The scenario is so typical that any woman dating in the day of ghosting and sexting is likely to experience it at least once.
At the conclusion of an amazing date that included drinks and a delicious meal at the neighborhood bistro, Mr. Wonderful suggests a second date. You assume the connection was real given the depth of the conversation and shared interests so you’re crushed when there’s no call or text later in the week.
You suddenly find yourself dissecting every moment of the date in search of a plausible reason for his disappearance. “Should I not have had that second glass of wine or tell him I don’t recycle?” you wonder.
Dating post-divorce can swing one of two ways and be either an uplifting adventure to help you get your groove back or the catalyst for anxiety and self-doubt. For many women dating after age 40, it often falls into the latter. Subject to rejection and inappropriate behavior from the men in the dating pool, it can do the opposite of its intent – find a mate – and instead perpetuate the pain and humiliation of such traumatic events as your ex’s cheating, having an abusive father or a prolonged divorce.
Other than stop dating altogether, there is no way to protect oneself from the risks involved in post-divorce dating. Yet, by adopting the mindset set of a “dating warrior” and keeping these basic principles in mind, you can shift your perspective so to enjoy the experience and not be a victim of the process.
8 Tips For Becoming a Post-Divorce Dating Warrior:
1. Don’t take it personally:
If a man suddenly dumps you for no justifiable reason, know that it is in no way a reflection of you or your desirability. Quite simply, the relationship was never meant to be in the first place. See the break-up as being in your best interest and that universal forces are moving full-speed ahead trying to align you with someone better suited for your needs and desires.
2. Dating is a numbers game:
A common trap many women fall into when dating is they become fixated on one man. Dating, however, is a lot like sales. A good salesman rarely, nor expects, to close a deal on his first call. For that matter, he doesn’t allow a “no” to deter him. He knows that in order to make his sales quota he has to make a certain amount of calls each day. Dating is no different. Expect to go on a lot of dates and experiences a few rejections before finding the one.
3. Never take someone’s behavior personally:
How someone behaves on the outside is merely a reflection of how they feel on the inside. If your date was frisky, drank too much or stood you up, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him and his issues.
4. Be grateful you don’t have to put up with ____ anymore:
Women have the tendency to become fixated on the good parts of a relationship while downplaying an ex’s toxic behavior. They’ll often say such thing as, “His lateness used to drive me crazy, but he also could be very sweet.” Romanticizing a past relationship prevents you from moving on and finding someone more appropriate.
5. A tiger doesn’t change its stripes:
Nor does a man. There is nothing you did to provoke an ex’s bad behavior during the courtship or relationship. If he lied, drank, cheated on you, chances are he’ll do it someone else. That is who he is and who he will always be. Same old tiger, same old stripes!
6. Soulmates come in many sizes and varieties:
Let go of the idea that everyone has a “soulmate.” It is misleading to think that on a planet of 7 billion people there is one person whom you’ll feel a connection. During a lifetime, you can fall in love with many different people for a wide range of reasons. There is never just one so don’t limit yourself by silly romantic notions.
7. See every date and relationship as providing some valuable life lesson:
All relationships, regardless of the outcome, have teachable moments. In the aftermath of a breakup, when anger and resentment are at their highest, we forget about what we gained or learned from the other person. Maybe your ex encouraged you to take risks, got you in touch with your sexuality or ignited a passion for travel. Find the a-ha that you can savor.
8. People come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime:
Knowing that not every man you date will be with you until “death do us part” takes the pressure off dating and helps you enjoy the moment. Instead, view each date and relationship as another passage in your life journey.