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Dating sucks. Let’s be real here. It’s not fun when you are 25, and it certainly is not joyful after a divorce. Dating after a divorce is like trying to do a cartwheel after you haven’t done one in 20 years and you’re 15 pounds heavier.

Whether the divorce was your choice or your partners, you are emotionally damaged. You haven’t been on a date in years; you are older and are fearful that what happened in your previous relationship will happen in your next one. Well, you MUST get that out of your mind.

I was 40 when I became divorced. As confident as I appear on social media for my business, my confidence was shot. In fact, I had no confidence. Let’s face it. I was 40, had three children, wrinkles, cellulite and everything else that comes along with being a mother. All I could think of was who in the world would want to date me.

My fear was that I would make the same mistakes I did before. I also refused to let anyone know my fears. I didn’t want them to see the “real me.” I was a woman with more insecurities than I could admit to. My goal was to keep them hidden, locked deep inside me. But, that is exactly what I did in the past. I hid my feelings and didn’t let anyone in. I needed to appear perfect, happy, and fabulous…so I thought.

Life moved forward and I met a wonderful man. Words cannot describe how amazing he was. I was on top of the world. I felt confident, smart and beautiful. Life was great.

Then I met his friends. It was like I got hit with a ton of bricks. All of the women are beautiful. They are smart, well put together, fit, beautiful and nice. All I could think of was, oh my God why would he want to be with me? There are all of these beautiful women for him to date. And his friends all have stunning wives. My mind raced and I felt as if I could never measure up to this. I thought that I could NEVER fit it.

As women, we do this all of the time. I don’t care how pretty we are, but we compare. We look at their outfits, their boobs, their hair…everything. We yearn to be just like them and constantly worry if our boyfriends or husbands think that we are as pretty or as smart as these women.

But, what we don’t do is think about why our boyfriends or husband are with us in the first place. They are with us because we are beautiful, smart, and sexy in their eyes. They love us for who we are, flaws and all.

What we can’t do when we date after a divorce is to let our insecurities take over. It is a lot easier said than done. Believe me, I battle it EVERYDAY. But the number one thing that I have learned through this process is to communicate. As I mentioned before, I have always kept things bottled up. That is toxic; it will eat you up inside.

Just this week, the wonderful man asked me to marry him.

I was on cloud nine, but I admit it…the insecurities are still there. But the key to keeping a happy relationship is communication.

My poor fiancé would probably wish that I communicated a little less, but if I don’t tell him how I feel and what bothers me, our relationship will fail.

So yes, I tell him about my thoughts, my concerns, and my dreams. I am an open book for him. Although, he may want me to keep a couple of chapters closed. But, I am in the communications industry...lol.

Do I still compare myself to the beautiful women of Virginia Beach? Absolutely. But I try to remind myself that he chose me for me. Just like I chose him for him.

If you are about to begin dating after a divorce here are a few tips.

Be Real
Don’t start off your relationship pretending to be someone else. We all try to appear our best, especially at first. But this person must get to know the real you. Be yourself.

X the Ex Talk 
Leave the ex-talk out. Your date, boyfriend or fiancé does not want to hear about your ex. Yes, you will have to talk about him or her, but try to avoid making them be a topic of your daily conversation.

Speak to a Counselor
We all need someone to help us explore our feelings. A professional counselor will help you significantly as you move forward in your new life and relationship.

Dating is never easy and dating after a divorce is extremely difficult. But, we have to take what we learned from our failed relationships and make our next one better. We have to work to get our confidence back and know that the universe truly does conspire for two people to meet.

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