Q&A from a reader: Is she doing the right thing?
Hey, I've got an interesting letter for you today. It's a situation you might run into...
I just downloaded your 'Forever Yours' program today, and I know it'll be really beneficial in creating stronger relationships. I've done 'a bit' of work on this over the years (I actually have a psychology degree, and believe in continual self work), but this will be a welcome addition, to really help me get into the 'male mind'.
But I do have a little 'kind of urgent' matter I need your opinion on, please...
I just started dating a man, who seems to really be into me by his behavior, we have great communication, he calls me a 'kindred spirit', and we both have acknowledged the amazing mental/emotional connection we have with one another.
The issue - he just got separated a few months ago. He has said that he and his wife had been 'done' for a year and a half before starting the legal separation, and that they have both ironed things out as far as division of finances, children's time, etc., and has kept me in the loop regarding updates on this (ie - last week he was at the lawyers to fix an issue with the finance division side of things).
He currently has an amicable relationship with his to-be ex-wife, and says that definitely he knows he did the right thing in leaving, because he didn't want his sons to think that what he had with his wife was what a relationship should be like (roommates living separate lives).
I've read information from other relationship experts that say I shouldn't even be going there with someone who's only separated - that there needs to be time for grieving the relationship, figuring out who you are after and what you actually enjoy in life, etc...
Carlos Cavallo, Dating and Attraction Adviser
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And I remember how I was when I was separated, not meaning to hurt anyone, but running away when the person actually showed relationship potential. I've worked on this, but I know this can be common among people in the 'separating' phase.
Sooooo, what is your take on this? Am I being extremely foolish even bothering to date him?
I have decided to continue this with him, because I feel that 'spark' with him, that I haven't felt in a long time, because of our mental connection. But I'm going into this with my eyes open, knowing that success in this is said to be an 'exception situation', and I don't expect to be the exception (I hope, though). In some ways, I feel like I'm just saying 'f... it, I'm doing it anyway...I want this adventure. I've had my heart broken before a few times, and I can handle that happening again.'
And the other side of me feels nervous about being hurt.
Thanks very much,
CARLOS CAVALLO ANSWERS:
When we get involved with someone when there's a "click" with them, yeah it's tough to make the right decisions. And that's because feelings always seem to cloud out the rational thinking.
If your heart can take the consequences, then you can try. But always do it with your eyes wide open - as you said. It's when we deceive ourselves or pretend that things are "different" (when they really aren't) that we run into trouble.
The truth is that this is less than an ideal situation. And if I detected in your words that you were a person who was practicing self-deception, I'd say for you to avoid it.
But you're aware, and you're choosing this path, and that's all you can do.
I would only advise that you play it much more cautious when it comes to your timeline and moving forward. Take it even SLOWER than you want to go!
And definitely keep it slower than he does.
When we exit a relationship, we go through a form of emotional (and bio-chemical) withdrawal.
As you mentioned: "I've read information from other relationship experts that say I shouldn't even be going there with someone who's only separated - that there needs to be time for grieving the relationship, figuring out who you are after and what you actually enjoy in life, etc..."
Yes, those are all VERY valid points and you need to watch for those behaviors indicating that he's not respecting his own needs to do all those steps.
Whether either of you wants to admit it, he's on the rebound right now.
His stability will be shaken. His self-esteem will be shaken.
And his masculinity as well.
So don't be surprised when he exhibits a lot of "Come closer! Go away!" contradictory behavior. It's par for the course.
The unfortunate side effect is that this behavior will confuse you, and at the same time attract you because of the challenge. It's not logical, but it works on an emotional level.
Make sure you go through the section of Forever Yours where I discuss this, as well as challenge behavior and the "Come closer! Go away!" trick.
And I wish you the best of luck in making this relationship work!
Yours In Perfect Passion...
- Carlos Cavallo
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