Dear Melissa, I need help healing a broken heart.
Long story short… I met a man going through a divorce in 2012 with two young children. He was going through a divorce and I was trying to have a child on my own. We dated for 3 years and all was going well.
But then he officially got divorced and I had my daughter. He wasn’t ready to be committed, meaning he still wanted to see me most of the time but have his options.
I was looking for monogamy so I ended things.
We have stayed in touch, seen each other here and there and his Mom and I are very close.
He’s now dating a new girl, and I know he’s been dating her since we’ve broken up.
How do I reconcile that he’s now with somebody else and not with me? Is he now ready to be monogamous but chose somebody else to be monogamous with? Is there something wrong with me?
I always thought we would have gotten back together but I’ve let that go. I’m trying to move on now as I saw him recently at a party (he didn’t see me) and he was with this new woman.
Thank you so much for reaching out. I feel you. It’s hard to see someone you’ve been in love with dating someone else, especially when you had hopes of getting back together. I hear how painful that was for you.
But I want you to know that you did the right thing by ending things once you found out that he wanted to “keep his options open” and you wanted a committed relationship.
I know it’s hard to break things off when you really don’t want to. But I really acknowledge you for taking a stand for the kind of relationship that you truly want.
Even though it was painful to end things at the time, by seeing the red flag and by walking away before getting more deeply involved, you avoided bigger heartbreak. Because the deeper and more involved you are, the more painful a breakup tends to be.
You have amazing courage and strength.
You’re a mom. You can do difficult things.
You have the capacity to heal.
At face value, we don’t know if he’s ready for an exclusive relationship and/or whether he’s dating this woman exclusively or not. But we do know he’s dating.
But trying to figure out what he wants or whether he’s ready for a relationship won’t help your cause in moving on, and could actually be the very thing that’s keeping you from healing.
How to Mend a Broken Heart
To your question about “How do I reconcile that he’s now with somebody else and not with me?”….
The best advice I can give you is to focus on the relationship that you want, not the man.
See, there’s the man. And then there’s your relationship with the man. And then there’s your vision for kind of relationship that you truly want.
Focus on your vision for the kind of relationship that you want, not the man.
Set your heart and attention on your dream for the kind of relationship that you want, not the man who is dating someone else.
Because focusing on and pursuing the man that you want instead of focusing and pursuing the kind of relationship that you want, is the very thing that’s going to get in the way of you having that vision — of obtaining the dream of having a deeply fulfilling committed relationship.
And it’s also the very thing that’s in the way of helping you heal.
How? Because you’re focusing on and pinning your hopes on something that is beyond your control. And that’s what makes it feel impossible to move on.
Setting your heart on a man gives your power away, which is why whenever we’re waiting, chasing, or pursuing a man — when we’re in that energy of waiting or pursuit — it feels so stressful, makes us anxious, and is emotionally exhausting.
Focusing on the man puts you on an emotional roller coaster because you’re handing your heart over to something over which you have no real control (you have influence, but not control).
You can’t control his readiness for a relationship.
You can’t control whether you’ll get back together.
You can’t control who he chooses to date or be with.
Which is why it’s so hard to heal from this when you’re focusing on the man and ruminating over him and wondering or lamenting why he did or didn’t do something (or why you did or didn’t do something).
And I know the ruminating and lamenting is easy to do when your heart is attached because I’ve totally been there, too, and had for a long time.
It feels like it’s so hard to heal because it’s like he walked off with your heart and your dream. And the pain is in feeling like you’re never going to get it back.
That’s why the heartbreak feels endless.
And it feels so hard to let go of and get over because it feels like that piece is missing, that he took it from you and that he’s living that dream with someone else.
But the truth is: That dream doesn’t belong to him.
That dream belongs to you.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
There’s nothing wrong with who you are.
He just didn’t fulfill the vision for the kind of relationship that you want. It just wasn’t a match at the time.
But that vision is still yours.
The dream is still yours.
You still get to create it.
You still get to have it.
That’s the power of focusing on your vision rather than focusing on a man.
Your vision, your dream, is always within your domain. It’s always within your control. You have the power to create it, to iterate it, to pursue it with all your heart.
Because you have the power to choose how to want to live your one wild and precious life.
You might not have the man you had your heart set on, but the dream for the kind of relationship that you truly want — to be cherished and celebrated for being who you are with a partner who is ready to commit to you and your family — that dream still lives. It’s still real. And it’s still possible for you.
In other words: Focus on the goal, not the obstacle.
Focus on the dream, not the reasons why you feel you can’t have it.
That’s what’s most important: To know that having the kind of relationship that you truly want is possible for you…and turning your energy toward that possibility, not spending energy on “what could have been.”
That possibility didn’t go away when you walked away from your relationship with him.
You decided to move on because you knew that he couldn’t give you what you wanted.
And walking away from what wasn’t working was the best thing that you could have done for you, your family, and your dream for the kind of relationship that you really want and deserve.
You took a stand for what you truly wanted.
You made space for it in your life.
And because of that conscious action that you took, you made it even more possible to make that vision you hold come true for you.
Remember, YOU’RE the catch.
The right man for you, he’s looking for you, too.
And when you ended a relationship that wasn’t working, you took steps toward the kind of relationship you really want.
And that is your grace, bravery, and power in action. That is your creative power.
The same power that is within you to heal.
Dating a Divorced or Separated Man and Need Personalized Relationship Help?
All relationship situations are different, especially if you’re involved with a separated or divorced man. There are complexities you may not have dealt with before in a dating situation. His kids. His ex. His marital status. And all the drama in between.
How do you overcome the dreaded “waiting”?
Does HE lack boundaries with his ex and kids, or are YOU the one who’s being intolerant?
How do you get him to prioritize you and your relationship??
I totally feel you. I’ve been in the same boat. I’ve dated my share of separated and divorced men back in the day.
And…I’m happily married to and have kids of my own with one, too!
If you’re feeling stuck, confused, or frustrated in your relationship and want personalized solutions, I can help.
If you’re suffering, you don’t have to continue suffering. I promise. Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. Let’s talk about how to overcome the relationship challenges you’re facing.
In a private 1-on-1 Relationship Clarity Session, you’ll get personalized dating and relationship help for your specific dating issue so that you can successfully navigate the complexities of dating a divorced man and know exactly what you’re getting into, overcome the challenges, and consciously create the deeply fulfilling relationship you want!
Ready to improve your relationship and overall happiness? Click the button below to get all the details, view my calendar (I usually have some openings every week), and conveniently book a session:
How to Decide if He’s Right for You
Download my free Relationship Choice Assessment to help you get started. In my free guide you’ll discover:
- 30 questions to ask yourself to help you decide if you should give him a chance or if you’re wasting your time
- 22 red flags you should be aware of if you want to avoid heartbreak and painful surprises
- How to assess your compatibility with your partner to know if your relationship has long-term potential
Download my free guide Should You Stay or Go? Relationship Choice Assessment: