Remember: You Are NOT Your “Story”; Dating After Divorce

Posted on October 25, 2016 by delaine Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

identity crisis divorce, dating, how to date after divorcingMy divorced girlfriend Marie was heading out on a date —  a fourth date, which was a super big deal to her. But as we spoke beforehand over the phone, she was practically in a tizzy:

“I really do like this guy, Delaine. But the timing is completely horrid. My life is a a total mess and I don’t want to have to explain it to him. I’m going to come across as pathetic.”

Without a doubt, circumstances in her life at present were particularly tough. She was in the middle of custody battle with her ex-husband and he’d recently stopped her child and spousal payments to punish her. With no job and no income, she was borrowing money from her parents to pay the mortgage and put food on the table, as well as scrambling to find any kind of part-time work on top of parenting her two youngsters full-time. She felt like she was barely treading water.

“How am I suppose to avoid talking about this stuff tonight? I’m so scared he’s going to think, ‘Quick, get out! She’s a desperate single mom!’ At the same time, I need to be authentic — we’ve already been out a few times after all.  I shouldn’t have to hide or pretend. ”

I understood her distress and concerns — after all, we all hear about the stereotypical “divorcee with luggage.” It’s carries connotations of shame and worthlessness, as if she has wrecked her life and doesn’t deserve any better; certainly, she’s no “prize catch” for a man.

So what did I say?

“You are NOT your story.”

Then I told her again: “You are NOT your story.”

For how often to we define who we are by the who, what, and when of what’s happening or has happened in our lives? We scramble into our pasts to tell stories, as if they somehow reveal who we truly are and what we’re worth. But KNOWING these stories about ourselves, isn’t the same as BEING our Selves.”

I said, “Yes, you’re going through a tough time right now.  But tough times happen to everyone. And you can be honest about that point without getting into the nitty-gritty.”

She sighed and I continued empathetically: “Again, hun, shit happens to EVERYONE at some point. You’ve nothing to be ashamed of. The real you is the woman who is dealing with all this garbage right now, with courage and strength and compassion and hard work. You still have a positive energy around you, even if you aren’t waving your pom poms in the air.

“You are NOT your story, Marie .  You need to believe in yourself.”

Silence on the other end of the phone.

“You are NOT your story,” I repeated. “You are so much more.”

I waited. She exhaled. Finally, I heard, “Okay… You’re right.”

“Hold your head high, girl. And have a good time.”

“Thanks, Delaine.  I will. “

(Originally published in 2012)

Delaine Moore

Mars Venus Relationship Coach and Therapist, Calgary, AB

Dating, Sex and all things Divorce, and Fifty Shades related.

Similar Posts: