As I am writing my second book, Life Happens: Bounce Back from Divorce, I have decided to share my personal dating story with you, and I am pretty sure at least some of you will find this relatable. My goal here is to be open and honest and share my stories and other stories to help remind you that you are not alone in this world.

For me, at the age of 48, I can finally say, life is about love and all the relationships you nurture to fuel your desire for it. Now, we all know that love comes in all shapes, sizes, relationships, etc. For the sake of this piece we are talking about boyfriend/girlfriend love.

About two-and-a-half years ago, I met someone who I was very attracted to. We hit it off instantly and then became friends. After being platonic for some time, we started to date. Okay, so what does that mean because everyone has a different definition of dating – what should it look like, feel like, what are the rules of engagement, etc?

We didn’t have a lot of time to spent together due to his work schedule and the one day off he had was truly devoted to his children; exactly how it should be. We “dated” on our terms and, let me tell you, a lot of people did not understand our terms.  Chris would come at night after a long day at work. We would talk, catch up and watch movies and sporting events together. Looking back today, that was how we dated – not everyone would like those terms of engagement. I didn’t at first, but now I realize that whatever works – works. Life lesson for me.

After being friends, then becoming best of friends, we then fell in love and then, after two years, we split up. The dreaded break up was more painful than I can even share on this page; let’s just say I am still not over him. He left a lasting impression on me and my life. He will always have a place in my heart, but we decided we are no longer good together. So, I have to Bounce Back and I will, or should I say I am. When breakups happen, the pain can be numbing.

I am taking care of me and I am dealing with the hurt, the disappointment and the pain. It was there and so very palpable for a long time, mostly over the summer. It’s fall now and I am coming to terms with his desire to be separate not whole.  It has been a slow, painful process, and when I say Bounce Back, I mean this – Bounce Back on your terms but never lose sight of who you are and all you are capable of.

Bouncing Back is about reminding yourself that you and you alone are enough.

Bouncing Back is about loving yourself enough to move on.

I love me enough to move on and look towards the future to one day finding that someone that when they say I love you, they will mean it forever.

Bouncing Back is part of the journey!

Embrace the pain, the loneliness and the disappointment and learn from it and remember we can and will all bounce back!