There are two aspects to this topic.
- When should I date?
- Your dance card will be full.
When Should I Date?
That is a question only you can answer. BUT if you are at this time choosing to Stand, you should not date. You are married or if divorced still wanting to be married to your MLCer. Act married. Dating sends mixed messages. Yes, for SOME (not all or even most) MLCers it puts enough fear into them to turn back toward you, and for some the fear is so great they fear it is no longer possible--though they now realize they wish it were. If you are not Standing and still married, dating is a personal choice. Many have moral opinions regarding this; but it is your opinion that matters. Experts say that a person needs recovery time, and the estimate given is one year after a divorce is final--notice that is not a year after separation, bomb, filing; it is a year after the finalization of a divorce. And that is the start of dating, which is usually casual.
Your Dance Card Will Be Full
Why does your MLCer want you to date? Often he doesn't, but he thinks that is what he wants. Why? If you are dating, the MLCer can justify his actions in leaving you and his affair in particular. MLCers are overburdened. They are burdened with guilt regarding their actions, they are burdened with feeling out of control and unable to stop their behavior, they are burdened with fragmented pieces of Self, like demons--the things they did or did not do in the past--transgressions and failed accomplishments. MLCers feel unworthy of you--thus they will affair down, way down. You are part of their burden of worry and guilt. They think this will be relieved if you date--often they are wrong, it will freak them out.
What do you say to your MLCer regarding this? Married and Stander answers...
- I'm married, dating is adultery.
- I will never date anyone else.
- That would be wrong.
- I don't need to find someone else for my happiness.
- That wouldn't be fair to another person.
Refrain: MLC takes TIME
The LBS's greatest obstacle is Fear.
- Being alone.
- Losing one's soul mate.
- Stigma of failure--divorce.
- He will not come back.
- Not being able to get over the pain.
- Being unable to forgive.
- Being unable to forget.
- MLCer will be unable to forgive himself.
- This is your fault--you were a terrible spouse and are to blame.
- No one will love you because you are unworthy.
- No one will love you because you are used goods.
- Your children will be hurt.
- You will not have enough money.
- You will not have a home.
- You will make the same mistakes with another person.
- The unknown.
- If the alienator is that bad and he left for her, you must be worse.
- He means it.
- He is in-love with the alienator.
- It was all a lie.
- ...and so on.
Fear paralyzes and leads to desperation. It leads to last chance efforts--often of begging and pleading since there is nothing to lose. Fear focuses on the MLCer and the crumbled walls around you. And Fear is normal. You are normal. You are not crazy because you think of him constantly, or because you want to follow him and perhaps confront the alienator. As fantasies go, this is normal. Accept your own growth and learning curve. You will have personal and emotional set-backs. You will have backslides of begging, pleading, ultimatums, arguing. Sometimes you will eat worms when he baits you. But you will learn, and next time you will recognize the worms. Allow yourself to go through the process of your grief.
Refrain: MLC takes TIME