Blog: Dating

Dating Again: When is it time to get 'back on the horse'?

By Leah Sheppard

Dating Again: When is it time to get 'back on the horse'?

You may have come to a point in your recovery where you feel that you can start getting back out there and ‘on the horse’ so to speak. You are over the worst of the pain from breaking up with your ex, and really feel like you’re ready to meet someone new. It is an exciting time, and full of hope and promise.

Dating again is an opportunity to revisit that romantic future you had imagined for yourself again, but it will probably also will be your biggest test since the breakup. It’s the first time you will think about how a new person will fit into your life going forward; but it is also the first time you will see what things you haven’t quite sorted out in your mind since you broke up with your ex.

There are so many variables and things we worry about with dating in general, let alone after we break up with someone we truly thought we would spend the rest of our lives with: Were all the bad things my ex said about me true? What if I’m not sexy enough, or pretty enough, or adventurous enough? What if I put my trust in this person, and believe in a life together…then they end up leaving me just like my ex did? Trust is a very real issue when it comes to any situation where we could get hurt (again), and however nice a potential new partner is, there is always doubt in the back of our minds.

So here we are left with a problem: I want to be with someone, but I don’t want to get hurt. Let’s just deal to some of those worries right now:

  1. No, all the bad things your ex said about you are not true. The opinion of one person is not the gospel on which you should base your life. Run your life how you see fit, with love and respect for others and the best person for you will fit right in.
  2. Being ‘sexy’, ‘pretty’ or ‘adventurous’ is again a matter of perspective. B Your. Self. There is no future or happiness in a relationship that does not allow you to be, and which does not celebrate, that who you truly are. Often these words are used by others in an effort to get you to change for something they lack in their own lives, so if they can’t see it, then get going.
  3. You cannot control the feelings or desires of another, in the same way that no one should control yours. Yes you may fall for them, and yes they may change their mind; but that’s ok, just as it is ok for you to do the same. Manage your expectations of another human being and understand that it is NOT a reflection on you, but a simple preference on their behalf.

Often we try to fit in to what others want, or constantly worry that they’ll leave if we’re not ‘up to scratch’, but in all seriousness it really doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t work out with this one, there will be another - always. Be yourself in every aspect of your life, and the right one for you will come along eventually. We are in a time and place in which our choices are our own, and our ability to have social, economic, and political opportunities are not dependent on who we marry. In other words, if the one you wanted no longer wants you, let them go; Your world will carry on regardless.

If at this stage you are unsure about dating again, but still want to get out there, join a Meetup group (www.meetup.com). Meetup is a website where you can find literally thousands of different groups for singles that don’t have the pressure of a dating situation. There is anything from cocktail party meetups to biking, wine tours and movie groups, and even ones like ‘All My Friends are in Couples & I’m Single’; like literally, that’s what it’s called. Seriously, I highly recommend meetups as a low-key, no-pressure way of meeting people and getting back out there. If you happen to meet some hottie, then go get it girl; if not, you’ve made some new friends and had a great time out.

Don’t worry so much about whether it works out or not with whomever you go on a date with. Just relax into it and enjoy some quality time out getting to know a new person. Remember, you got through a breakup up before and you can damn well do it again. Life is full of risk and adversity, but it makes the reward that much more special.

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Soulmates

By Leah Sheppard

Soulmates

We’ve all heard the term ‘soulmate’ thrown around whenever it comes to finding ‘true love’. They are the ‘one’, the love of your life and the person you were meant to be with for the rest of your life. And whether you believe in souls, the after-life and so on, deep down we all hope that concept in particular is true.

There are a few misconceptions however when it comes to soulmates, largely brought about by decades of romantic comedies, novels, and literally anyone trying to sell the 18- 35 year-old demographic on the whole happily-ever-after thing. It is the idea that there is one true love; we must seek that love (or hope that they rock up on a white horse and find us), and if we lose that love we are destined to a life of sadness and despair. Sound familiar?

It is true that we have soulmates, one hundred percent; but not in the way that most people think. We have many, many soulmates across eons of lives, and we all cross each other’s paths as we go about learning the things we each need to learn. Soulmates can be your Mother, brother, best friend, or a completely random person on the street or that you meet at a party; it is not always a romantic partner. 

