Newly single, ready to mingle

Dear Counsellor,

I am newly single after being in a committed relationship for almost six years. During that time my then boyfriend cheated on me and wanted to leave me for the other girl. After being with her for almost a year, I'm not sure what happened between them, but he decided he wanted to try again with me. I did my best to forgive him for hurting me and tried again for a better relationship with him, but sadly he has again broken my heart and decided to walk away.

I'm very hurt about the entire episode of events, but I would like to move on and start dating again. I'm doing my best to move on from this and trying to live my life as normally as I can. I can never understand the reason for cheating, honestly. The relationship wasn't perfect, but I did my best to stay by him through some hard times.

I would appreciate some advice on how to move forward from being heartbroken and maybe going out and start dating again. I must admit I'm jaded because of this whole thing and would love nothing more than to be able to forget all this, though I know that would be impossible.

For any male readers out there that might be interested, I'm 32 years old and I want to date and see where things may lead. I look forward to your advice.

Well, we can't boast of providing dating opportunities, but who knows what may arise for you. It is quite fine to want to be in a good relationship. Most people want companionship and all that comes with a good romantic situation — romance is indeed divine. It is good romantic situations that lead to good family life and happy homes. So what you desire is normal and healthy, and good. So that past relationship didn't work. That's that! You now have the opportunity to find one that will. However, don't allow yourself to be desperate for companionship, which now would be unwise.

It really is unfortunate that some people cannot be content with one partner and feel compelled to venture out. And contrary to some beliefs, monogamy is actually natural for human beings. Polygamy or polyandry is what's unnatural and unhealthy. Because how many side chicks are too many? You might be hurting from his cheating, but consider it like this, you found out who he is and what he is now. Thankfully you didn't find this out about him several years into a marriage, or several children later. You have dodged a bullet, so dry your tears. Forgive him and forget him. Become emotionally available to someone else.

My advice:

Discover yourself: Take this time of being single to pamper yourself. Become adventurous, travel, and explore places. There are things that are easier to do alone. Schedule weekly social activities that are safe. There are many places to see and people to meet — it's there waiting.

Build yourself: Continue to develop yourself in several ways — spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, and professionally. Make self-development and self-investment purposeful. This way you won't seem desperate when you meet someone, and you'll be an even better catch to Mr Right. When you value you, others do too!

Don't panic about ageing: Too many women are staring at the biological clock and panicking instead of enjoying the opportunities that their age and experience afford. Relax into the realisation that there is a purpose in your path.

Date purposefully: Don't be desperate for a date, let something develop naturally. Make a list of what you want in Mr Right, and endeavour to stick to it, especially the characteristics that you desire. Tall dark and handsome may be negotiable.

Time doesn't heal all wounds — smart steps do. I pray you'll see the great value in yourself and allow others to see it too.

Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com.

Christopher BRODBER

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