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Recently I was speaking with a female veteran who is divorced and raising a child alone. She said she was reentering the dating world and was "terrified" of making another mistake. She expressed her concerns were that she had met someone she likes but creates in her head negative thoughts that keeps her from enjoying the dating relationship because she feels like running from anything that has the possibility of hurting her or her daughter in the future. She was looking for a guarantee to preventing feelings of hurt, abandonment, or deception and at 28 years old was considering being alone to risking harm. I asked her two questions: "If you don't know what you want, how can you ask for what you need?" and "How can you move in a positive direction when you're looking at the negatives of your life?"

Fear can be a motivator that encourages us into battle or a deterrent that makes us run from it. Fear can push us forward with determination or withdraw in uncertainty. When we are confused about what to do in a moment of crisis, we will either fight, flee, or freeze. If we are prepared for what will happen, when it happens, we have already prepared with a choice which eliminates the freeze option. Guilt, true or falsely applied creates shame. Shame debilitates thinking and when logic is removed our responses can seem illogical, irrational, and irrelevant to the situation. When we "fall" in and out of love, emotions are driving our decisions and we look back and see the mistakes we've made because we are no longer driven by our emotional desires. Finding someone who will care for you must first be approached from a logical standpoint: What are your needs you are trying to fulfill in a relationship? When you know the "why" beforehand, you won't settle for "why not" that lowers your standards. Know what you want before he/she walks through the door, then you'll recognize the good from the not-so-good matches.

Never so loved.

Never so cared for.

Never so encouraged.


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