So as you consider re-entering this realm, these are a few things I would urge you to remember.
With children in mind, I personally recommend meeting new people at a neutral, public location rather than your home, at least until you feel like the relationship may have some long-term potential, so that men are not going in and out of your children’s lives.
You don’t want them to get the impression that relationships are inherently temporary, nor do you want them to grow too attached to someone who may or may not remain in their lives.
I was admittedly terrified at the possibility of making another life-altering mistake that would affect not only me but my children.
I didn’t ever want to play the fool once again or spend even one more night crying myself to sleep.
I presumed, as many of us 40-ish folks do, that all the good ones are taken.
I also realized that the odds were slim that any God-fearing man in his right mind would spend more than ten minutes in the presence of a shell-shocked, forty-something woman with four equally emotionally damaged children.
After escaping my abusive marriage, it was quite some time before I could begin to see men with any measure of objectivity, for during the craziness that came with divorcing my abuser, I arrived at the convenient conclusion that all men were scum.
My new mantra was clear and simple, and it felt good to finally embrace what felt like truth.
They have been cobbled together from my understanding of our enabling tendencies bolstered by the lessons I learned through the dating process.
There is no scientific basis for what I share, and this commentary is intended almost exclusively for women, as I believe that a woman’s profoundly unique inclinations to operate as nurturers and helpmates also tend to make us prime abuser-bait.
Looking back, it certainly does seem miraculous that I survived the Christian dating minefield (which is an appropriate description) and eventually met the love of my life and married him a little over nine years ago.