Dating After Divorce

Dating after Divorce...Do you Find Yourself Asking: Who Am I?

Dating after Divorce...Do you Find Yourself Asking: Who Am I?

“Oh my god, I’m alone. ALONE.”  

“I’m single…I haven’t been single in years; I don’t even know how to be single anymore!” 

“I’m a failure, what’s wrong with me?”  
Dating After Divorce: Do You Find Yourself Asking: Who Am I?
Does any of this sound familiar? I know when I found myself single after 13 years of marriage, I sure felt this way.

Whether it was a long time coming or a complete surprise, divorce is sure to stir up some major feelings. It’s completely natural to feel panicked once the dust settles. After all, you’re beginning a new chapter in your life and change, even when welcomed, can bring anxiety caused by uncertainty.  

Dating After Divorce: Asking for What You Want

Dating After Divorce: Asking for What You Want

In a previous post, I shared that one of my clients had asked me, “Why is it so difficult to ask my partner for what I truly want, especially when it comes to our relationship?” This was such a great question and one that continues to arrive at my mediation door often. This topic is so important and something I'm very passionate about. I’ve updated my response and hope you find it even more valuable.

Asking for what you want has far more risks and rewards that just getting, or perhaps not getting, your request granted. Many of us think that we don’t even need to bother asking for what we want, because at the end of the day you believe it doesn’t matter…it bears no consequence one way or another. Perhaps you find yourself saying, "It’s no big deal," "Oh I probably won’t get it anyway," or "I will just do it myself!" Sound familiar?

Here is where I want you to picture me on a roof top shouting:

"It So Matters!"

Dating after Divorce: Learning to Trust Again

We’ve all been hurt before. If there is one thing we ALL have in common, it’s the simple fact that we have all felt hurt, rejected, disappointed or scared at one point in time. This is an undeniable truth.  

And what quickly follows with these types of experiences are strong feelings that tend to close us off to others as we vow to “never trust again!”  

We correlate the act of trust or putting faith in another person with never being disappointed or getting hurt again EVER…

If we DO feel pain or rejection or any of the other undesirable feelings, we feel the painstaking emotions of broken trust all over again. It is this fear of betrayal is what keeps us from letting go and trusting others.  


So, what are we supposed to do once we’ve become victim to the “never again” self-protection mentality?

Ernest Hemingway said, “The best way to find out if you can trust anybody is to trust them.” Sounds ridiculously simplistic, right?

The fact of the matter is, it IS that hard and yet simple. What you need first and foremost is the courage to trust again, practice to feel more comfortable, and time to heal and move on.  

Courage: Courage is strength in the face of fear or pain. This may come as a surprise to you but courage is a SKILL and it can be developed!

Practice: As with anything, practice makes perfect. The more opportunities you take to practice trusting, the greater your ability to have faith in others will be.

Time: Time is required for us to learn something new, create new beginnings, contemplate ourselves and ask questions to understand others more intimately, and to reconcile our fears.

There is no magic wand that will allow you to immediately trust again. Give yourself permission to take the time you need to work on re-learning skills that will last a lifetime. However, keep in mind that while time may heal wounds, it doesn’t restore trust. Trust is a choice.  

“Trust waits for your permission and not for time.”

Suzie Johnson

It may seem like an impossible task at first, but if you make a conscious effort to practice developing the trust within yourself. You can discover that your experience was not wrong and instead look for the value from it; and then to use this experience to develop your confidence in yourself to figure things out as you go.

Well my friend, it is then you can then step in and love as big as you desire!  


This is the change in you that WILL happen and much to your surprise, you will find yourself experiencing a sense of gratitude for this supposed mistake/misfortune.

If you’re still not convinced, think of the alternative. Would you rather remain isolated and alone in an effort to protect your fears and feelings for the rest of your life?
A life without companionship and love? Even if you can convince yourself that you could be content like without love and deep connection, would it be the most meaningful and fulfilling existence possible for you?  

Remember this: What you spend most of your time thinking about becomes your reality.  Is it going to be your fears of past relationships? 

I want you to know that you have the power to create your own path, and, yes, to deeply love another again!

If you are ready to open yourself up again but need a little support, we are here for you!

At Lease On Love, we have a practice we call CPT…

CPT is an effective remedy for not letting your fears of intimacy and commitment run AND ruin your relationship. And, it is simple and easy to do with a little practice.

CPT is kind of like CPR in that both remedies will revive you and bring you back to life…and LOVE!

Get all the details here, and begin building the trust within YOU!

“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.” 

Maya Angelou

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Dating After Divorce: 6 Powerful Ways To Be Successful With Online Dating

You’re all excited to meet a “someone special,” and your friends have talked you into trying online dating. It sounds like it could be amazing…all those gorgeous guys and gals you see when clicking through free profiles that entice you to create one of your own are tempting for sure!

You hear many opinions both FOR and AGAINST online dating. Like most opinions, there is a bit of truth and merit on both sides. Perhaps for better insight into how to be successful with online dating we need to begin by exploring some interesting statistics that will help us to move from opinions to a greater understanding of this online dating world. 

6 Powerful Ways To Be Successful With Online Dating

Last year, Tom wrote about his shock and amazement at hearing this statistic about online dating in the US. At the time, it was reported that there were 1,500 dating sites and apps in use and 40 million people in the US currently using these dating sites.

Supply for potential partners is UP and growing!

Another study was released earlier this year, this time by the esteemed Pew Research Center. The report states that, “Usage by 18- to 24-year-olds has increased nearly threefold since 2013, while usage by 55- to 64-year-olds has doubled.”

These numbers don’t even begin to tell the whole story though. What is interesting to me is another study by Pew found that only 5% of Americans who are married or in a committed relationship say they met their partner online.  

So the number of online daters is increasing, but only 5% create a committed relationship from doing so.

Why is that?

While all of these statistics are encouraging to those seeking out alternatives to meeting someone new as the numbers of daters grow, this last statistic really stuck out to me:  


This means to me that 1/3 of the people with a dating profile meet someone online, communicate through the platform’s messaging system, and then never go out on an actual date. How sad! 

Online dating is a very different way of meeting people for many of us.  When you really think about it, online dating has not been around long. The first dating site,, was started in 1995; however, online dating did not become a popular mainstream idea until 2000.

Now 16 years later, the thought of online dating for many of us, still feels strange and makes our knees shake a bit.

I remember the odd nervous feelings all too well with my own online dating experiences after divorce and wished I would have had a guide or at least someone to provide a few super tips on how to navigate and manage the on-line dating world.

More than 3 years ago within my divorce mediation practice, I could see more and more the need for continued support for clients stepping back into the dating world again after the end of their committed relationship. Support with navigating the many changes of how you go about dating, as well as the reinvention of themselves along with new skills for creating a committed relationship once again.  

This together with my own relationship journey back to love after divorce moved and inspired me to create Samba -- just for you. 

Samba is a program with tips and strategies for dating and finding that fulfilling relationship you really desire. The best part? It also includes a community where you can get feedback and live Q&A sessions where you can get real-time support as you navigate the dating scene. Have a question about a recent date? Join Samba and post it on our forums or connect with me during live Q&A!

I’m now giving you a sneak peek at some of the super tips we share inside Samba, sure to provide you with a newfound confidence for online dating, as well as ensure that you enjoy your dating experience overall. 

Here Are 6 Powerful Ways To Be Successful With Online Dating

1. Set Time Limits: Decide how much time you are able to devote each day or each week to reading and responding to profiles and then STICK to it. Set a timer if you have to. It’s easy to get sucked into browsing profiles if you don’t have a designated time set and then before you know it, hours will have passed and you’ll wonder how that happened. Bonus: Setting a strict time limit will force you to rely on your gut instincts while weeding through messages/profiles more quickly. This means you’ll be less likely to have the time to convince yourself that you like someone you actually don’t have anything in common with. 

2. Define Your Deal Breakers: Spend time before you dive in to come up with a short list of your personal deal breakers. Click the button below to download the worksheet we created for you to discover them. If you spot any of them in someone’s profile, no matter how nice they seem, do not engage. It would be a waste of their time and yours. 

3. Judge A Book By Its Cover: Yes, it’s okay to let your eyes take the lead here. Take a moment to review all of the photos in a person’s gallery and if you don’t feel any physical attraction, move on. There is no need to read a person’s profile if you aren’t physically attracted to them.

