there are some things that no one tells you about dating after divorce. or maybe they do and i just don’t have divorced friends. because, you know, most people my age are not divorced.
one is that it’s really hard to go backwards and begin a less committed relationship than the one you just left. you spend your dating years slowly building up to more and more committed relationships, until the mecca of them all. to go backwards from this is a mind fuck. the doubts and insecurities you are already carrying with you are magnified because you are used to being with someone who was prepared to commit his entire life to you. i have no idea how to overcome this.
another is that you will start having flashbacks to your old relationship every time you have even the most mild scuffle or disagreement. this isn’t necessarily because your new relationship has the same issues as your last one, but because you are still you and you still think the same and rationalize the same and are still bothered by the same damn things. this makes it extremely difficult to not second guess yourself and think OHMYGOD WE’RE DOOMED. it also makes you start second guessing your new special man friend because you thought he was different.
he is, you’re just not. well maybe you’re a little bit different. but, like, not that much. but what (i think) is important to remind yourself is that you don’t have to be that person anymore. this is maybe your one opportunity to take the things you hated about yourself from your last relationship and dismiss them as best you can. i don’t really know how to do this either, but it’s a nice thought.
last, it is really really hard to like yourself and feel worthy of being loved again. when you tell people this it sounds trite and kind of like you’re being melodramatic. you’re not. you feel like shit about yourself and need a fuck ton of reassurance to feel better. make sure he’s up for it.
there’s more. but it was emotionally exhausting writing these three. and really, i wrote them like i was talking to other people but mostly i was just talking to myself. these are the things that are hard. these are the things i want to change. it helps having them written. i like words.