Life after separation, life after divorce. It can range from satisfying in that ‘it’s about time’ kind of way and it can be devastating in that ‘am I really single at 43’ kind of way.
I’ve had a lot of clients that were divorced moms. I had a client once tell me she would mow over any man she was seeing that looked at her daughter in that ‘winkish way’. Apparently her daughter is attractive and over developed for her age and she caught a guy she was dating oogling.
I had another client explain to me that she was really wasn’t looking for anything serious and, in fact, just wanted to make up for lost time. Translation: My sex life has sucked for the last 16 years and I have needs.
These are not isolated stories from isolated women. You’ve lived these. You’re friends have lived these. And I’ve taken notes of these and countless others. The examples are common with minor detail shifts here and there. I’ve compiled the eight most common experiences and adjectives of divorced moms in my eight years of doing relationship coaching. In doing this, I’m comparing adjectives and experiences that stand-out for divorced moms more so than divorced women and, when applicable, unmarried women.
- Battle Tested: Women often go through the ringer in a marriage. Be it abuse (physical or verbal), lying, cheating or just ‘fake it until you make it,’ when they come out, there’s little thrown at them that they haven’t seen, squashed and buried in the back yard. In this environment, divorced moms wear not only their own armor but that of their children.
- Protective: When you’ve been hurt or ignored or disrespected, the last thing you want is for someone you love (friends, family, etc.) to go through it. For divorced moms, that is their children. Enough said!
- Impatient: Back on the dating scene and you’ve watched enough, seen enough and heard enough that you know the difference between sincere and fake. Women have become a lot less patient and a lot less tolerant for BS. For divorced moms, the impatience is doubled down because their time away from their children is hard to come by.
- Fragile: Yes, women are human. And yes, despite their awesome battle tested, protective and impatient selves, there is still some residue from the past and it will come out at times.
- Fun First/Find Long Term Second: Simply put, women can get out of marriages and simply want to have fun without attachments. This is especially true if the sex within their marriage was unfulfilling and they know they’re not ready to date right away. For divorced moms there’s the added reality that of having physical needs and not rushing anyone in meeting their kids.
- Online Dating: Divorced moms do online dating at a much higher rate than divorced and unmarried women. Why? Because there isn’t enough time to be social, especially not at a time when potential catches are also social. Again, I’m a genius, right?
- The Walk-Out: In reviewing every female client I’ve had walk out on a date, divorced moms did so at a significantly higher rate than divorced and unmarried women. Why? Because they are impatient and battle tested and protective. Translation: If I feel like something is off about you and I’m scared or worried about it, I’m not taking any chances and I don’t have time for BS.
- Group Nights: Divorced moms, at a significantly higher rate than divorced women and unmarried women, go out with friends when they have free nights. This includes nights when they have an opportunity to meet someone or see someone again; they prefer to be with friends. This is because friends are comfortable and familiar to them. It’s also because they may have some confidence about their social bearing after being married for so long.
I don’t normally put in a plug for shows but take a peak at Bravo’s Girlfriends Guide to Divorce. It is a good guilty pleasure and it actually happens to have some very realistic elements of the dating life of the divorced mom. You just have to forget about the fact that everyone on the show is a lot richer than us. Enjoy.
What has been your dating experience?
- Five Men Every Divorced Mom Needs
- Should You Date A Man With Unresolved Divorce Issues?
- The Rebound Relationship: Bouncing Back After Divorce
- Dating With Kids?
photo credit: ladies snuggling on the couch via photopin (license)
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