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Coping With Divorce: How to Turn “Our Place” into “My Place”

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in breakup advice, coping with divorce, newly separated

 

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Of the many difficult aspects of coping with divorce (or the ending of a long-term relationship) are the places that the two of you went that were very special.

 

Restaurants, bars, coffee houses, breakfast places, parks, museums, even vacation spots can be places that when your marriage is over are brutal to even think about walking into.

 

One of my favorite Italian restaurants was a place I went to with an ex many, many times. We always requested a certain server, we knew the menu almost by heart, and most importantly, I can’t remember ever going there and not having a nice time.

 

So, when we broke up, going to the place didn’t seem like an option for me. Why would I want to go to a place that had so many memories that now seem bittersweet?

 

Then, time went by. I started to think about how great the restaurant was. Delicious food, great ambiance, nice people…and I thought, ‘OK, so this was “Our place.” Why can’t it now become “My place?” I knew that if I ever wanted to go there again, I’d have to start by actually going there.

 

So, I went there last weekend. I went there on a date.

 

I found myself a little nervous walking in because I wasn’t sure how I would feel. Would I get upset? Would I get teary eyed? Would the memories of my past relationship cause my night to be ruined?

 

I have to say, it was nothing like I expected. I drank, ate, said hello to the people I knew, and that was it. I then enjoyed martinis, salad, pasta and scallops and it was just as yummy as I always remembered. And, the date was very fun and romantic, almost seeming as if the place had never been “our place,” but rather that I was on a date at a new place.

 

I now feel like I can go there as much as I want and think nothing of it. It’s liberating. Empowering. And it just feels like I’m at peace because the anxiety of it is gone.

 

I would highly recommend that if you have apprehensions about going to a place you went with your ex, just go there. You will never know how you are going to feel unless you try it. You might get really sad and you might hate it. You might end up in tears. You might become angry at the ex. It could cause you to rehash your relationship. But the thing is, if you experience any of those things, you don’t ever have to go back. However, you could end up enjoying your time there. Then, voila. It becomes “my place.”

 

I think the timing has to be right. If you go to “our place” a month after your husband (or wife) tells you they are leaving you, you might have a different reaction than if you wait until you have had enough time to heal.

 

Incidentally, I also recently ate at a restaurant in the city (with the same date-a total cutie, by the way) where I used to go a lot with my ex-husband, and honestly, it was fantastic. I actually had really great memories of being young and kid-less and living in the city. I didn’t feel sad or bitter, although I have to admit, I did feel really really old. But my point is, I had positive memories of my ex and I eating there. Additionally, I will now have these really great memories of eating there with my new guy.

 

The thing about “Our place” is, when you’re actually there, try to remember the good times, not how or why your marriage ended. If you do that, the place will only offer you happy memories and a bright future of going there. Oh, and make sure you go to the place with someone really special or a group of people that really mean a lot to you. In other words, don’t take clients there for a business lunch.

 

In closing, one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older: memories are so important in life. And it’s OK if certain memories end up bittersweet, because they actually happened and they are part of who you are today. But, it’s the new memories you are making that are most important. They are the ones that will shape your future.
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Love Over 50: Love Never Felt So Good

Written by Jackie Pilossoph. Posted in Dating over 50, inspiration, romance

 

love over 50

 

 

love over 50

 

 

 

You know that song, “Love Never felt so good?” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake? That’s what came to mind when I started thinking about love over 50. Yes, turning 50 is somewhat of a nightmare for me, but when it comes to love, it’s never been better! Here is this week’s Love Essentially column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.

50 Things I’ve Learned About Love in my 50 Years  by Jackie Pilossoph

On the brink of my 50th birthday, despite kicking, screaming and fighting the milestone with all I’ve got, I did manage to find an aspect of the number that is somewhat appealing.

With all the physical drawbacks of the big 5-0 – impaired vision and hearing, varicose veins, wrinkles, a metabolism that comes to a halt and hot flashes, to name a few – comes a certain wisdom. Like a magical gift from above, 50 feels smarter, with a presence of self-assurance, peace, grace and understanding, especially when it comes to love.

Here are 50 things I’ve learned about love in my 50 years:

1. Happiness in your love life starts with being happy with yourself.
2. If he stops your heart, don’t be scared. Embrace it.

3. You will never, ever change him. Ever.

4. The one who got away wasn’t meant to be.

5. If you think he might be cheating, he is.

6. Men love to feel loved. Not smothered, though.

7. Every woman should have a cougar relationship in her life.

8. A guy who doesn’t want to meet your friends doesn’t deserve you.

9. Know the difference between love and sex.

10. Older men are better in bed than younger men.

11. Your kids are watching the way you love (or don’t love) your spouse. They will love (or not love) the same way.

12. If your gut says it isn’t right, listen to it.

13. Qualities in a great boyfriend are different from qualities in a great husband.

14. If you are trying to figure out if he’s into you, he isn’t.

15. A man who doesn’t acknowledge Valentine’s Day is selfish and kind of stupid.

16. Real love means being there for illness and financial down times.

17. If your girlfriend doesn’t like the guy you’re dating, her gut instinct is almost always right.

18. If he cheats, it is NOT your fault.

19. When considering marrying someone, look at the family. You are essentially marrying them.

20. Men see women 10 pounds lighter than women see themselves. So guess what? You just lost 10 pounds!

 

21. If you break up and get back together with someone more than once, your relationship probably isn’t going to work out.

22. He either likes you the way you are or he doesn’t. And if he doesn’t, that’s perfectly OK.

23. Don’t worry so much about meeting “the one.” Instead, savor and be grateful for the intensity and excitement of dating.

24. Divorced people can never imagine falling in love again and many do.

25. Platonic friends of the opposite sex are gifts.

26. A woman’s decision to leave her husband could lead you to meeting the love of your life.

27. Playing the victim in a divorce will prevent you from ever moving on and being happy.
28. If you love who you are, men will love you.

29. You never forget the smell of a man’s skin if you truly love him.

30. A few extra pounds doesn’t matter on a woman if she feels happy and healthy about the way she looks.

31. There is nothing sexier than making love with the father of your children.

32. If you end up having sex with a close friend (a “When Harry Met Sally” kind of thing) be prepared to lose the friendship if it doesn’t work out.

33. A friend who ends up dating a man she knows you have an interest in isn’t really a friend.

34. It’s never too late to call an old boyfriend and apologize for the way you treated him. Even if it’s 25 years later.

35. The best part of having out-of-the ballpark sex with someone is keeping it completely to yourself.

36. Never say no to a blind date.

37. Relationships without honest communication suffer greatly.

38. Trust and loyalty are must-haves in the search for Mr. Right.

39. Hiring a night nurse after a new baby will minimize fighting in your marriage.

40. Resentment is the root of all causes of divorce.

41. Instead of fighting about it, see if it’s possible to laugh about it.

42. Sex doesn’t solve problems, but it is a great way to reconnect during challenging times.

43. If you don’t respect him, the relationship has no chance of working.

Click here to read the rest of the article (#s 44-50), published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.
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