Yesterday, a new friend told me he’d been dumped by his last sweetheart, and was still stinging from it many months later.
Me: What was the reason for the breakup?
He: It was stupid. Because I am fun and engaging with others, my sweetie felt I had the “potential” to cheat. I have never cheated, nor would I. This was all imaginary.
Me: Then your sweetie did you a favor by releasing you. Imagine your life with someone who was jealous about what you had the “potential” to do. This person would be easily riled at your making eye contact, smiling or talking to anyone else, even if you had no intention of cheating. Perhaps your partner would read your emails or text messages, or scrutinize your cell call log. You would live in an ever-present shroud of suspicion. Would you want to live with that?
Me: Then in fact, you were done a favor by being released from the clutches of an insecure person, who would have made your life hell if you’d stayed together. How great that you now are available for a trusting, mature, sane person.
He: You sure know how to spin it!
Me: It’s the truth, isn’t it?
He: Yes, but I hadn’t thought of it like that.
Most people don’t. Although being released stings, if you can reframe it, you will be in less pain. There is always more than one way to interpret something, without being delusional. Both our interpretations describe the same outcome: He is single again. My philosophy is to choose the interpretation that leaves you most empowered, not depressed.
So was he dumped? You could say that. Was he released from a partnership with a needlessly jealous, insecure person? Yes. Both are true. Which one leaves him feeling best about himself and ready to meet a great person? The latter.
When you construe something negatively, ask yourself how else it could be interpreted. Choose the option that is still the truth, but leaves you moving forward positively, not leaving you feeling less than.
Got a dating-after-40 topic you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to Goddess@DatingGoddess.com.