Dating should not be a state of despair, one that promotes rash or extreme behavior.
If I had my way the word “date” would not be part of the English language. There would be a less stressful way of finding a future mate. What, I don’t know, but definitely less stressful. The “dating game” and the mechanics of it set most of us up to make this one huge mistake…appearing desperate while dating.
In Dating Is The Worst Way To Find Love And We Should All Stop Doing It, Jessica Blankenship pretty much says it all, “Look, I don’t care how perfectly self-aware and secure you are, when you focus too much attention on how you’re coming off to someone else, especially if you’re attracted to that person, you’re going to f#@k it up. Somehow. You’re going to be a little too calculating with your words and actions, a little too nervous, and then a little too boastful to compensate for it, and then self-deprecating to compensate for the arrogance (and you’re not even typically an arrogant person! WTF is this date doing to you?) and by the end of the night, you’re back at home with a nauseating certainty that the lovely person you just shared a meal with has the completely wrong impression of you and you pretty much want to die.”
We try desperately to make a great first impression. To such a degree that we can’t help but come off desperate in our search for new love. And, let’s face it, desperation stinks!
Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make When Dating After Divorce
To keep the crazy at bay below are a few suggestions for those who want to start enjoying dating after divorce and possibly finding a new relationship.
Persistent Talking Is a No, No:
A solid relationship will take time to form. In other words, you’ve got plenty of time to tell your life story if you’ve made a match. It doesn’t have to be done on the first date. And, if it isn’t done on the first date you’ve got a better chance at a second date.
Relax, chill out and keep some things to yourself. Don’t talk about your high conflict divorce, your dysfunctional childhood or that nuisance of a co-worker you deal with daily. We all have baggage we lug around but it’s best if you don’t unpack any of it on a first date.
Live in the moment. Focus on your surroundings, activities, and the person you are with. You will find plenty to talk about by making the choice to talk about the “here and now.”
Keep Your Scary Skeletons In The Closet:
Seriously, no one wants to know how many times your ex cheated on you before they get to know YOU. Did you spend a night in Juvie at sixteen or, shoplift a lip gloss at twelve? We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, most of us have done something a bit sketchy in our past. Save it for the third or fourth date when you are more certain of how they will respond.
Don’t Drop Your Standards:
When thinking about a future mate or a new love relationship we all have a list of “must-haves.” Traits like honesty, security, work ethic, physical attraction, compatibility, and intelligence. The desperate dater, the one who feels they are kissing a lot of toads and not coming up with a prince may be tempted to lower their standards.
Someone who is not worthy of you, knows they are not worthy of you. They know you are settling for less than you want and need and will take advantage of that weakness.
For example, I have a friend who just broke up with her “boyfriend.” She dated this man for seven months. During that seven months, he had never picked up a dinner tab or paid for her drinks. He never called ahead to schedule a date either. He would text or call at the last moment wanting to meet for drinks or dancing.
He was a “busy” scientist who traveled a lot for work, she was a lonely divorcee who wanted attention and company. He played on her desperation and she allowed herself to believe that someone who was using her for a booty call was a “boyfriend.” When she learned he was a scientist who wasn’t “busy” or traveling but married, she ended the relationship and reevaluated what it was about herself that allowed her to lower her standards.
Don’t Be Too Available:
This is a mistake my friend made. If you are ready to go out with thirty minutes’ notice for a “date” what message are you sending the other person? Don’t allow anyone to believe that you can be their afterthought or last-minute “go to” when bored or other plans fall through.
Unless you are in an established relationship with this person set a pattern that lets them know you are worthy of making plans with days in advance. If you don’t, you’ll never move beyond the “afterthought” phase of a relationship.
Don’t Complain About Being Single:
Want to put your date in their place, really let them know why you are there in the first place…to find a new mate, complain about being single. Yeah, do that and there definitely won’t be a second date. You may be seeking empathy but you aren’t likely to get it from someone if they feel the date is an audition for the role of future husband/wife.
If a first and second date goes well, it’s important to keep in touch but it is possible to go overboard. Emailing, calling, and texting two or three times a day is a good way to scare off someone with potential. Nothing says, “Borderline stalker” like constant texting or calling. Back away from the iPhone!
Create Some Space:
Last, but certainly not least create space between your life and a new relationship. If you get lucky and make a great connection with a date don’t become consumed by that person and the new relationship. The goal is to find someone new to share your life with, not to make the new relationship your entire life.
You have your own life and they have theirs. The point is to come together and create something that is beneficial to both parties…your life plus a little something new.
Dating, as daunting as it is, is the main way most will find a new relationship. New relationships have natural phases, there is a beginning, a middle and if you are lucky, a “happily ever after.” Desperation causes some to rush through those natural phases which, in turn, works against them finding the “one” they long to meet. Relax, don’t come on too strong, and enjoy dating. Doing so will promote the goal of finding new love.
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