Updated: Dec 8, 2019
Sometimes, love hurts - just ask Jesus.
If you are dating and not emotionally healthy read this, the person you will eventually fall in love with may thank me. This post is my opinion. I am not a doctor, therapist or a dating expert (although after 16 years, I could have a PhD).
Here is who should be on dating sites:
You are emotionally, spiritually, financially and mentally healthy, secure and fully emotionally available. If you are separated, just divorced or a new widow/widower or have jumped from relationship to relationship after any of those life events in order to avoid the pain that needs to be faced in order to heal - you should not be dating. I do not care how long your marriage was "over before it was over" or “how much grieving you did” while they were still alive. You need to spend at very least, one year ALONE (I get the timeframe for each individual’s readiness is variable) not dating and figuring out who you are and what you want after marriage. No one should have to accompany you on that journey. Hurt people, hurt people and the only thing that heals you is substantial time on your own.
Harsh? Perhaps. It just happens to be my dating profile.
I've had multiple reactions to it. Most say "Wow, you hit the nail on the head and I couldn't agree more" (Thanks!) . Some say your standards are too high and you will never find a man with those attributes (I'd rather be healthy and alone, than sick with someone). And a select few who are currently separated, just lost their wife a week ago (YES, and I dated him!) or the best...married - are blatantly oblivious to the fact that I am referencing them above and still try to talk me into why they're a great catch (tomorrow's post on what that looks like, yes, I have evidence but names will be changed to protect the guilty).
Here's where I am going with this.
We - those of us dating- all come to the dating pool wounded. You could say the pool needs a massive shock treatment. Ewww! Some with current open wounds, some broken, some scarred. We all have been through something. I get that. And I do not believe that our pasts are a bad thing to bring with us. I hope that the man God has chosen for me sees my scars and from them, knows, cherishes and protects my heart. But scars, are a sign that something that was once wounded has healed.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." ~ Psalms 147:3
There are two people in the above verse. The patient and the doctor. God has been healing the faithful since the beginning of time. He calls himself Jehovah-Rapha and he has the power to heal you physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
But why should we go through the hard work and pain of healing after relational heartbreak?
Because the person you will eventually love deserves it.
It is in that work, pain and eventually healing that we learn who we truly are. It is from the depths of despair and absolute devastation that we grow, strengthen and repair. While wounded and hemorrhaging, it is so difficult to see the transformation while you're feeling less than, confused, angry, lost and depleted, bitter and despondent. But with time, care, gentleness with yourself and God you slowly and beautifully allow your heart and mind to unfold into a stronger, more vibrant, wise, worthy, joyful and best of all grateful for the journey new version of you.
Which version does someone you want to give your heart to deserve?
Which version do you deserve to receive from someone?
From which version can you add value to another's life?
You can't possibly go from relationship to relationship while wounded giving the best of yourself. It's like denying there is a gaping hole after being shot by a bullet. You just aren't emotionally whole, full and giving from a place of abundance (nothing is worse than being on a date who has to tell you alllllllllllllll the details of the breakup or how angry they are over the divorce settlement - ugh) You can't get scars while you're still bleeding and scars are evidence of a past wound and that it's fully healed. I am in a 90 day freeze from dating (yes, I practice what I preach). I have some things to reconcile and I need a breather from dating to look to myself, and time alone will grow me. It's hard work, but having been through it so many times, I know I can do hard things.
When starting to date again after heartbreak, you want to be in a place that you can give, that you can laugh and you can invite someone into your life - all of your life. The pictures in the house of your former life are down. The children know. The guilt and anger are gone. The family gave their blessing. Your heart is open and you have everything going for you. Why? Because the person you will eventually love deserves it.
However, if you must insist to date while emotionally unhealthy do me a favor. If you see a woman or a man who has everything going for themselves and you are not ready or able to add value, happiness and stability to their life... just admire them from afar. Please don't interrupt their beautiful happiness, until you can share with them yours.