Allen’s experience dating divorced moms lasted about two months. There were several reasons for this short-lived “experience” he had but the one that fascinated me the most was his annoyance at their tardiness. I’ve known Allen for four years and he was always accepting of women showing up late for dates and yet his patience for divorced mothers is nonexistent? Relationship coach, investigate!
Chris: Allen, why were you okay with Ellen constantly showing up late and yet the couple of divorced mothers who did so were persona non grata?
Allen: Dude, here’s the thing. It’s not just that they were late; it’s why they were late. Dealing with baby daddy issues or the babysitter canceling, and I’m sitting at the bar looking like a guy that was stood up!
Chris: So, non-divorced mom’s can be late and have you sitting at the bar by your lonesome but divorced moms cannot?
Allen: It will be a constant with them! That’s it.
I’ve actually heard a number of men express this feeling about divorced moms.
Double Standards Divorced Women Face:
1: Women can be late for dates, just not divorced moms.
When Craig is trolling Match or OkCupid, he, like most every human on the planet, puts his preferred body type into the search engine doohickey and sees what pops out on the other end. His preferences, by the way, are ‘about average’ and ‘curvy’. That is unless the profile is that of a divorced woman. Craig’s thought process goes something like this: Divorced women have given up on how they look and that ‘about average’ or ‘curvy’ look will soon turn into BBW or something of the sort.
2: About average and curvy are fine, just not for divorced women.
Darren likes feeling wanted. If a woman he is with puts her arm around him at parties or is touchy-feely with him in short order after they’ve met, he is feeling pretty darn good. From Darren’s perspective, a woman showing her man affection and making him feel important is the bee’s knees and the wings. If she is a divorced woman, however, she better play things a little closer to her vest. Otherwise, she’s crazy and glued to him in a manner that he is just not comfortable with.
3: I like a woman that is touchy-feely and makes me feel wanted. Unless she is divorced, that is.
Darren thinks that divorced women who are scorned from a past divorce are going to try too hard to get a man and keep a man. If they are not scorned, they are simply lonely and will attach themselves to any species to rid themselves of the pain.
Pardon me whilst I throw up. It will only be a couple seconds.
It took me about four years into my relationship coaching gig to fully realize the stigma that divorced women face. And for the purpose of these examples above, there is a number of Craig’s, Darren’s and Allen’s. I will never try and capture a view or make a point on the backs of one or two people. I could also lay out, at least, a dozen other double standards though the themes would be the same throughout.
Divorced women are needy.
Divorced women are angry.
Divorced women will hold on for dear life the next time around.
Divorced women’s lives are too chaotic to have time to date.
Blah, blah, blah.
I feel secure in my dismissive "blah’s" because not only are my clients primarily divorced women, but I’ve had enough interaction with men, like these three, to understand three very simple things:
1. Men, more so than women, turn single examples into broad assumptions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to explain that someone making a mistake does not make them prone to mistakes. Being prone is habitual and a single mistake does not a habit make.
2. Men want it easy and by it I mean love, relationships, sex, communication, etc.. In this, they cringe and exit stage left as "complications" arise in women's situations.
3. Men watch too many movies and draw very broad generalizations to women’s emotions that go beyond “straight-faced”. They also like to assume that every breakup or divorce is going to end up like Fatal Attraction. Oh, she has already been hurt and if we break up I’m going to have to deal with her every time we both might be in the same bar!
In these veins, men want to date women but can often draw the line by which they are willing to cross. Strictly from a relationship coaching perspective, male clients that have these views are the most frustrating on dogs green earth. This is because of Thing 4, which is that a lot of men “love” with their head more than their heart.
In this, dating and relationships are like equations and the more details that get added to a woman’s profile or situation, the more complicated. It’s easier to let it go before it starts. Of course, they are depriving their heart of the experience that their head has already deciphered and decided on.
These double standards are annoying, to say the least, and I have had a lot of clients ask me what, if anything, they could or should do to make men see that divorced women are not tarnished creatures. My answer to this question has never changed and it goes something like this:
Men are evolving, albeit slower than we’d like. There is nothing you can do as an individual to change a man’s perspective on women who are divorced. Be confident. Be yourself. Chase no one. Teach people how to treat you by virtue of accepting only what you need and nothing else. Do not apologize for who you are or what you have, whether it be children, a divorce decree, or “baggage”.
If you chase or apologize, you are making that stigma that is placed on you real and we all know it is strictly the imagination of the uninformed at play. Don’t play along with it. Seriously. I love you.
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