Cheryl Burke is ‘choosing not to date’ amid divorce

Cheryl Burke is ‘choosing not to date’ amid divorce

No apologies is a Yahoo Life series in which people have the opportunity to share how they’re living their best lives — out loud and in color, without fear or regret — looking back at the past with a smile and embracing the future with excited anticipation.

Cheryl Burke is entering a new phase of life. The dancing with the Stars professional, 38, recently separated from husband Matthew Lawrence. Now, she’s learning how to be comfortable in her own company after “grieving” the end of her marriage. For now, he “chooses not to date,” she says.

“It’s just me and my Frenchie,” she tells Yahoo Life. “I’ve been sober now for four years, and with that comes self-reflection. I’m like a sponge and just learning to love myself and really learning to be alone instead of lonely. I think it’s very important for me to create that relationship with myself so that I don’t continue with the same pattern of men and relationships.”

When the time comes for it Dancer moms alum to this day, says she eschews dating apps in favor of a more old-school approach to meeting someone.

“I deal with matchmakers,” he says. “I know the statistics show that they have a high rate. It’s not just about swiping left to see who looks good and what they’re up to – it’s deeper than that.”

The relationship she is most focused on right now, however, is the one with herself. Burke, who has previously spoken about her past with sexual abuse, has a self-care routine that includes meditation and therapy. An important thing he learned from both practices was the idea that we “are not our thoughts,” but rather “observers” of our thoughts.

“Try not to define yourself by external sources,” she notes. “So your job, your friends, your family, your name… it’s about developing that foundation within yourself and knowing your worth without all of that.”

This includes shutting down the people-pleasing trends it relied on in the past.

“I used to put everyone else before me and my needs, and I realize I’m doing myself a disservice,” she explains. “I think it’s really important to take a breath and be kind to yourself because this is not easy.”

Burke, who struggles with body dysmorphia, says what she sees in the mirror “isn’t necessarily what everyone else sees.” While she tries to change the “vocabulary” around her self-criticism, her body is something she thinks about often.

“I think it’s really hard for women to accept who they are today,” she reflects. “Especially if you’re in a business like I am in the entertainment industry…comparison is the devil.”

“I hope one day my body deformity will go away,” she adds. “But I also have to…give him grace, and the same with age. It’s like you have to accept it for what it is and just know that you’re working to be better… And I think the more you own it internally, the more you’ll see it externally.”

When it comes to feeling sexy, Burke says, “What makes me feel sexy every day is loving myself, really giving back and putting myself first.”

He has also recently spoken out about never having had an orgasm through intercourse – a story, he says, that has been “misconstrued” a bit by the press.

“I’ve had orgasms in the past through sexual acts,” he clarified. “But when it comes to abuse, when I was a little girl, [there are] sexual acts that I don’t necessarily want to be performed on me, because it’s something that causes my mental health. I know some women who have been through something similar who feel the same way too, or you just completely disconnect and sex just becomes an act and there’s nothing meaningful behind it.’

Now, Burke says she’s “very unapologetic” about sharing her “life story” — even as some complain she’s “oversharing.”

The reason, he says, is because of “the amount of comments and emails and comments I get from people saying, ‘Thank you. I know I’m not alone.”

“That to me… means the world,” he shares. “It takes away any shame, even saying it, because I hope to lead by example.”

—Video produced by Olivia Schneider.

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