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Dating after divorce

Dating Tips for INFP’s

Dating, Dating after divorce, infp, Single Mom
kissing silhouette of couple

One of the most effective things I’ve done as a dating INFP, is to write about my date afterwards.  I try to write exactly what happened and what I liked and didn’t like about it.  This helps me to not idealize the relationship.  It’s also useful for looking back and seeing patterns.  I tend to idealize relationships and be incredibly forgiving of flaws because I am a healer and I don’t like conflict or hurting people.  But not ignoring little things like “he spent the entire time on his cell phone again” helps me see patterns that push me to get out of relationships that aren’t good for me.

Also, another dating tip I think is useful for the INFP personality is that it’s better to find someone who will support you in who you are and what you do than it is to find someone you’re incredibly impressed with.  If you find yourself doing all of the supporting work and not getting any in return, it might be time to find someone new, no matter how cool he is.

As an INFP, I find I’m so open-minded and curious about different people that I have no trouble finding someone to date, I truly love everyone and the more different from me they are, the more curious I am about them.  The biggest dating challenge I come across is getting out of relationships I know are not working.  It feels morally wrong to break up with someone, but this isn’t true. Finding the right person whose core values match your own is imperative for the infp because our values are such a huge part of who we are, if they don’t like our values, then they don’t really like us.

I’ve also heard that for INFP’s it is good for us to not ignore the boring guy in favor of the exciting guy because their stability allows us to be our full artistic selves, I’m not sure about this one yet. I see wisdom in it, but if there are no feelings for me, I don’t feel like the romance is authentic. He’s got to be a boring guy who creates feelings.

Photo by Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash

Losing Myself

Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce, Single Mom

I read a book last night about personality types. It’s called Reading People by Anne Bogel. It was the first time I’d read about enneagrams. Wow! Sinking low today. Enneagrams have a way of digging deep into your psyche and shining light on your biggest flaws. Turns out I’m a peacemaker type, and my biggest flaws are that I am so adaptable, I turn into the people around me to please them. I have no idea who I actually am because all of my energy is put into being perfect for others. I completely neglect my own needs to care for others. That and I’m complacent. I had to look up complacent because it’s a word I don’t hear much. “showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements”. Woah, that really gets to the heart of it. Yeah, I’m that too.

I got really scared about this while driving to work today, but was reminded God is in me, so it is impossible to lose myself. He is guiding me, showing me my next steps, and it is in my very weaknesses where He shines brightest. Even this is to His glory.

Maybe this is why I focus so much on what I like to do….I’m trying to figure out who I am without other people around.
I like dancing.
long walks
my kids
my God
deep conversations
coffee at the river market
the sound of fall leaves crackling on the sidewalk
driving with the music playing loud enough that I can feel the vibrations

I like being alone

I don’t like being asked to give to charity
I don’t like cupcakes and cookies in my house
I don’t like bossy people
I don’t like stiff clothing
I don’t like really high heels

I really want to go dancing.

(edit: so after writing this post, I actually took an enneagram test and it placed me as an artist instead of a peacemaker. Artist’s main fear is losing their identity which made me laugh since I’ve written several posts on that issue and this post itself is all about identity. I’m not convinced I’m not still a peacemaker and it’s simply the life phase I’m in that is skewing it towards artist. It’s an interesting new way to look at myself though…)

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Why I’m Skeptical of Self-Help Advice

Career, Dating, Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce, Friendship, Single Mom

Seems like I doubt everyone and everything anymore, my investigative skills are on high when something appears to get my hopes up about something. The latest thing I’m done with is self-help advice. I read a good article about how we can divide our goals into health, family, work, and relationships. The article said we could be good at two, but not good at 4. We could be average at 4, but not good at any. Or we could look at it as seasons where we’re good at some things at some times in our life, but not at other times in our life. It was impossible to be good at all four at the same time no matter how amazing we were, we simply don’t have enough time and energy. Looking at my own life, I’m good at work and family. I know people who are good at relationships and health, but terrible at making money and they live far away from their family and ignore them. In fact, when I look at people, I can almost immediately discover which two are their strengths and which two are their weaknesses. This idea drove me crazy, because I truly do want it all. I want to be good at all four things. I want to be a good mom, I want to be healthy, I want to be awesome at my career, and I want cool friends to hang out with every weekend.

I found peace though, I think I figured it out. (or maybe a better way of saying it is: He opened my eyes)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

Completely switch your focus off of “having it all” and focus on having Him. We are promised everything. We are free from striving. This is what freedom in Christ looks like. He is everything.

I used to get mad at the prodigal son story because it was so unfair to the older brother. He didn’t get anything. Now I’m realizing I didn’t understand what the treasure was. I didn’t understand that the party, the land, the money was worthless. The treasure was the father. Having the father is everything.
Photo Credit: @nicomiot

Why Does Dating Feel Like Jumping Off a Cliff?

