Going from a 30 year marriage to suddenly single, healing through that and then looking to date can be a lot to go through. When you’re in a vulnerable place emotionally, sometimes you can’t see those warning signs or red flags that pop up.
This is my story about returning to the dating field, and the lessons I learned when I fell for Mr. Wrong.
I love you babe, lets move in together, let’s get married. You're the best thing that's happened to me. I can’t live without you. Have you heard that before when you are dating someone?
Barf. I hate to admit this but I fell for that hook, line and sinker when I met who I thought was going to be my forever person.
Let me start at the beginning. In 2018 I found myself suddenly single when my marriage ended.
Immediately my thoughts went to, “I am never dating again”, and “I am never going to let someone hurt me like that again”. I had closed myself off to the idea of loving someone, but what I had actually done was shut myself off from any kind of relationship, emotional and physical.
Adjusting to my new life took some time but eventually I wondered what it would be like to go on a date again. I was starting to get lonely, needing someone to share my life, my home and dare I say it, my bed. Remember now I had been married for nearly 30 years and meeting a partner was very different. There was no on-line dating back then, hell there was no on-line anything.
So I signed up for a dating site. I put pictures up and gave a description of what I was looking for. I put myself out there. I was confident, I was independent, I could do this.
Well I’m sure you can guess what happened next, Mr. Right did not appear but there lots of Mr. Right Nows. Honestly I was good with that for a while then and I met "him" in the summer of 2019.
He was charming, he said all of the right things, he made me feel special. We were looking for the same things and seemed to have similar interests. I did not pay attention to the warning signs, and fell head over heels for him. Side bar, with my ex husband it was love at first sight, so I thought I was really lucky that it had happened again.
We saw each other a few times and then things started to change. It began with him saying he could not come over like we planned because work was really busy, then it was a family member who was sick, then it was his kids, and on it went. I was in love with him, (or was I in love with the idea of being in love?) so I did not listen to my spidey senses that something was off.
When I confronted him on his behaviour he told me to stop and give him a break, he had a highly stressful job and he was working on and needed to finish it. He made me feel guilty for questioning his behaviour, made me feel that I cared more about my needs than his - bring on the Guilt.
I am also ashamed to say that I gave him money. He told me he could get me a new computer and that we were going on a vacation together, but he needed the money up front, so I gave it to him.
Eventually when the computer did not show up and there was nothing about the vacation ever mentioned again, I started to get curious. I asked him if he was married. He said no, but he told me that he had cancer and I needed to give him a break.
I believed him for a bit but when he continued to disappear for days at a time, something about his cancer story did not sit right with me so I broke up with him. Told him that if he could not trust me enough to be honest we were done.
I was hurt and sad and all of the feelings of not being good enough that I had felt when my marriage ended came flooding back. I was drifting back into victimhood.
At first I was devastated, I was angry, I was hurt, I was so very freaking sad. Another man had hurt me to my very core, put me back in the victim role. It was not until a very good friend pointed out something to me. Even though this guy was a jerk and a liar he had given me a gift.
He showed me that I was ready to let love back into my life. I was ready to stop serial dating and to settle down with one person. That I was ready to share my life again. I was no longer a victim and I was back in control.
So, what does this long and convoluted story mean for you, the reader? There are a few things I hope you get from this.
Listen to your gut. If something does not feel right, it probably isn’t. A gaslighter will find ways to blame you for their behaviour, find ways to make you feel like you are less than, that no one else will love you and then they will take advantage of that. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t ever give them money. Trust me I learned the hard way.
You are so loved and have so much to give to the right person. Don’t stop looking for love, it will come to you when the time is right - he or she will be perfect for you. You may have to kiss a few toads before you find your person but they are out there.
If for some reason you do fall for a scam, don’t blame yourself. The person who scammed you is to blame. Call the police and report the person, I did and got my money back, even though I had said goodbye to it a long time ago. Hold the person who did this to you accountable, hit them in the pocket book, that will hurt the most I assure you.
Learn to love yourself, to trust yourself and find a way to live the life you want. If you want to have great sex and not be in a single relationship do it. If you want to settle down again, do it. It’s your life, you get to make the choice.
At the end of the day - do not let the behaviours of others make you feel ashamed. Take your power back! Because you are stronger than you think you are.
If you liked this blog post, then check out another one of mine: Why Sex And Intimacy Are Important At Middle Age, my story about becoming suddenly single and getting back into the game.
Hope you enjoyed reading. Send me your thoughts, I'd love to hear them!
Peace, love and Joy
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