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Ep #139: Breaking Free of Anxious Dating After Divorce | Becoming You Again Podcast




Are you ready to break the cycle of anxious dating and reclaim your joy in dating post-divorce? I'm your host, Karin Nelson, ready to challenge the societal norms that tie women's worth to their marital status. We'll confront these deep-rooted beliefs and understand how divorce further intensifies these feelings.



By the end of the episode you'll have a better understanding of why you feel anxiety and stress when you date after divorce. You'll also have two easy, actionable tips to overcome this pressure and find the pleasure in dating again, ensuring your self-worth is not tied to anyone else’s choices.



Remember, Becoming You Again is about celebrating your independence and emotional resilience. Your journey to freedom and being an independent individual after divorce starts with you breaking free from what society tells you it means to be in a romantic relationship, and instead, you taking the reigns and intentionally deciding that for yourself.


To schedule your complimentary consult with Karin click here.


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Grief and trauma are the two biggest struggles women deal with as they go through their divorce. It's highly likely that you are experiencing both and don't even realize what you're feeling. I'm here to tell you that it's okay for you to grieve your marriage (even if it was shitty) and it's normal to be experiencing some kind of trauma (which is essentially a disconnection from yourself - your mind, body and soul). I can help guide you through the grief in all of the forms it show up so you can heal. I can also teach you how to ground yourself in healing so you can ease through the trauma. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.


Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to schedule a consult to find out more about working 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.


Full Episode Transcript:

