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Don't Scare Away Your Chance At Love

Several months ago we penned an article entitled, “Great Love Is Best Not Rushed.” Our principle theme was this – in the beginning of a budding love relationship, don’t get in a hurry in your quest for love and companionship. To do so will often result in a failed relationship because one of you will run away before the relationship is cemented if you feel pressured! And that would be too bad. There is no question about that.

And please understand, we know very well how important it is to rebound in a timely manner from a failed relationship. Of the thousands of couples we have interviewed over the past 27 years on Six of the world’s Seven continents, many of them were remarried after suffering through a relationship that didn’t work. And irrespective of the reason, there is a “pace” to take when building a love that lasts.

Recently, we interviewed an individual who is engaged in a new relationship after filing for a divorce from a very bad man (mental and physical abuse, child molestation, and other sinister actions).

On the surface, her story is like so many others. She finds a new guy she loves dearly, wants to marry him, and is hopeful that he will see the light and commit to spending the rest of his life with her.

To rid herself of the husband she is trying to escape (think divorce!) due to an abusive relationship – both for her and her children – is clearly understandable and defensible. However, the extent of the abuse (which is substantial) is not the purpose of this missive. Rather, the intent of this essay is to talk about her search for new love and new direction in her life.

Here’s what she reports. She loves the new man in her life. He is kind and gentle. He is a gentleman. He personifies all of the characteristics she longed for in the man of her dreams.

More importantly, she wants him to tell her he loves her, that he wants to spend his life with her, and that he considers her the center of his universe.

Here’s where it gets complicated. She loves him and he loves her. But the truth is, she is not yet divorced from the abusive man she is “officially” married to under the law. He gets scared! He wonders if he should make commitments to her given the fact that she is still “married.”

Here is the truth – new love is best not rushed! When you fall in love again, you must understand that your new lover enters the relationship with various levels of insecurity based on your OLD relationship. If your divorce is not yet finalized, he is a skeptic. Will she really love me? Am I the one she truly loves? Am I the man of her dreams? Will her divorce really become final or will I be left “holding the bag?”

The simple truth is this – love is complicated the second time around!

Consider this – two-thirds of second marriages end in divorce! It should come as no surprise that there are skeptics out there when it comes to finding love the second time around.

We know that finding love again is tough. And frankly, we know that getting the new guy to commit is not easy. He is afraid. He has, perhaps, been burned before. Moreover, he is afraid to commit his love, his sacred honor, and his undying dedication to you as long as you are married, irrespective of when the divorce is finalized.

Here is where the rubber hits the road – falling in love again is easy, but getting a commitment for the rest of your life is not. Our suggestion to you is this – never, ever, assume that your new love is willing to commit to you for the rest of your life in the absence of a bonifide divorce. One chapter in life must end before another one can begin!

Trust us when we say this – your new love is intimidated by the commitment to “marriage” before your divorce is complete. It doesn’t matter whether the impending divorce is virtually certain. What matters is that the divorce will be real! What matters is that your new love can trust that you will love him unconditionally, irrespective of the official date of your impending divorce.

People get remarried all the time. And, for the most part, and for some very good reasons, true love trumps everything. Love is the elixir of life. To love and to be in love is amongst the greatest triumphs of humanity. To spend your life on planet Earth is a great privilege. But to do your best to make great love your reason for being on Earth is, well, the principle reason humans strive to achieve the pinnacle of love.

Finding new love is a good thing. Going slow in your pursuit of a new love and a new relationship is admirable. To do less is to do a disservice to you and the one you purport to love.

In the beginning, great love is best not rushed. Finding new love requires patience. Finding new love requires you to understand that getting in a hurry in your new romance runs the risk of running away the person you truly love. Don’t take the risk.

Love is patient and love is kind. Don’t ever forget that simple notion. In the beginning of new love, don’t get in a hurry.

Simple things matter in love and marriage. Love well.

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

Authors of Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book 2009 Nautilus Book Awards
(Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.

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