How you deal with it is completely up to you!
This summer I wrote an online dating profile for a woman recently separated after a 20+ year marriage. As I'm asking her questions, I notice a pattern. She wanted everything to stay the same as when they were first married. She fully blames the end of the marriage on her husband because he changed.
Marriage counseling is not my specialty, but what I do know, from personal experience, is that nobody is the same person they were 20 years ago so why would you expect things to be the same as when you were first married?
What I also know, is that relationships thrive between people who are willing to accept and love the other person as they move through life together. Love dies between people when one or both don't accept and love the other person as they change and evolve through life's ups and downs.
While you are looking for love using a dating app to meet people, you are going through a process of change. You can embrace it and learn to be your best self, or you can ignore all the lessons that are coming your way and stay stuck in the same old patterns.
In my experience, dating after the end of a significant relationship involves a tremendous amount of growth... if you are willing to embrace it. It's painful but healthy! As you go through all of the emotions, you can embrace change, learn to be a better person and continue to build a happy life or you can get stuck wishing things had not changed.
The only constant in life is change - a truism passed from generation to generation even before humans created the written word.
Online dating involves painful change, You have to understand what you want and how to find it. Usually, you figure this out through painful experiences and self-reflecting growth.
You build resilience because you met the wrong person, made wrong decisions and now have to start again. But by meeting the wrong person, you figure out what makes a person right for you. If you continue to meet the same type of wrong person, you are not learning how to change.
Online dating also builds your resilience when you experience painful rejections from someone you think is the right person, but they don't agree. One of the toughest parts of online dating is meeting the right person but that person doesn't think you are right for them. Picking yourself up from that kind of rejection is tough.
You can get stuck in that rejection or you can learn and change. When you don't become afraid of rejection, you live your life bolder and more confident. And that leads to better connections.
Online interactions on your dating app or in person can help you to be more compassionate and empathetic. Before I opened my first online dating profile, I thought I was more empathetic than I really was. Looking back, there were people I treated callously, which I regret.
As I talk to more and more people and hear about the disrespect faced by really wonderful people, I understand better why it is important to hold yourself to a higher standard when online dating.
As an example, it's 'acceptable' to ghost someone. Nobody likes it but it's frequently done. When I opened my first dating app I would ghost people because it seemed like an acceptable online behavior.
As it happened to me, I understood the impact and I stopped ghosting and other disrespectful actions. I became more empathetic. This happened both through talking with my dates about how they were hurt by 'acceptable' online dating behavior, and through my own painful rejections by others who ghosted me and acted disrespectfully in other ways.
My client is heading into the online dating world with the goal of finding a 'better' husband. I created a great dating profile and I'm confident that she'll be able to find men who will go out on dates with her.
What I'm not confident about is her ability to form a long-term relationship with someone 'better' until she makes some changes and understands that dating isn't about upgrading your relationship. It's about finding someone you can love, accept, and grow with for a lifetime.
The type of relationship she will attract will be with someone who thinks she is 'better' than his last partner. Both people will be using each other. And that doesn't sound like a recipe for a healthy relationship.
If you've been through a significant relationship ending, you have changed. And change is tough but how you change is completely up to you. You can become a better person by persevering through the tough times. When you do, your relationships with everyone will change. You'll attract someone who has had the same growth as you and is on a 'better' path.
Embrace the change!