4. Don’t Be TOO Nice: You do not need to respond to every message you receive. In fact, it’s perfectly acceptable not to respond to an initial message if the person’s profile doesn’t do it for you.

5. Keep It Short and Sweet: Don’t spend too much time worrying about how to write the “perfect” message when you’ve found someone you want to initiate contact with. A simple one or two paragraph message is great. Tips: Include one sincere compliment, a couple of details about yourself (they don’t need your life story right off the bat) and a comment or question about their profile that shows you didn’t just copy and paste your message. 

6. Make Time to Meet: Plan on asking to meet someone after you’ve exchanged a few messages back and forth AND had a phone call or two. You’ll get a much better sense of your possible connection in person and it’s best not to waste hours of your time communicating strictly via the computer or phone.

You may be thinking right now…gosh, these 6 tips are kind of abrupt and unemotional!

Remember the statistics we talked about earlier…the part where only 1/3 of people actually go on a date? And only 5% actually find a relationship out of the millions of people online?

And remember when I said, there is a bit of truth in every opinion?

Well here is the truth…

There is a negative side of online dating. And, I wish it were not true, but it is that there are people who will attempt to take advantage of you and your kindness, and you need to be able to screen them out and remember, you are not online to please others, you are here to find someone you deeply connect with.

And the positive side…? The positive side of online dating, is you have more access to amazing people just like you, looking for someone special, just like you.  

But you need to know, online dating won’t find love for you. That is your job. But, it will provide you easy access for meeting other singles from all around the world. Supply and opportunity will not be a problem. Knowing how to screen and set your dates up in a way that help you find love in crucial for becoming part of that 5% who are successful with creating love again in their life.

If you will practice and stick to these powerful 6 tenants, your time spent meeting others online will be productive and meaningful and will help you avoid those who have poor intentions.

Online dating can be a fantastic experience. 

And who knows, your next special someone could be just a few clicks away...

If You Would Like More Tips And Support Like These, Then You Must Check Out SAMBA! Coming To You Soon!

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Dating After Divorce: Yours, Mine, and Ours

10 Of The Most Important Tips For Becoming A Step Parent

I became part of what we now call a “blended family” or step-family long before there was a term for such things. I really didn’t know how to explain my new family dynamic to my friends. It was usually a long elaborate run on version of: 

“He is my dad now, but not really, he is not my REAL dad. My REAL dad died, and my mom just married this other guy." Or, “He is my brother, but not my REAL brother, my mom married his DAD.”

Dating After Divorce: Yours, Mine, and Ours

I found myself putting my own children in the same position years later after I’d fallen in love again and wanted to blend our families. At least we had a proper term and title by that time; however, there still wasn’t much in the way of help and support on how to actually go about the blending of families in a way that truly supported everyone, even the kids.  

This was important to me because I knew what it was like to be a kid caught up in a relationship that was not my choice… Because I loved and NEEDED my mom, I essentially I had to go along for the ride and felt somehow that I was also supposed to like it.  I didn’t, and neither did my kids!

I have personally lived on both sides of this experience; so needless to say, I have some important tips when it comes to becoming a step parent and creating a blended family.

Read On For 10 Of The Most Important Tips For Becoming A Step Parent

  1. Your kids are not in love with this new person like you are. They are going along for the ride because of the need and love they have for their biological parent. They did not sign up for this. And typically the older they are, the more resistant they become.This represents a massive change in their life, and truth be told, they have a love and fondness for their OTHER biological parent, not this stranger.

    In my case, my father had died 10 years earlier. There was no option for me to hope things would go back to the way they were…but remember that most kids long for things to be the way they used to be with both biological parents getting back together.

    Don’t be surprised when you are faced with resistance; it will change with time as the relationship grows and flourishes. In the beginning, expect and plan for what I call “Transitional Anxiety.” Although everyone feels it, unfortunately, kids usually suffer with it the most.
  2. Every family has a “Family System.” A Family System is the way a family interacts with each other, ie: how problems are solved, what issues are talked about and not talked about, and what behavior is okay and not okay.

    As straightforward as it may appear, family systems are very unique and important to each and every family. We are usually not aware of our own system until it is challenged.

