How To Stop the Competition with Your Ex and Follow These 4 Tips to Get You Out of the Dating Rut
Dear April Masini,
I am a divorced, 41 year-old, black female and I have three children. I also have an STD. My ex-husband, who I've been divorced from for three years, has found a mate. I have been going on every website out there looking for a mate for myself. I am very lonely and hurt that I can't seem to find someone who wants to be in a relationship with me. Guys will write to me, and when I answer them, then they never write back. Do you have any advice or tips for how I can"
Depressed and Lonely
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Depressed and Lonely:
Woah! It sounds like you may be competing with your ex, and that's a game no one wins. Take yourself out of the game, and make your own rules. Here are some rules that you can use until you modify them and/or come up with your own:
1. Take inventory of your feelings. You already acknowledge in your letter that you are lonely and depressed. Good job! You've identified two feelings that you don't like. Many times change comes from unpleasant feelings. In other words, things get so bad you can’t stand it any more so you make a change in order to not feel those bad feelings any more. So let’s look at the bad feelings that you’ve already identified.
2. Address your feelings. You say you’re depressed. To address depression, first and foremost, you need to take care of your health. You mentioned an STD, so make sure that you see a doctor and get medical advice on the best way to take care of your body. When you get proper medical care you’ll feel better because there is a mind-body connection. You’ll also feel better because you’ll be taking care of yourself, and it’s been several years since anyone’s taken care of you – and probably more than that.
Second, take a look at what you're eating. Stay away from junk food and try to eat healthy, regular meals.
Third, exercise! I know you have three kids and are three years single, but try to get some exercise -- either by having a friend or relative baby-sit your kids on a regular basis so you can devote some time to your own exercise regime -- or get physical with the kids and toss a ball around outside or go swimming at the local YMCA or someone's house or if you're lucky enough to live hear a lake or an ocean -- take a dip!
Now, the loneliness. Before you hit the dating services, make sure you're okay as an individual – or you’re going to be spinning your wheels. Whatever issues you don't take care of in your own life, you bring to a relationship. My guess is that you're approaching the dating scene with a glass half empty approach, when the other way to look at this is that you are a beautiful, healthy woman who is only 41, and isn't looking to have any more kids (I'm guessing here).
Lots of men will find that profile attractive enough to want to know more! Trust me. Now, before you log on to the dating sites, spend some time doing things with your friends, neighbors and family. You don't need a man to be happy and healthy -- and you don't need a man to take away your loneliness and depression. Find friendship and company among the people who are already in your life.
3. Need new relationships? Your relationships may need makeover. Take a look at the people in your life, and figure out who is a positive influence and an asset to your life, and who is just bringing you down. You want to spend time with people who are positive and have similar goals in life to yours, and spend less time (or no time) with those people who are negative. This will help take away your depression and loneliness. Ironically, you will start attracting good men when you take care of yourself and will become less needy.
4. Make-over. Now, if you've done all this -- and it's not going to happen in a day or a week or even two weeks, you will be ready to tread gradually into the dating world. About now you're ready for a great physical makeover. Take a look at my book, Think & Date Like A Man (and if you're a guy with a similar problem, look at Date Out Of Your League), and make sure you look as good as you feel, and you feel as good as you look. Then carefully start dating.
Don't look at this time in your life as a problem -- see it as an opportunity to re-create.