Dating after divorce can seem a bit like trying to find your way around the mall with a blindfold on. Especially if you were married for a long time or, you’re feeling especially motivated to find a new partner to share your life with.
Loneliness after years of marriage can often cause those dating after divorce to make mistakes that lead to more loneliness, self-doubt or, worse yet, another bad relationship. People just like you make common dating mistakes that cost you the ability to find healthy and lasting love. The kind of love where the other person is crazy about you. The kind of new love we all long for after the loss of a marriage or long-term relationship.
Chances are, if you’re dating after divorce you’re making some of the following common mistakes
1. Giving Away Your Power
When dating, you give away your power when you put the needs and desires of the one you are dating before your own. You have such a strong desire to fall in love again and, be loved again that you become passive if you meet someone you’re interested in.
If they love Sushi, you love Sushi. If they prefer wheat bread to white bread, you become a wheat bread person. In other words, to hold onto the person, the relationship becomes about you giving them what they need at the sacrifice of what you need.
Jumping through humps to hold onto a new relationship partner at the cost of what you truly desire from a relationship, doesn’t get anyone what they want in the long term.
Self-empowerment and loving yourself enough to be assertive and just as respectful of your needs as you are a new partner’s needs is what leads to healthy, true love.
2. Going for Instant Gratification
Instead of focusing on the long-term value of a new dating partner, you are focused on what you want NOW. You expect instant gratification of your relationship needs and if those aren’t being met you move on to the next person to find a quick fix for whatever it is you think you need and want.
You are looking for love and that perfect partner and you want it NOW. With that attitude, you either, become a serial dater forever looking for your quick fix or, you’ll end up with the wrong person convinced you can turn them into what you need.
Tinder is for instant gratification. If it’s love and a healthy relationship you want, that happens for patient people. You aren’t going to find “love at first sight.” Finding love means getting to know someone, deciding whether they are right for you and a good fit. And, that takes time!
3. Engaging in Sex Too Soon
Yes, I’m talking to women here. And, yes, I know that women want sex, enjoy sex, and should not be judged for having sex. Here is the issue, we’ve come a long way baby but, some things will never change. Men are still men and the clear majority will still judge you by how quickly you jump in the sack with them. Don’t sleep with a man before he has shown he is somehow invested in a relationship with you, bottom line.
What do I mean by invested? Has he shared any fears with you? Do you know what some of his goals for the future are? Has he shown any weaknesses to you? Do you know things about him that can’t be found on Facebook?
When you can sleep with a man and know sex wasn’t all he wanted is dependent on the state of your relationship. This can be complicated and hard to judge. For instance, if you spend your first date together talking all night, having a meaningful conversation about life, what you want out of the future, what you hold dear in life, then sleeping with him on the first date may lead to a meaningful relationship.
A woman who sleeps with a guy she hasn’t formed a meaningful connection with whether it’s on the first or fourth date probably won’t become anything other than a booty call.
4. Become Attached Too Soon
There is no way to know on the third date with a new person if they are “the one.” Don’t overlook a person’s flaws out of the need to justify becoming attached too soon. If there are major challenges in a new relationship, don’t make excuses just because you fear being alone.
Your love and devotion should not be given away, it should be earned and, it takes time to earn the love of someone new and for them to earn your love. Refer to No. 3 above.
5. Forget That Actions Speak Louder Than Words
A quote by Sherrilyn Kenyon says it all. “Lips and tongues lie. But actions never do. No matter what words are spoken, actions betray the truth of everyone’s heart.” When you’re dating someone new, the best way to gauge how they feel about you is the way they act.
Anyone can speak kindly toward you, make promises or flatter you. Before attaching yourself to someone emotionally, remember, “The proof is in the pudding.” Their actions will say more about their feelings toward you than their words. If their words aren’t backed up by actions, they aren’t someone you want to invest a lot of time and energy in.
Finding the perfect new relationship after divorce is challenging enough. That’s a given. It’s also the reason you want to avoid as many dating mistakes as possible in order to end up with someone who is right for you and as invested in the new relationship as you.