    In the first year of Tom and I blending our children (we have 8 between the two of us), our family systems collided when our sons (one biological son from each of us) had a huge blowout fight! All at once Tom and I noticed huge differences in our family systems even though we had prided ourselves on how aligned and unified we were in our principles for parenting. You can read more about what happened and how we handled it in this post.

    It is this simple oversight that rocks step-families, especially in the beginning. And if such collisions are not handled well, the negative consequences last for many years to come.

    The immersion of different family systems needs to be expected, intentionally looked for, and honored. I encourage both families to realize no one family system is right or wrong. Provide room for both to co-exist, and this space will naturally evolve into a family system which serves everyone.  

  3. Be kind and patient through the challenges of blending families. You will need to rely on each other as you navigate this new territory. It is going to take time.  

    On average it can take up to 5 years before everyone feels integrated into this new family experience. So, take a breath, and take it one day at a time.

  4. Allow the children to voice their feelings about their experiences. They have their own set of fears and concerns as well. The relationship they are going to have with a step parent is going to grow over time, and is different from the relationship you have with your partner.

  5. Avoid complaining to your partner about any given situation. Be vigilant about articulating your needs or wishes and clearly explain how those needs can bet met. Do you need him/her to be more involved in your child’s day-to-day life? Do you need ideas as to how to connect more with his/her child? Don’t expect your partner to read your mind! If you need help with becoming more comfortable with asking for what you want, check out this post. 

  6. Support your partner’s relationship with his/her child. The worst thing you can do is expect that he or she chooses between you and the child. There is room for EVERYONE in this arrangement. Sure, it may challenge you as you begin to expand your own capacity to love; however, know that this expansion will ultimately provide you the experience you are seeking, which is family unity and connection.

    Respect and encourage your partner to nurture their relationship with their child and be sure to do the same with your own. This is actually one of the best ways to ensure that step-siblings get along with each other as it allows the child to begin to build trust and respect for this new person in their life. Acknowledging the “original family” helps children realize that they are still important, still special and that they aren’t lost in the new and bigger family. Make it a priority to spend time alone with your own child and encourage your partner to do the same.  

  7. Create time together as a family. It is equally important to plan family activities with the entire family.

    Every Sunday for the first two years of our union, Tom and I gathered our family together for “Sunday Dinner.” This gave us a consistent time and place for all of us to gather together and build relationships between us. Now, we have Sunday Dinner monthly.

  8. Discuss your parenting styles and discipline styles and come up with a set of “basic house rules” for both families. Together, communicate these to the kids. When it comes to discipline, each biological parent needs to maintain the responsibility for disciplining their own child. This is especially important in the beginning.  

  9. Marriage or union does not give a step parent the rights of parenthood. Becoming a step-parent to a child is earned, along with the right to discipline. You earn this privilege by developing a relationship of trust, connection, and mutual respect between you and the child.  

    What are you supposed to do when you have a step child misbehaving?

    If you identify something that is troubling you with a step-child, take it to your partner and have an open and honest discussion about your concerns. Provide suggestions from your vantage point, and then allow the biological parent to implement the agreed upon actions. Trust and know that the biological parent knows what is ultimately best for the child, even if you as the step-parent disagree.

  10. Keep any disagreement about discipline strategies away from the kids. This is a topic better discussed privately. Your goal should be to come up with a set of “family rules” that all of the kids need to adhere to and then to be aware of and respectful of each other’s rules for their own children. It is okay if there are differences.

Our Big blended family: 

I am not going to lie, creating a blended family takes effort, patience, and a whole lot of love. If you think about it though, the same can be said for any family one desires to create, biological or otherwise.

When it comes to creating family, my mind fondly drifts back in time and remembers this quote from Mrs. Doubtfire: 

“There are all sorts of different families,
Some families have one mommy,
some families have one daddy,
or even two families blended together.

Some children live with their uncle or aunt.
Some live with their grandparents,
and some children live with foster parents.

But if there's love, dear,
those are the ties that bind.
        And you'll have a family in your heart forever.”        

-Movie, 1993, Mrs. Doubtfire

If You Would Like More Tips And Support Like These, Then You Must Check Out SAMBA! Coming To You Soon!

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