In the land of dating, relationships, and marriage, there is a PIE with three pieces to it: physical, intellectual, and emotional. These pieces are ever so tasty, but like any real bit of baked goodness, they can often be followed by a bit of regret.
In 2016 A.D. (after divorce), the PIE is ever so plentiful with an aftertaste that leaves something to be desired.
After a divorce, men have generally swallowed the emotional piece without even chewing. Whether they were married 8 months or 8 years, they tend to board the fast train to getting on with life with nary a tear to shed. Men spend less time dwelling on what happened and can move forward with dating and getting back into the work game fairly easily when compared to women. In this, one could argue that men move forward after divorce quicker than women. Not so fast, I say. There is a difference between moving forward and moving forward smartly. For as speedily as men can move on emotionally from the outset, there is almost always a long moment of pause and reflection for them somewhere down the line. In this, they may have moved on quicker initially, but their emotions catch up to them sooner or later.
Women move on quicker than men, at least in the physical sense. Statistically speaking, women have sex sooner after divorce than men. There are a multitude of reasons for this. For starters, more women (2 to 1 margin compared to men) complain of a bad sex life during marriage. As well, the sex drive of women peaks at a much older age than men and thus their desire for sex is higher at the average age (37) that someone divorces. Does this mean that women move forward quicker after divorce? Again, not so fast. As a little birdie told us in the paragraph above, there is a difference between moving forward and moving forward smartly.
Speaking of smartly, let’s talk about the intellectual piece of the PIE. Moving forward intellectually after a divorce requires someone do, at a minimum, three specific things.
First, moving forward intellectually requires one to look back on what happened, how it happened, why it happened, and do a little reflection. This is all about understanding why the marriage ended and what part each person played. Without this important piece of reflection, one cannot truly move forward.
Second, moving forward intellectually requires one to heal. This is really about taking time to put yourself back together and remembering how to have fun. It does us no good to reflect back on what we’ve been through if we do not take the time to console our inner being.
Third, moving forward intellectually requires one to think about what they want, what they need, and what they are ready for. Tammy may want a no strings attached relationship and she may in fact be ready for that. Don may be ready for a week of golf, work, bar nights, and a frustrating night of writing a dating profile-this instead of lingering on what just happened. Yep, Don and Tammy may both be ready. Or, they may both be moving forward without taking the time to balance their head and their heart. When we are in difficult times, we can very often move forward without thinking things through.
One cannot move forward smartly without having that little something called emotional intelligence. This is ones ability to be self-aware and manage that which we know about ourselves in a way that maximizes our ability to be happy with ourselves and have mutually beneficial relationships with others. If one can reflect on and learn from the past, take the personal time and initiative to heal and truly think about how they should move forward, they will be far ahead of the game of love after divorce.
And now the reveal.
So while men are quicker to move forward emotionally, they can very often miss exploring themselves from an emotional lens from the outset. Women, on the other hand, are much quicker to self-assess and take personal inventory in order to determine how to be a better version of themselves going forward. This will, and does, prove beneficial in the long run.
Sorry men (of which I am one) but women move forward more quickly after divorce.