I enjoy reading, so I read a lot.
One of the books in my "To Read" stack is Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts, by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. I realize that I will not be remarrying anytime soon, since I am not even in a dating relationship at this point, but I thought I might glean some insights from it anyhow, so I picked it up this morning and started reading.
The first chapter is called "Are You Ready to Get Married Again?" The Parrotts divide the signs of readiness for remarriage into two types: personal, and relational. They further divide each of these broad areas of readiness into two or three essentials.
Here's where it gets uncomfortable for me. The very first essential under personal readiness is self-concept.
I am not totally down on myself. I am aware that God loves me, and that I am uniquely and wonderfully made by Him. I know what gifts and talents and abilities He has given me. (Look out world: I've got a gift and I'm not afraid to use it! :-) ) I have seen Him work through me in people's lives, so I know that I am not useless.
But when it comes to men, and to relationships with men, I think my self-concept may need help. In the first place, I have a hard time believing that any man would be attracted to me. I am overweight, over forty and come with four kids and the baggage from two marriages. It would take a very special man to look past those issues and see my heart. In the second place, I don't really know how to be single, how to attract male attention, how to flirt, how to date. I can sort of fumble my way through meeting a potential suitor, but I look like someone with two left feet attempting to dance Swan Lake while doing it.
Here is my quandry: how do I challenge that belief that no man would be attracted to me? And how do I learn to do the entire courtship thing? It's not like I can sign up for a class in it, and book learning only takes a person so far anyhow. What specific steps can I take to grow in this area of my life, to learn to believe that God can bring a man into my life who can overlook all the negatives, or at least live with them? What specific steps can I take to learn how to start and maintain a love relationship again?
The Parrotts' book is geared for those who are already in a relationship, so I don't think this one will have the answers. But if anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them!