I comforted my hurt heart with loving messages from my head, my body, and my friends.
Original version published in Carolyn’s Blog.
Hopes get raised and dashed over and over, wearing away our women’s hearts like ocean waves nibbling at a heart on the sand.
Hopes are raised by the fantasy of a partner’s potential—from what we know about the person and how they may seem special and perfect for us. Then those hopes are often dashed by reality – we meet him or her and either we don’t like them, or they don’t like us.
The pain of hopes raised and dashed are all compounded if we make love on an early date, and then either of us decides that we aren’t a match.
Ouch! Our hearts can be pierced by rejection at any time, but the deeper we feel the attraction and longing, the more we become attached to the fantasy of the person’s potential, and the deeper we can be hurt.
How can we date so that our heart is not just protected, but nurtured enough to stay open to love?
When I was dating to find a life partner in my late 50’s, my heart experienced the complete range of hopes raised and dashed—times 50! I had set a goal of going on 50 dates so that I could experience different types of men and learn about what I wanted in a partner and a relationship. During this ‘dating project,’ chronicled in my memoir, Fifty First Dates After Fifty, I was also sexual with many of my dates, so my heart felt the hopes raised and dashed even deeper, over and over, like ocean waves. Still, I persevered and found my partner. How did I take care of my heart?
Here are the steps I took to protect and nurture my heart through 50 dates, with and without being sexual. Would any of these ideas work for you?
Bonus tip: If I forgot any of these steps, I forgave myself, usually with the help of friends.
Yes! When my heart felt loved, I could let those ocean waves of hope rise and fall around me without eating away at my heart. And each wave got me closer to finding my partner.
May your heart feel loved, nurtured, and protected on your dating journey!
Carolyn Lee Arnold is the author of Fifty First Dates After Fifty: A Memoir and a blog called Adventures in Dating and Life! For more information, please visit CarolynLeeArnold.com or contact Carolyn on Revel.
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