This is episode 139 of Becoming you Again, and I am your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome to Becoming you Again, the podcast to help you with your mental and emotional well-being during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the grief and trauma of your divorce. We're going to do that by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life, so that your life can be even better than when you were married. I'm your host, Karin Nelson. Welcome back to the podcast. My lovely ladies, I am so happy that you're here Today. I'm going to be talking about breaking free of anxious dating after divorce or like when you're separated or whenever you decide that dating is right for you. But I know there are so many of you who really have a lot of anxiety around dating, have a lot of anxiety when you're on a date, when they don't text you, when you don't hear back from them, when you're in a relationship and they're not doing things the way you think they should be doing them, or whatever the case may be. I totally understand that anxiety can often be this underlying emotion that never goes away and it feels very gross, it feels heavy, it feels annoying, it's worrisome and we just want to not feel it constantly in our relationship, right? I understand that, and I think this is especially common in women who are dating after divorce, because of divorce in general and what we make that mean about ourselves. And so I'm going to be talking about all this and at the end, if you stick around, I am going to be giving you two things that you can start doing right now, whether you're dating or not, to help you break out of this anxiety cycle in your relationship so that you can start to feel good and calm and excited and joyful about dating, about the relationship that you might be in, about potential future relationships, whatever it might be. So let's talk about it. By the way, I'm so glad you're all here. Thank you so much for coming back and listening. The podcast continues to grow. I'm getting more and more downloads every day. Thank you so much for sharing, and if you could just take one minute probably will take less than one minute right now, whatever podcast app you are listening to from if you could just take one second right now, while you have the podcast open on your app and go to wherever you, click the rating and give it a rating, and if you're on Apple Podcasts you can even leave a review. That would be amazing. That helps the podcast grow, that helps more people who are going through divorce find the podcast, get recommended the podcast as something that they might want to listen to, as something that might help them, and, honestly, it makes me feel really good when I see that you guys have rated it and that is just amazing. So please do that. It'll just take one second really quickly, even while you're listening right now, you can just do that as you hear my voice in your ear. Thank you so much. All right, so let's jump in. Here's the thing about women, about being a woman in this world. Right, and I talk about this quite a lot because I think it's really important and I think it's something that we, as women, need to be aware of. But for centuries, as women, we have been taught to equate our worth with whether or not we get picked or we get chosen to be married. In fact, I'm just I'm watching this show that I just started a little while ago. It's on Apple TV, it's called the Buccaneers and it takes place in like the 1800s in starts in America, goes to England and it kind of follows these young women who are in this world of dating and this is exactly this is exactly what they're going through this idea of dressing up and being presented to society and then having the men like choose them as their life partner, as their wife, as their, the soon-to-be mother of their children. Who's gonna be respectable for society, who is going to fit the part, who is beautiful, who is going to present it and people will accept her as the perfect partner, right and so like? We have been taught that part of our worth comes with that choosing. Are we chosen to be married? I mean, we have been sold with dowries and presented and paraded at these type of social parties and we have been bombarded for years. For my entire life I have been bombarded with romantic comedies, trailers for romantic comedies, movies for romantic comedies, television shows that are based around relationships, and we see this everywhere. Romantic love stories it's in books, it's on television, it's in, it's on the silver screen and we're kind of fed this story of like. If it's not a love story where the woman gets married or the relationship where they get together, then it's a tragedy, then something has gone wrong and historically, getting married was kind of like the one thing that woman could work on and actually accomplish. Because, again, for centuries and this is just until, like the last 100 years, even even less than that women couldn't hold jobs, or if they could hold jobs, it was only until they were married, or it was only until they had children, and then they were expected to be at home, and if a woman wasn't married, she just continued to live with her parents or with her family members, if her parents were, you know, passed away, and then she would only move out when she got married. So, basically, with all of this history lesson and these ideas that we've lived through and that we see constantly all around us, is that women are socialized to put so much of our worth on being chosen and the importance of that, and so if being chosen and getting married means that we are more worthy or more valuable according to society standards and according to what we tell ourselves, or we have been telling ourselves for millennia, it seems like, then it would definitely make sense to our primitive brain that getting divorced must mean that we have lost some of our worth, that we have lost some of our value, and then that, in turn, makes so much sense of why we have such a strong drive or strong need to focus on getting that worth back by having a romantic partner again. Now listen, I am not saying this is true. I'm not saying this is a good thing. I am not saying this is what you should continue to live by. In fact, I think that because of this socialization, it can actually make us, as women, feel very anxious while dating after divorce, because we put so much emphasis on the idea of finding a new partner, because once we find that partner, we'll be whole again or we'll be complete again and that kind of pressure to succeed in this way can be very high and very heavy. But I want you to know that just because you and I and every other woman in the Western world especially, has been socialized to believe that our worth is given to us by our partner, by their choosing us or by their validation of us, just because we've been socialized to believe this, it doesn't actually make it true and it does not make it something that you have to continue to choose to believe or live by. When you're feeling anxious about dating or being in a relationship after divorce, you often will put a huge amount of emphasis on your romantic relationship. It is so easy to fixate on the idea of whether or not you should start dating. You question whether it's too early, or am I ready? Or how long do I have to wait? What's the rule? Or, if you've already decided that you're going to start dating, you might put a lot of time and attention on if you're going to find someone and, if you do find someone, whether or not that relationship is going to work or if you're actually going to be happy. I remember when I first started dating I was so anxious about whether or not I got a text back from the person. Like if we texted in the morning and then we kind of both went to work and if I hadn't heard from them by like six or seven o'clock at night, I was so anxious, I