Dating, Dating after divorce, Devotional, Divorce

My fear of dating the wrong guy is disappearing. I forget how prevalent grace is. I forget how He holds me in His hand and doesn’t let me get lost, how everything, everything is working towards good. I can’t mess that up! I could get married and divorced nine more times, I could marry a druggie, or an alcoholic, or be completely broke the rest of my life. I could marry a Christian who isn’t really a Christian again. There’s a part of me that feels it’s unethical to declare someone “not a Christian”. Who am I to decide that, how could God put that kind of responsibility on me, and who wants someone watching them all the time to decide if they’re really a Christian or not?

God show me the truth, and help me to obey and trust.

Why does dating feel like jumping off a cliff?

Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

Dancing Solo

Dating after divorce

Last night, I decided to go out by myself. There was a street dance in the neighboring city, and it was reggae music. I love reggae music, and was sad I couldn’t go simply because I didn’t have a guy to take me. It made me think about why I think I need to be attached to a guy to have fun, and why I needed someone else there and couldn’t have fun by myself. I’m learning to have fun by myself. I bought myself ice cream earlier in the day too, no guy suggested it. No one else handed it to me and said “eat”. All me, I am pure fun.

Like a bird who’s been let out of her cage and keeps returning to the cage simply because she doesn’t know how to live differently. One reason I keep returning to men, is because I don’t remember ever living without one. One of my favorite things about being single, is the amazing freedom, but what good is freedom if I don’t use it?

I drove by the dance about 5 times listening, wondering if I would have the courage. Then I parked (in a very well-lit very public spot), and listened. I thought, I’ll just go listen to the music, I don’t have to dance. So I went in by myself, paid the cover by myself, made a loop of the place and found a spot to sit down. It’s funny how much you notice other people who are alone when you aren’t with someone. It’s like alone-radar.
Not being alone because others are alone too. Solo people tend to take care of each other too, a woman sat by me so I didn’t feel so alone, it was nice of her.

I liked watching the people dance, some were silly… Reggae music brings pot smokers, so that was interesting, and summer nights are hot and steamy in Kansas. Lots of tie-dye and wild red/orange/green combinations.

“her story starts where it should end” ~Nothing Ever Happens

Photo Credit: Brandi Redd

Living Vicariously Through Someone Else

Dating, Dating after divorce, Divorce, Single Mom

So I’m really afraid I will marry poorly next time around. Choose the same kind of guy, repeat the pattern. I’ve been listening to the audiobook “Safe People”, to figure out how to avoid the crazies. I have lots of crazies in my life. Turns out, we’re sometimes attracted to the type of person we secretly want to be. I’ve lived such a strict and rigid life, that I’m attracted to men who are free, non-judgmental and irresponsible. I think I’m secretly craving to break free from some of these restraints that have been holding me in. Not the Jesus ones, still going to love and trust Him, but some of these other pressures that have been put upon me that He never required anyway. I’d rather become who I want to be than live vicariously through a man. There’s a lot of pressure in my family to look right, be super successful, and to be really frugal. Also, I have strong perfectionist tendencies that I just need a break from.

“Didn’t we all break down
didn’t we all fake
isn’t it alright now
Didn’t we all break out”
-Lisa Hannigan, Sea Song

Four Principles for the Exercise of Christian Liberty (Ligonier Ministries)

Self-Care and Dating

Dating after divorce

I went on a date with a guy last week for coffee.  We were so similar it was weird, like looking into a mirror, but he was a man.  We both are from small towns, both musicians, both working in the finance world, both conservative.  We should have hit it off wonderfully, but I can’t think of anything more boring than spending my life with someone just like me.  I want to explore, a curiosity that loves my opposite.  I’m going to end up with a guy very different from me, just need to make sure some things are the same…..   Anyway, it was kind of shoved in my face how important self care was and how unattractive it could be, and how it doesn’t seem self-sacrificial when you’re dating, it seems like a lack of character, which it isn’t, at least not always.  I wanted to take care of this guy because I could tell he worked too hard and didn’t take good enough care of himself.  But since I knew it wasn’t going anywhere, I broke it off quickly, and now I’m trying to work on self care for myself.  I’m realizing just how much I’ve been neglecting myself in the name of self-sacrifice and “for my children”.  But, they’re going to be better off if I can be a good role model for them, than if I hover over them constantly and neglect my own needs.  Need to teach these daughters how to love themselves for the times when I’m not around and it might work best if I figure out how to do it for myself.

Deeply loved by my Father, worth it.  Valuable, cherished.

Photo Credit: @Clemono2