Today’s topic is dating after divorce. This is an odd subject because everyone is different.
I myself, think everyone should wait a bit and get their shit straight before jumping into another relationship. Add to that, that Psychology Today reports 50% of first marriages fail, 67% of second marriages fail, and 73% of third marriages fail. That’s not to say, don’t ever get married again, just… take your time and be sure.
Like I said everyone is different. In my case, my ex was pretty verbally abusive and he was a “teaser”. Always poking fun always making a joke at my expense and when I’d get upset it was “Hey come on, it’s just a joke. Stop being such a baby!” Which to this day still, the automatic answer to that in my head is “Fuck you”. And he was incapable of real emotional intimacy. Also the sex was rough and abusive. Let’s just say my self-esteem was in tatters when I got paroled from that marriage.
So when he left the house, I was hungry for positive attention. Somebody be nice to me, please! I was 35, cute with a petite figure. Some men paid attention… but I was a freakin’ psycho. I was so hungry for attention, I couldn’t just let it happen, I wanted to cram it in with no lube. Oh sorry. I am mortified to think about it now. But thank God all of this happened when I lived in Denver 10-13 years ago and I live back in NY now and will never run into those people again. lol
A big part of the problem was I suffer from anxiety. I can’t stand not knowing what’s going to happen next, so I try to make it happen. I can’t wait, I have no patience. Well, I mean I do now thank God. Back then it was crazy bad. So let me tell you about my first attempt at “dating”…
I had been separated for about a month. A really cool handsome guy flirted with me at the real estate office I was working at. It had been over 10 years since I dated. The details are a little fuzzy now but I will see if I can piece it together. We had hung out with a group after work then later he made casual mention of getting together again. I kept bringing it up, he finally mentioned a day but then he never called. That day came and I called his office phone, no answer. (I’m totally mortified by this now) So I picked up the office contact list and got his home phone number and called him. I think I was leaving messages like in the movie “Swingers”. Oh dear God. Finally he’s like, “How did you get my number? I don’t think this is a good idea. You need to chill out for a bit.” Which was a nice way of telling me “You’re a fucking wingnut lady, you need to get yourself together before you date.”
That was 13 years ago. I realized that I was trying so hard to be “normal” again right away that I didn’t give myself time to grieve and like myself again (and get my anxiety fixed). However, there are other people that the first date they go on after they get divorced, they end up in a relationship with that person for a few years. It may be luck, it may be just clinging to the first person that comes along because you thrive on being in relationships. Who am I to say? I just think it’s better if you take your time. And guess what? You will have some failures. Just accept that. I have to accept that I made a gigantic ass out of myself but it was part of the learning process. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Just be kind to yourself. Don’t rush it. Don’t force it. Do some healing. Rediscover yourself. Then have at it. And if you happen to have a drunken night of making out with a guy in a bar, it’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Accept that all these things are part of the “Learning to date again” process. Oh but most importantly… don’t do this in front of your kids. Your kids are trying to get through the divorce as well, don’t confuse them more by parading your dating life in front of them. Give them time to heal too. Don’t shove your need for adult love and affection down their throats. You can wait, you’re a big girl. Make sure the kids are all healed first. Questions?