was so worried that it meant that they were going to ghost me, that it meant they didn't like me anymore, that it meant that I said something or did something wrong or they liked someone better or like I don't know. I had like so many, so many ideas and thoughts and stories around why they weren't texting me back and I was so anxious about it and it almost drove me insane, worrying whether or not this person was going to text me back that I couldn't even enjoy dating. I couldn't enjoy being in a relationship. It was very difficult for me to just enjoy the idea of dating, just enjoy the idea of getting to know someone and not worrying so much about is this person right for me, are they going to text me back? Do they like me? Am I good enough? Whatever it is that was happening in my head. But I know this is something that we do and it doesn't feel very good. Right? That anxiety, that ruminating, that spinning in our heads and worry. And then not only that but, like if you're in a relationship, the anxiety around whether you made your partner mad, if it was something that you did, or if you start to feel resentment toward your partner because they're not doing things right or they're not doing things the way you think they should be doing them, and so is this relationship even going to be able to work? And we just start to focus and fixate and put so much emphasis on this romantic relationship that it can start to feel not very good, not very exciting, something that we don't want to be in any longer. All of this worry and all of this spinning and ruminating causes undo anxiety when we're dating, which I truly believe takes away from the actual enjoyment of dating, of being in a relationship, of potentially finding a new partner, if that's what you want. And so how do we break free from the anxious dating? Well, like I told you at the beginning, I'm going to give you a couple of things that you can begin to work on and so that, as you find yourself ready to either start dating or, if you're already in a relationship, things that you want to work on, these are the things that are going to help you. Okay, so the first thing that you need to know how to do is you need to know how to ground yourself and realign your nervous system, and you want to be able to do this at any time, like whether you are getting ready to go on a date and you start to feel that anxious feeling, whether you don't get a text from them, like I just explained my example. Whether you're getting ready to put yourself out there on dating sites, or go to bars and meet people, or talk to someone that you haven't really talked to before, or whatever. It is right Wherever you start to feel that anxious feeling spinning the ruminating. All of that you need to know how to ground yourself to get out of that anxiety and into calm so that you can realign your nervous system and bring your prefrontal cortex back online. The more calm you will be when you're interacting with someone else in a relationship, or getting ready to interact or getting ready to make decisions about a relationship, the better off you will be to know what feels right, to know if it's a relationship you want to be in, to show up fully as yourself. And this is not to say that you're going to ground yourself and then go on a date or text someone or whatever, and not feel emotions. Not at all. You should be feeling emotions. You should be feeling happiness, joy, laughter, curiosity, excitement, even some sadness, sometimes right Disappointment, whatever you should be feeling those things. The goal is to get you out of anxiety and out of the over-emphasizing the importance of what this relationship means about you. Because when we're in that anxiety, we make it mean if they don't text us back, we did something wrong. If they don't text us back, there's something wrong with us. We're not good enough, we're not complete If they don't pick me, if they don't go on my date, whatever it is right, whatever is happening in your potential romantic relationship or in your relationship, that anxiety tells us that we're doing it wrong, that there's something wrong with us. We make it mean something about us and it's not true. So you need to know how to ground yourself to get out of that belief system. And if you're not sure what it means to ground yourself, or even what a grounding exercise looks like, I want you to go listen to my episode called Grounding Exercise. That's literally the title Grounding Exercise. It's episode 130. Go listen to it. It's very simple. I walk you through an exercise that you can try out and see if it works for you, see if it feels resonant with you on being able to calm your nervous system and get you to a place in the here and now. All right. And so after you've done that, after you have something that you know you can go to to ground yourself, to feel present in your body, in yourself, the next thing that I want you to start to think about is why you think you feel anxious or you think you feel stressed about this romantic relationship or about this person or about whatever it is that's going on with the dating world that you're in, right. What are you worried about when it comes to dating? What are you worried about in the relationship that you're in? What are you worried about when you don't get a text back Like what is the worry, what is the fear there? Write down everything that comes to mind, without judging it. We're just going to write it down. We're going to get it down on paper because this is going to give you a really good idea. Number one, about the socialization that you have around dating, about romantic relationships, about what you're making it mean about you whether or not you're in a relationship, whether or not they pick you, whether or not they're texting you, whether or not they ask you out on a second date any of that right. And it's also going to help you recognize the stories that are holding you back from being in a healthy relationship. Because the more in tune you are with the thoughts that are creating that anxiety within you, the easier it's going to be to work on deciding what it is that you actually want to believe. You can keep those thoughts Totally, can. You can totally keep those beliefs. It's up to you. I'm not telling you what you can and can or should or shouldn't believe. That is always up to you. But knowing what's actually happening in your brain, knowing the thoughts that are actually coming up, that's where you get to decide. Do I want to keep believing this? Do I want to keep thinking this? It's intentional. You see that I promise you. If you work on those two things the grounding and the figuring out what thoughts are creating that anxiety it is going to be so much easier to break free from anxious dating and instead you're going to be in a position to where dating is actually fun, to where dating is actually relaxed and enjoyable. You're going to be dating either one person, many people. Whatever you decide is best for you. You are going to be experiencing and allowing your romantic relationships to be exactly what you want, rather than what they've been in the past, and I'm so excited for you to try this out. All right, my friends, that is what I have for you today. Let's break free from this anxious dating. It's no fun. Let's go out there and have fun dating after divorce. Thank you so much for listening. I will be back next week To learn more about how to work with me one-on-one. Go to KarinNelsonCoaching dot com. That's wwwKARINNELSONCoaching dot com. Thanks for listening. If this podcast agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow and give me a rating wherever you listen to podcasts and for more details about how I can help you live an even better life than when you were married. Make sure and check out the full show notes by clicking the link in the description.

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