I took a few days off from the blog just to reflect on what others were talking about. I learned that even in your 40's and headed to your 50's the number one topic is still relationships. Almost every conversation I have had this week pertained to relationships.
Several of my friends are single. Many have been married and divorced. Some have divorced within the last year. After having been in a relationship for numerous years and finding yourself single is disorienting and it can be disheartening as well.
Sometimes you have to find out who you are, what you want and where you want to go in the next phase of your life. Sounds simple doesn't it?
Although it is sometimes scary to start over...it can be exciting too. You need to give yourself time to learn who you are and what your values are. This is a time of exploration. Experimentation comes later.
Some people struggle with being alone, others with wanting to be alone. Then there is always the fear: will I get hurt again? The answer is probably yes. Is this a bad thing? Not always. Remember if you can be hurt...you are still alive...sounds like a positive to me.
I am not very good at relationships myself. Never have been and I do not plan on becoming an expert now. What I do know is that people need each other. They need others to fill different emotional, spiritual or physical needs.
What I have learned is that you can't look for someone to fix things. The Maytag repairman cannot miraculously repair emptiness or loneliness and I have never seen the spin cycle bring anyone joy. I think you have to be content with yourself first and enjoy being alone. You need to be confident in who you are and have reasonable expectations from others...afterall you want their expectations from you to be reasonable. We will talk about having your cake and eating it too at another time.
You can't look for someone to build a life around, you have to find someone that enriches the life you already have. Personally, I look for a sense of humor. Does the person make me laugh? How do I really feel when I spend time with this person?
There also seems to be some misconception about relationships that don't work out. Why do we always consider them to be failures? I would say that if you learned something, it isn't all bad. Did you enjoy the relationship? You can enjoy a relationship that only lasts a short time. The sorrow is when it ends and you still want more. I believe people are brought into our lives for a reason. Many times we do not understand that reason until years later.
Most of the time, if you look back on a relationship that didn't last you can find some good things there. I know there are sad and or bad things too, but we need to look at the whole picture to appreciate each relationship for what it is. Not all things are beautiful with a zoom lens.
There are times when you will enter a relationship and you find yourself saying, "what was I thinking." It happens. Try to suck something good out of it, whether it is a lesson or one good memory.
Occasionally you will have to date for quite some time before you find a relationship. If you get hurt,,,and you probably will...don't let it jade you. The only person hurt by holding back...is you!