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Archive for July, 2014

Relationships should be life enhancing and ever lasting. That’s why if you are recently divorced, widowed or between relationships and are ready to start dating again, you should know what to anticipate and how to avoid the common relationship pitfalls.

For men and women, it is often frightening and maybe even devastating to find themselves alone and having to start over. After all, meeting new people in new social venues can be very scary. Yet, many single boomers are making choices based on what they consider important and essential for their well-being and mental health. They are trusting that there is a life out there better than what they had before. They are willing to take the risk and be vulnerable, again.

I recently had a 50-year-old client who was newly divorced and determined to get on with her life. She enrolled in several senior online dating sites, carefully worded her profile page, found a recent, attractive picture of herself and had fun perusing through the pictures of many eligible men. What she didn’t anticipate were the reminders of her past life and all the anger, mistrust and disappointment she never worked through.

You can’t expect things to run smoothly in your new relationship if old baggage is still lingering. Any unfinished business from your past needs to be cleaned up as part of the process of closure and moving on.

Here are the steps you can take to release your negative emotions so that your dating experience is positive and successful:

1. Identify your “issues “. Are you having trust issues because your spouse cheated on you? Were you a victim of physical or emotional abuse from a controlling partner? Are you so co-dependent that you don’t know how to live your own life?
It helps to pinpoint what areas are bothering you and identify your underlying concern. Notice any patterns you keep repeating and be responsible for changing what you can about yourself. At the same time, realize you can’t change anyone else. Therefore, don’t expect to “fix” your new partner, especially if he/she has no interest in modifying what they do.

2. Once you know the problem areas, feel the feelings associated with them. Are you feeling sad, angry, guilty, bitter, hurt, resentful or just plain disillusioned? Some external trigger, like a familiar song, a comment, a certain look, a meal, etc, will usually uncover these feelings and other feelings that are suppressed. Your new partner, unaware as to what is going on, will be a clueless recipient of your snide remarks and inconsiderate behavior. By getting clear on what triggers may be setting you off, you can neutralize your feelings, making those emotions lose their negative charge. In that way, you allow your new relationship to move ahead successfully, without the usual drama.

Remember, you don’t want to repeat your mistakes and blame others for things going wrong. Instead, take a look at what part you play in allowing any situation to develop. If you could do things differently, you probably would. Insight is the gift you get for learning your lessons and taking another path.

3. Finally, visualize yourself happy in a relationship. You know what you want and what you don’t want. Have a clear image in your mind of your desired partner and see yourself happy together. Feel how that would feel. The more genuine the feelings are, the more you will attract what you are looking for and what you most deserve.

When you release old baggage from your past, it is very liberating. You feel a weight lift off your shoulders, setting you free to have a healthy, long term relationship. The time you spend letting go of the past will make you and your potential partner grateful that you took the time to clear your mind, heart and soul to love again.

Amy Sherman is a dating and relationship coach. She is the co-author of “99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!” and “Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life.” Go to http://www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.comto get more information and to sign up for her free eZine. Amy can be reached at amybethsherman@gmail.com

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Communication, in general, is the most difficult part of making a relationship work. We misunderstand one another, assume things that aren’t so, misinterpret messages and in other ways create conflict through poor communication skills. Texting adds fuel to the fire. It doesn’t provide the clarity or nuances one needs in a relationship. It is devoid of real intimacy, even when using loving words. It can easily be misconstrued. And it doesn’t help us strengthen our connection with our love partner.

Talking on the phone can increase feelings of intimacy through language as well as voice tone. Texting reduces the connection to its most basic level, devoid of feelings, sharing, caring and expression.

Starting a relationship depending on texting as your primary communication vehicle, or maintaining a relationship mainly through texting, is sabotaging and defeating.

If you’re not comfortable talking and sharing feelings with your partner, you’re not in a relationship. You’re just meeting to have sex. Don’t fool yourself into believing otherwise.

In reality, therapists have been teaching good communication skills forever. There’s a new App, CouplesCom, designed to teach more effective communication skills: active listening, validating, empathizing. Yes, that’s what works, but we need to use those skills innately, when we need them, without reverting to phone apps.

Phone apps don’t replace eye contact, body language signals, touch, voice tone and tender makeup kisses and hugs. Texting and apps are connected to a robotic world that works for certain types of job performance but not relationship fulfillment. They’re like blow-up sex dolls. Somewhat close, but not the same as the real thing. We can’t short-cut our way into creating lasting love relationships without good communication skills. Texting is taking couples down the road backwards!

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Dating/Relationship Coach and is the co-author of “99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40,50,and Yes, 60!”

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Jealousy is based on feelings of insecurity that come from within. If your partner is treating you disrespectfully by flirting with others, not expressing their love for you or invalidating your worth in the relationship – it’s time to pick up and leave. Those are signs of a bad relationship, not about jealousy issues in you. Never remain in a relationship in which jealousy is a constant part of your life.

If, however, you recognize that the jealousy is unfounded in reality but is still nagging at you regularly, ask yourself these questions:

1. What am I telling myself about this situation? Is it really true or based on my fears and insecurities?

2. Is my partner really disrespecting me – or could I be misinterpreting their words/behavior?

3. If I thought better of myself and had higher self-esteem would I still feel uncomfortable in this situation?

4. If I did or said the same thing as my partner did would they feel jealous as well?

5. Is this issue worth a blow-up over, or can I just relax and let it go?

6. Are jealousy issues making me possessive and controlling in my relationship? Will my partner continue to accept this behavior from me?

7. Am I a worthwhile relationship partner worthy of love and respect? If so, do I need to create this internal turmoil regarding my partner’s behavior?

Unfounded jealousy creates havoc in a relationship and can destroy trust and intimacy between partners. If you can identify your own insecurities behind your feelings of jealousy, then do the inner work. See a therapist, a relationship coach, join a support group, read about jealousy issues, catch your inner dialogue and talk yourself into a healthier state of mind.

Doing nothing can be devastating. If jealousy is in your nature, work on yourself to get a handle on its cause and damaging effects. Changing partners is of no value as jealous people will always find something to be jealous about before too long. Changing your state of mind — through guided inner processing — can help free you from this obsession, enhancing any relationship and boosting long-term happiness in your life.

Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Dating & Relationship Coach and co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! To receive a complimentary ebook, Smart Dating Advice for Women Over 40: Answers to Your Most-Asked Questions, along with a Tip of the Week which spans every facet of dating success — from preparing for your first date to determining whether your partner is a “keeper” — visit http://www.womendatingafter40.com.

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