Want to know how to find true love after divorce and/or failed relationships? Are you losing faith that you can find a relationship which lasts the happily ever-after long haul? Here are helpful love lessons learned from break ups to help you find love that lasts.
Have you ever felt as if you were wearing a “KICK ME” sign on your heart?
If so, you are not alone.
Yet many millions of people who go through terrible break ups wind up (eventually) later on in wildly satisfying new (and improved) relationships.
[Note: If you’re recovering from a Prince Harming or Princess Harming, check out the love recovery tools in my Oprah recommended book Prince Harming Syndrome – which I’m giving away for free for a limited time. Grab your freebie copy here.]
I love this quote from Susan Hendrick, professor of psychology and a researcher at Texas Tech.
“If two year olds can learn not to touch something,” says Hendrick, “adults can learn that a certain ‘direction’ in love is ‘negative’ – and thereby learn to make better love choices next time around.”
It seems we make different kinds of love choices, too, according to Andy Cherlin, professor of sociology at Jon Hopkins.“Partners in re-marriage differ much more in religion, education, and age than those in first marriages,” says Cherlin.
“Perhaps because as people grow older, they feel less bound by societal conventions and more in touch with their inner needs,” explains Cherlin.
In this ever changing love marketplace, Americans (savvy consumers that we are) can with practice learn to be better love shoppers, according to Barry Dym, psychologist and co-author with Michael Glenn of “Couples.”
“If a marriage doesn’t work, we learn to shop differently for love – and review our needs more carefully,” Dym reminds. “As time passes we’re less afraid to ask detailed questions before bringing the love object home. Some of us may even discover there was nothing wrong with our past love objects — we just didn’t know how to use love properly. Eventually we learn to follow love’s directions a little more carefully – so we can get the most out of it.”
Barbara De Angelis, author of “Real Moments For Lovers,” agrees.
“You don’t expect to immediately sit down and drive unless you’ve been taught,” reminds De Angelis. “Basically, you must learn how first. And the greatest education for how to love is being in a bad love relationship. It will show you your selfishness, your fears, your insecurities. There’s a reason a relationship didn’t work, and it’s not that love sucks, it’s that you still need to learn how to love properly.”A vast majority of us steer ourselves into disastrous heart-breaking, ego-smashing love accidents due to that blurry vision called love-at-first-sight.
Psychologists report that after divorce, people become wary of love at first sight.
Basically, divorced people begin to cautiously look for love at 1,999, 991-st sight.
“Eventually we learn to get past lust blindness,” says De Angelis, “thinking we’re so attracted to each other, this must be love. We learn to be suspicious of strong sexual attraction — that we need something more, like common interests, goals, love styles. ”
Bob Emory (professor of psychology at University of Virginia) explains it this way.“The first time around many couples are concerned more with the wedding ceremony and notion of marriage. The second time they realize there’s something past the wedding day. They enter into the love union with…. I wouldn’t call it cynicism, but realism. The couple is realistic about being unhappy at times. We have this big myth relationships are all about love. Eventually we learn it’s more like a business partnership, sharing responsibilities, solving conflicts.”
David Olsen, psychologist and director of “Prepare/Enrich” agrees.
“In subsequent marriages our expectations both increase and decrease,” says Olsen. “They increase because each partner is more aware of his/her needs, and decrease because they’re more realistic about potential problems.”
Even though our taste buds might get duller as we age, our ability to feel passion never dulls, according to Hendrick.
“Recent statistics coming out of sociological sex surveys indicate passion continues to go on — and on,” reports Hendrick. “In fact, research on married couples indicates passionate-sensual love is a good predictor of how satisfied couples will be. It’s just that looking for a companion becomes more of the basic central theme of love.”
Hendrick believes we can learn to achieve this ideal passionate-companion love model — not only because we’ve learned lessons and developed our love skills, but because we have extra motivation.
“Quite simply,” Hendrick says, “We want at all costs to avoid another failure.”
Want to live happier? Check out the research-based happiness tools in my book Think Happy!
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