Every living being comes from a unified source of energy, and we are split off into singular forms to raise our frequency; think of it like leaving home to go to Uni, so you can better yourself. Before each lifetime we chose where we’d like to go, what type of life we want to experience, and what we’d like to learn. Now these aren’t really subjects like ‘science’, or ‘international relations’, but more like ‘humility’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘loving others in the face of adversity’; things like that. Over our different lives we meet other souls on their own journeys and we make connections with them.

As we come back for subsequent lives, as different people, in different bodies and in different circumstances we may come across these soulmates again; And it is these encounters that make us feel different compared to other people we meet. No doubt you have already felt this before, perhaps even with your ex, where you feel like you already know them; like you’ve met them before???

The problem is that often when women identify a soul connection with a partner they will try anything to keep them, even if it means it’s not in their best interest. Worse, when they break up they will never truly let them go because it means they have lost their only chance for happiness in this world.

What I’d like to tell you is that it just isn’t true. The beauty, and indeed blessing of having so many soul connections, is that there isn’t just one, there are many; Many opportunities for love and learning with such a wide variety of people, and it would be crazy to think you would give up on love if just one of those didn’t work out.

Your breakup did not mean the loss of your one true love but rather the end of an encounter with one of your many loves; with none of them being greater or more ‘true’ than the other. The concept of ‘the love of my life’ negates and disrespects all the types of love we encounter every single day; You will have the loving and romantic connection you desire, but you are doing yourself an injustice by thinking that is all you are ever going to have. We must love all the people we encounter, we must learn everything we can from one-another and we must be grateful for the time we each spend together; that is the true wondrous meaning of life.

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Sex: What happens when Bae is gone?

By Leah Sheppard

Sex: What happens when Bae is gone?

The emotional side of losing a partner is obvious. What isn’t talked about so much is the more primal-driven pass- time: Sex. Women crave sex just as much as men do, and the sudden loss of something so intimate and connecting can hurt just as much as being called ‘Single’ once again.

For women sex is deeply tied with emotion and establishing connections. Our inherent drive to mate with a suitable partner and bear offspring is one that evolved millions of years ago, and the various stages of love like intimacy and bonding with our mate are crucial elements to that drive.

Fast-forward a few millennia to the world of Tinder and drunken hook-ups, while our conscious goal in sex has taken on a new meaning, highlighting pleasure rather than making babies, that drive to procreate still remains underneath it all. Do you not wonder why then that it hurts so much when we lose a partner we have bonded to for so long? It creates loneliness and a desperate desire for intimacy that is hard to overcome. 

It is also the reason that sex can be so damn complicated for women, particularly after a breakup; and makes us have crazy rationalisations for situations - like falling for someone you’ve only had a one-night-stand with, constantly thinking about them and wondering how your life would be together!

Loneliness, and the desire for the intimacy we just lost can lead us to all sorts of things to get it back again:

  •  One-night-stands are a sure-fire way of getting- some but it never really fulfills what we are truly missing. ‘Hit it and quit it’ doesn’t always work with the female physiology either, nor does a (usually) half-drunk strangers’ attempt at getting you
  •  Affairs will leave you with disappointment and guilt, and the very likely outcome of another broken heart in the world – all because of
  •  And getting back together with your ex when you both haven’t healed just repeats the same cycle, and postpones the inevitable heartache to come some time in the future.

Being single is hard at first when all you want is for someone to hold you, and want you, and love you. You crave the touch, embrace, smell and kiss of another lover and that is completely natural. You are a loving and passionate creature with desires and needs and a whole lot of love to give.

But this is your reality for the moment, and there is no point pretending that it is not. In the greater scheme of life and the Universe, your path no longer runs together with that of the one you loved. It is painful but also necessary for the important things you will be doing in the future. Trust in that fact.

Hooking up with someone else in whichever manner you found them when you have not fully regained your emotional and psychological strength will not satiate your desires, nor replace the emptiness you feel. The solution is much deeper than that, and it will only come with time.

HOWEVER, that is not to say that one’s carnal yearning cannot be satisfied in the meantime. The longest and deepest relationship we will ever have in this world is with ourselves, and when it comes to sex this is no different. This time that you are alone is a gift and an opportunity to get to know yourself, what you like, and what you don’t like. I mean this with all the sincerity and honesty in the world: Porn and a vibrator are two of the best resources you will ever have. No judgement, time restrictions, or having to care about anyone else other than yourself. Masturbation will get you through the tough times, until you’re happy enough to get back into the real thing. Just go with it, and let time heal the rest.

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