There can be so many dates, start-up relationships, and what appear to be long-term romances that seem to have so much potential, but then completely go bust. This happens a lot after divorce. You’re putting yourself out there and trying after having your marriage end and it’s tough. How do you know if someone really has the potential to go the long haul with you after you’ve gone through a divorce? How do you know that someone who seems to be so great…really is so great, after losing complete trust in a person you made babies with?
It’s not easy. Honestly, in many ways it’s an act of G-d and Mother Nature to give another person a serious chance after heartbreak…but you can continue to be a scaredy cat afraid of pain, or you can be a risk-taker and experience true love again.
Which side do you want to be on? The cowardly one? Or the courageous?
My answer? The courageous.
I’ve been putting myself out there for over four years. I’ve gone on more dates than I can count. Mr. Right is apparently on another planet but hopefully, he’ll zip down to Earth eventually and find me. I’ve met plenty of Mr. Wrongs, Mr. Weirds, Mr. No Committments and Mr. Nice-But-Not Rights. Seriously, Goldilocks wasn’t screwing around when she created that little three-tier system: too this, too that and just damn right. But finding “just right” isn’t easy and sometimes, you take a bite out of some sweet porridge thinking how tasty it is, only to find out that, “Gee, my stomach hurts.” Or, “This tastes sour now.”
A partner who knows what makes you happy and tries to keep you smiling is such a blessing and a gift.
So, how do you know that someone you’re dating has serious potential for the long haul, after divorce? Here are a few signs.
If a new partner is invested in spending time and getting to know your kids, well congratulations! You’ve met someone worth knowing and perhaps, can go the distance with. Bonus points if this person has great kids too, and happens to be a good parent. If you meet someone who is a good parent and wants to be involved with your kids, you better not screw up. No pressure…
Okay, everyone fights…but if you two can fight and really try to hear each other out openly, without throwing nasty insults or the family cat, you’ve got someone who is invested. It’s okay to get mad and be hurt, but if the two of you really try to hash it out until you find understanding or acceptance of the other even if you can’t understand each other completely, you have a partnership that is worth your time. If you both really want the other to feel heard and valued, and make time to talk out issues, you are blessed with someone that has your heart and back. Also, it’s never okay to throw the family cat. Cats are better partners than spouses, often…
When you meet someone who figures out your love language and wants to make you happy through gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time and what have you, you have a partner who is invested in keeping the love flowing. A partner who knows what makes you happy and tries to keep you smiling is such a blessing and a gift. If you can speak back to your partner’s love language, you two really have some amazing potential.
He’s not screwing around. She’s not hot and cold. A partner who says a commitment to you matters and is willing to try and take a chance on getting closer to you is someone who wants you and is willing to make a life with you.
The partner who has serious potential is one who writes in plans with you in pen, not pencil. Even if this person travels or lives long-distance, the partner who makes time to work with your schedules and children is a partner who you can have long-term happiness with.
Someone who is genuinely curious and cares for you will always enjoy learning about you, even as you get older. Remember, a healthy relationship consists of two people who want to evolve both as individuals and as a couple. A partner who enjoys watching you evolve and learning about you is one who is invested in spending years with you, and not just weeks.
If you can both be yourself and feel comfortable that is the amazing gift of love. Cherish it. Hold it in your hands with care. That kind of comfort is the sign that you two might have serious forever potential. Yup, forever.
We all want that happily ever after—and not what we had before, which was “happily ever after…psych!” But getting that happy ending with someone can mean kissing a lot of non-committing, lazy, wrong and mean toads. With that said, get your chapstick ready and pucker up as you search for your Kermit…
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