After my divorce, my self-esteem was absolutely in the toilet. Since the end of my 18 year marriage involved betrayal and infidelity, (not on MY part!) I felt like garbage. Casually disposed of for a brighter, shinier model. Was I really that horrible? She wasn’t even that good looking! I mean seriously?
After a few months of serious grieving, and I mean ball-my-eyes-out-fetal-position-on-the-floor grieving, I decided that if a member of the opposite sex didn’t find me attractive soon, I would seriously consider Oreos and Vodka as new diet staples. These would go along with full subscriptions to every Premium Movie Channel that the cable company offers, as I would just curl up and live vicariously through other people. So, I did what any self-respecting middle-aged divorcee would do – I signed up for internet dating! I chose the hokey free site, you know the one, so that I didn’t make any REAL commitments to date, I just had to feel like a woman again!
Well, much to my relief, my little email box starting filling up with winks and pokes or whatever and I discovered that I was, indeed, desirable. I even used a photo that I had my daughter take the night before so that I wouldn’t hear from anyone that I was not being honest by posting an old photo. At first, I was a little freaked out because here I was at the age of 40, “putting it out there” and you know who was responding? Guys in their late 20’s and early 30’s!! What? Do I have COUGAR tattoo’d across my forehead? OK, I confess, I did think about the thrill of a hot steamy night with a 29 yr old just as slave for my self-esteem but then realized that I just really wasn’t interested. Let’s face it, if all we want is sex, I don’t really even need a guy. Oops, did I say that out loud?
So I went on two dates – and one turned into an 18 month relationship with a LOT of really bad decisions on my part. (I’ll save the details for another episode.) AFTER the 18 months, I realized that I was SO not ready to start dating when I did. Now I understand that:
– Until you have fully completed the grief process from your divorce, YOU’RE NOT READY TO DATE.
– If you are still angry with your Ex, YOU’RE NOT READY TO DATE!
– If you are convinced that your divorce was all the fault of your ex, YOU’RE NOT READY TO DATE.
– If you find people hitting on you that are eerily similar to your ex, YOU’RE NOT READY TO DATE.
– If you’re not sure who you are when you’re not a wife or husband, YOU’RE NOT READY TO DATE.
– If it’s been less than a year since your divorce, it’s ok to date but NO RELATIONSHIPS!! PERIOD!
You OWE it to yourself to give yourself one year minimum to go through the grief process, explore your role in the breakdown of the marriage, help your children to cope with all the changes, and above all, look deep, deep inside and decide consciously who you want to be. When you take the time to get centered, healthy, and complete all on your own, you will attract that kind of mate and find the partnership you always dreamed of. Just ask my new husband who is the most perfect life partner I could ever dream of. Do the work. It will pay off in the end.
Interested in learning more about how to handle post-divorce dating, contact our team for a complimentary consultation.