anti-companionship. Every personality test I’ve taken told me I’m “very relational.” The length and quality of connections I have with all my loved ones confirm that deeply held personal value.
So why stay single? My decision’s been driven mostly by parenting and career priorities and recognition that – for now – I quite enjoying being married to myself. That’s certainly not something I would have predicted fifteen years ago, or even a year ago!
When done with integrity and respect – for yourself and the other person – dating and relationships really do take time, care, and awareness. I trust I’ll know when it’s time to sport my dating hat again.
Whether you’re single by choice or otherwise, consider the things, you love about it right now. And if you’re reluctant about dating, ask yourself why. Either way, you may be surprised at the answers that come back.
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