Getting divorced SUCKS. And unfortunately, dating after divorce can feel like a huge challenge, too.
Thankfully, I have not had this happen to me (divorce). But I've seen many men and women go through it. And it's not fun for either side.
You don't even have to be divorced to have this situation. You can just be getting over a breakup and deciding it's time to start dating again.
Is it worth it...?
One of my best friends got divorced, and it took over 10 years of his life and 2 million (yes, that's $2,000,000.00) dollars in LAWYER FEES to finally end it.
His ex-wife basically burned that Two Million up out of spite. He would have been happy to split it with her. But she had to make a point, and so they both lost.
So I've seen some pretty horrendous things out there.
AND I'm here to tell you that no matter how bad it was, you can bounce back and find the love of your life.
So if you're dating after your divorce, you need to know how to avoid the mistakes.
Dating After Divorce - Mistake 1: You haven't gotten over it.
Yeah, you really need to pay attention to this one. Having been a guy who has dated women that were angry and still stuck in the divorce, it's painful to experience.
I once dated a woman who had been cheated on by her previous husband...
It had been several years since the divorce, but she still hadn't healed from it.
Give yourself time to heal...
I remember a time I was riding with her in the car and a song came on ("Mr. Brightside" by the Killers) that triggered her because it was about a guy cheating on his girlfriend. She got really uptight, anxious, and angry in the span of just a few seconds. She asked me to turn it off.
I complied, but I was also left with the distinct feeling that she was not emotionally healthy. Eventually, this relationship had to end. It was difficult because I had strong feelings for her.
(The reason I was so quickly turned off the relationship is something I'll come back to in a bit...)
The short advice for you is this:
If you still feel anger and resentment toward your ex, do what you need to to get past it.
Otherwise you'll be emotionally handicapped for your next relationship.
You cannot have a healthy relationship if you haven't let go of your anger for him and healed.
Dating After Divorce - Mistake 2: You aren't ready to Trust yet...
This one is another sign you're not quite ready. If you can't trust someone - because of betrayal - then you have to heal that first.
Trust takes a long time to build, and it can be destroyed with one careless mistake. This makes it probably the most fragile thing in our world.
If you feel your trust issues coming up when you deal with guys, you should wait. You're probably not ready yet.
Another thing to watch out is if you make huge generalizations about men in general. If you're in that space, you're still very raw and hurt. As in "Men are all dogs..." or "Men are all cheaters..."
Those generalizations tell us we are still in a state of "high blame." And if you feel that everyone of a particular group is the same, then you're also really angry. And most men will pick up on that really quickly.
Dating After Divorce - Mistake 3: You're rebounding...
Sometimes we get into a relationship WAY too quickly. And this often happens after we've just gotten out of a relationship that left us feeling a mess inside.
When your self-esteem is shaky and beaten down, you're going to find relief in a new relationship. It's a given.
What better validation than to find someone who DOES love you and finds you attractive?
It's the ultimate "get over them fast" recipe.
But you have to be VERY careful about letting this happen. Ideally you want at least a couple months of "me-time" to get over the heartbreak.
Because you'll very likely choose someone out of convenience and not from a clear heart and mind. And that means that you can't be using your best decision making process.
Dating After Divorce - Mistake 4: You're running down the board...
IF you go out on a date and you find yourself rushing down to the end of the diving board, ready to dive into a relationship with this person, you might be ripe for a rebound.
If you're feeling a weird kind of urgency, this is related to a scarcity mindset. You feel that you have to "lock someone down" right away.
Test the waters...
Ask yourself - why is this?
Why not date them a while longer and find out what's really there between you?
What's the hurry?
If you don't have the critical questions answered, you have no business even THINKING about marrying this person.
Dating After Divorce - Mistake 5: You're not finding the CONNECTION...
The most essential element of your relationship is the one thing that you crave most, too.
Connection tells us when we're on the right track...
Connection is the green light of a relationship that tells us when to GO...
Connection is the compatibility signal we need...
Connection is the tie that keeps a relationship together during the difficult times...
Connection is... Everything!
So when you're not finding that connection with him, you feel it. And you know that feeling is your number one concern.
Know when to given him space and pull him closer...
There are a lot of reasons you might feel like you're not connecting:
You're not finding the right men...
You're not feeling compatible with him...
You're not fully PRESENT with each other - not feeling THERE for the other person...
You talk - but you don't really COMMUNICATE in any intimate ways that satisfy you...
This list could really go on and on forever...
The point is that most women know that connection is essential to your relationship -
And yet most of them don't know how to CREATE a strong sense of connection with their man.
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