August 29, 2009
Finish What You Started — True Love Can Wait
It makes sense to start writing about love on a personal note. About a year ago, I experienced love at first sight. A gentleman about to teach a class to lawyers strode into a packed room in what looked like, frankly, a golden spotlight. I almost gasped, and instinctively moved to hide. (Sunday-morning sweats and glasses were not meant for this type of moment.) A week later, we discussed on the phone meeting for coffee, but since we were in a professional process together, we decided to be prudent and finish our business, and then meet– no matter how long it took–in months or even a year. So remember as you read further, when I write that true love can wait, this view comes from both my personal and professional experiences.
As a divorce professional, I heartily recommend people finish their marriage by completing their divorce process before moving into a new love relationship.
Why? Because there’s a good chance that if one or both clients starts a new relationship during the divorce process it will destroy much, if not all, of the positive momentum in a mediation or Collaborative process. Is this true all the time? No. But I’ve sat in a conference room too many times watching one client in tears or anger, just repeat in different forms, no, no, no, no– out of the blue, only to have it come to light that the other client had recently introduced the kids to a new “friend,” or had announced a surprise engagement (!), or broached the idea that he or she was moving in with a new romantic partner, to think anything other than, in almost all divorce processes, it would be best to ask love to wait.
Finish what you started. End your marriage on the best note possible, and then turn to your interest at a time when it can have its rightful place at the center of your attention. Yes, most people need some distraction during painful times, but that is not what I’m talking about. One does not take a distraction to a child’s softball game. Once your divorce process is over– that is the time of new beginnings, fresh starts, welcome changes.
True love can wait. If you meet someone during your divorce process, consider telling them you’re absorbed in finishing what you started, but when you’re available in such ways, you’ll be in touch. If they’re there, great, revel in your new love. If they’re not, then you’ve been given a gift– it never would’ve worked out in the long run anyway.
Did I ever get my coffee with the charismatic lawyer-teacher? Well, that’s just personal.