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3 Self-care Lessons Only Dating Can Teach You

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When Glen and I split after 10 years of marriage, the idea of dating after divorce seemed daunting and very confusing - to say the least! 

Last time I was single, it was back in 1997… the word ‘texting’ had no meaning, and and Tinder could’ve been clothing stores for all I knew!

But I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that sooner or later I would find love again. And I did, but not before some introspective work. 

Before venturing into the dating scene all over again, I knew I had to change some things about myself I didn’t like, nurture the qualities I did like, and become the best possible version of myself. 

Because what are divorces for if not to learn and grow, right? 

So instead of going on the downward spiral of “why me?”, I decided my starting point would be to first be kind to myself. 

I started exercising more often, ate very healthy and rewarded myself with candlelit bubble baths, pedicures, and massages. 

Then I educated myself. 

I joined groups and read everything I could about being a strong woman whose dating in middle age. 

And let me tell you, I had profound realizations. Along the way, I discovered how to be true to myself and how powerful loving yourself first is.  

It was only after I felt confident about the person I had become, I was brave enough to create a profile on a dating site and started dating again. 

When I wrote my profile, I knew exactly what I was looking for in a man… and guess what? 

That’s exactly what I got! 

It wasn’t immediately, but I’m happy that I was patient enough to wait for the right person and extremely grateful for all the experience that dating has brought me.

So for whatever reason you’ve found yourself single again and ready to date, I want to share with you 3 self-care lessons dating has taught me and I hope they help you too: 

Lesson #1: Don’t be afraid to pursue what you want. 

The first thing I did when I was ready to date was to make a list of qualities that I wanted from my next partner. Some of them flexible and others “non-negotiable”. 

Among the “non-negotiable” or “must haves” I wrote 2 things: 

A.) He has to be confident in any crowd and to be open to my spiritual/world beliefs.

B.) He has to be successful in his business or in a different industry than mine. 

In other words, he needs to be a “King”- which is a term used by author Alison Armstrong about a man who has built his business and is now enjoying the fruits of his labor.

So don’t be afraid of defining what you want, but don’t forget compassion either. 

Lesson #2: Be the person you want to meet

So now you have your wish list filled with your “non-negotiables” and must-haves, which is great! But do you possess these qualities yourself?

Remember… it will be hard to find a person that loves you and respects you if you don’t respect and love yourself first. 

So before venturing into the dating scene again, ask yourself… “how can I use my past relationships to become a better partner?”

What self-care practices can help me feel better about myself?” 

“How can I enjoy my own company before I expect someone else wants to spend time me?”

Give yourself some time to heal from past relationships, regain your confidence and courage (if you’ve lost them), and be patient. 

Lesson #3: Be true to yourself 

This is something that I see happening quite often… as soon as they start dating, or committing to a relationship, they lose themselves in the process. 

It’s perfectly understandable wanting to take care of your partner and meet his or her needs, I get it! However, it’s important to always have a balance between giving to your partner without giving up on your needs. 

I encourage you to always keep in mind your goals and dreams, pursue them consistently and without feeling the need to apologize for putting them first. 

Remember that you are the creator of your own happiness and it’s your responsibility to provide it for yourself. 

If you’re serious about finding your life partner, then it's crucial you make a commitment to love yourself more by looking at the choices you continually make. 

Now then...

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And if you have any other tips or lessons that dating has taught you, please share with us in the comments below!



Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.








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