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You are sooooo mental (said in my best Valley Girl voice)

I HATE FEELING OUT OF CONTROL. I think the first time I felt out of control I was with a college boyfriend, whom I knew had been cheating on me with MANY other girls, who began flirting with some girls at a sandwich shop. Actually he may have just talked to them. Regardless, I grabbed his sandwich and stomped on it. I am not kidding. I STOMPED ON HIS SANDWICH. I was immediately embarrassed and panicky. What was that????? That, ladies, was my first firefly, lol.

Now I see that 1) I should never have stayed in this relationship because I was the only one in it and 2) I should choose my friends, and my boyfriends, WISELY. People who love you and get you do not inspire you to stomp on their sandwiches.

Do you have a tribe??

I am blessed with the most incredible tribe. My people love me, call me out, inspire me to achieve at higher levels, and generally be a better person. I have several friends who constantly leave me in awe of their accomplishments and their drive to reach for MORE. These women are powerful in their fields and loving in their homes. I admire and respect these women and want to learn from them. I have heard more than one inspirational personality state that choosing friends who exude the qualities you wish to possess or who achieve at the level you would like to achieve, is critical for your personal growth. I must agree with this. However, I don’t actually remember choosing my people. I just naturally gravitate toward women who inspire me, have qualities I lack (but need), that I respect, and that I feel good around (laughing is key to life, ya know). My people have my back and they get me. They forgive me when I am irrational and they are patient with me when I am emotional. Having these people in my life grounds me and gives me the support I need so I do not go mental!

In addition to having a group of girlfriends who lift you up, if you are dating after divorce, pay attention to the men you are choosing to spend your time with. Do not get caught up in the old dating game. My father once told me, when I was dating as an adult in my 20s, that I should be careful who I spend my time with because I may not always be able to control who I fall in love with. Surrounding myself with the sort of people I know are good for me is far more important than I may realize. He was so right. Isn’t that sort of the premise of choosing friends who push you to be a better person?? Surround yourself with those who make you better? This same premise should apply to the men we choose to date as well.

So, why do we, as women, so often choose to spend time with men who do not do the same for us as our girlfriends? Shouldn’t the person we choose to spend our lives so intimately with be chosen, at the very least, with the same standards we use to choose our friends?

Dating, after divorce, has been different than dating in my 20s. It is not that everything is jaded, it is that I now understand with an incredibly heightened awareness of how important it is, how non-negotiable it is, to find someone who will be my best friend and my most enthusiastic cheerleader.

Once, in Sunday School, not many years after marriage, our class was asked who our biggest supporter was. Who did we think supported and believed in us more than anyone else? I responded: my mother. Most of the other members of the class chose their spouse. It was not my then husband’s fault that he did not fill this role for me. We were just very different people and we did not click on such an intimate level. I think back on this and see with glaring clarity the holes he and I left in each other. We did not know it then, of course; this is the bittersweetness of hindsight.

I have spent the past couple of years sort of dating and learning more about myself, eventually arriving at a place where I am happy and content on my own. So much so that I had resigned myself to this solitary life for a bit. If I were to ever enter a romantic relationship again it would have to be something spectacular. I will not settle for anything less. After much reflection on what I did not have in my marriage, what I thought I wanted in a significant other, and what I knew I needed in someone who was to be my life partner, I called on a friend to pray for him with me. I set my standards to a level that was only attainable by God. And, I couldn’t be happier. I am confident that some day, God will lead me to this man, whomever he may be, even if it is not anytime soon.

Choose to spend time with people who will have your best interests at heart and will push you to succeed at what you are working to achieve. I don’t mean for you to surround yourself with “yes” people. I mean choose those who believe enough in you to believe in your dreams, whether they understand or want the same things or not.

Spend time with people who will lovingly call you out when you are wrong, or cannot see the forest for the trees, being completely irrational, or are just needing a little nudge back to the sunny side of the street. Choose friends who weather conflict and will grow with you in your friendship.

Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself.

Choose to spend time with friends you can model on your way to success.

Choose people you feel SAFE with. Those you can trust and with whom you feel safe to laugh and cry with WILL NOT inspire sandwich stomping. This is the most important thing. . .

Set your standards high, ladies.

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