lessons in love after 40

Lessons Learned in Love

When I wasn’t focused on what lessons I had learned, I was focused on how and what I needed to do to be lovable. This type of thinking led to a lot of suffering, and a lot of wasted time and energy. Did you know that it takes the same amount of energy to think about WHY something didn’t go your way as it does to think about what you learned? Guess which one feels better.

Before I found my soulmate using my strategy for finding real love, I used to focus on the things I didn’t understand, focusing on WHY someone did what they did, or why they didn’t do something I wanted them to do. I didn’t understand why someone I dated didn’t call back when I was thinking we had such a good time. I didn’t understand why someone didn’t do what he said he was going to do…whatever it was – Send a picture, schedule a next date, call, text, whatever. Me, being the constant learner, seeker, researcher, Capricorn, Type A control freak, I just wanted to know why! Or as Dane Cook would say, I WANT A DIVORCE! This type of thinking wasn’t working out for me. At. All.

If someone doesn’t love you, they were only meant to teach you something.

One night when I was on a business trip I had dinner by myself, and three glasses of wine. I went up to my room and sent a drunk text to an Ex and by “Ex” I use the term loosely. We weren’t really that serious, but we had fun together via several dates over several weeks. Since we had parted ways, I had already gone out with someone else but because I wasn’t focused on the lessons and because I was focusing on the past, 6 MONTHS LATER, and three glasses of wine later, it bothered me how he had just seemingly dropped off the face of the earth.

Now, the last time I had talked to him, he was getting ready for a party and asked me about the type of belt he should wear. He made a joke about his image being at stake and even though it was a joke I said, “Your image isn’t important.” To which he replied, “Image is EVERYTHING!”

Oh. Really?


He was probably joking, but then again he was never serious. Which was part of what made him super fun. And definitely not husband material. Nonetheless, six months later I found myself drunk texting him and asking what happened.

Why did you just drop off the face of the earth?

No, I didn’t want to date him, I just wanted to know what could possibly make someone just NEVER talk to someone else again? (Which, by the way, is exactly what I had done many times. I would just ignore guys until they stopped reaching out. Like attracts like, Ladies. Karma’s a bitch if YOU are a bitch.) Surprisingly, he responded to my drunk text. He replied:

Because that’s what I always do!

OMG! All I could think was, “Thank you, God, someone FINALLY told the truth!”

Love quotes from author Mrs Karen StanleyIn this moment I realized that the answer itself wasn’t important. People just do what they do. And it doesn’t matter WHY anyone does what they do; it only matters that you learn from them, whatever it is you learn from the experience of knowing them, for however long or short a period of time that may be.

Fast-forward a few years to when my new obsession and main focus was to be awesome (aka the best version of myself) and to attract someone just as awesome (aka my soulmate) and I realized that every person I had dated who didn’t love me had taught me something extremely valuable. I wrote down a huge list of lessons, and as I wrote down each lesson I felt gratitude for learning that lesson. For every lesson on the list, I thanked God for putting the person in my life so that I could learn that lesson. Then I updated my soulmate list using each of those exact lessons, because all of them put together showed me exactly what I did want in a relationship.

Drunk-text-guy taught me that what I wanted was someone fun and funny and childlike. AND I wanted someone to tell me the truth. AND I wanted a husband who was serious and would engage in intelligent conversations so that we could push each other to grow.

Thank God for putting each person from your past into your life so you could learn that lesson.

Focusing on the lessons you have learned is a powerful way to stay grateful and stay in the present. Stay happy. Move in the right direction of what you want to accomplish. If you look back and ask why something happened, or spend too much time trying to understand WHY someone did something or didn’t do something, it only takes you backward in the wrong direction from what you want. And going in the wrong direction causes pain and suffering. It’s literally a pain in your neck to look backward!

What lessons in love have you learned?

We don’t always know what we want in a spouse until we meet someone who demonstrates it (or the opposite). Either way works. Everyone who comes into our lives is a teacher. When I started writing down the list of lessons I had learned, and felt gratitude for LEARNING them, I remembered that I was a student of life! You have to LIVE to learn. You have to DATE to learn. So every date is a gift! Doesn’t matter if you like each other. It doesn’t matter if you hate each other. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t show up or doesn’t pay the bill or never calls you again. There are no accidents. I believe God puts people in front of us at specific moments in our lives to teach us something, because we are ready for that lesson. So pay attention! If you don’t catch on, you’ll keep attracting the same type of person and reliving the same lesson – until you learn it!

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