When a person gets divorced, there is a pendulum of emotions that comes with accompanies the idea of dating.
These emotions are based on many things. For example, what type of marriage you had, what type of divorce you had, if you have children, how old they are, how much time has passed since you last dated, etc. The list goes on and on. The truth is that dating when you are single is different from dating when you are divorced. I had spent all of my twenties in a relationship with my ex-husband. Ten years later, I didn’t even know how to date anymore.
In your early twenties, you are still developing as a person. It is easier to adjust your life to the person whom you are dating and to grow together. By contrast, in my early thirties, with two little girls, I wasn’t just dating for me anymore. I was dating for them, too! And let’s face it, I am more set in my ways. My little trio has its own flow going on. I did not want to disrupt that and to drag my kids through a dating roller coaster.
I was drawn in by the world of online dating, as I believe many people are nowadays. It seemed great at first. You could go through half of the process of getting to know someone by reading his profile. You never even needed to meet the person. Easy . . . right? As I began the process, I found the whole thing very . . . interesting. The volume of people and the number of dating sites is overwhelming.
Some people are crude; others are easily offended. Apparently, responding to a message with “I’m not interested in your profile” is not acceptable. In my experience, this is usually met with defensiveness or self-pity. I received defensive replies along these lines: “Why aren’t you interested in me?” or “What is wrong with my profile?” How do I answer that? “Well . . . I just felt like I wouldn’t enjoy doing the things that you listed that you enjoy,” or “I didn’t feel that our lives would intertwine well”? Now I am not interested because you are pushy and arrogant. Block.
A self-pitying reply that I received once complained: “No one ever is. I guess I am ugly.” I am sorry that you have these issues, but I do not have the time or energy to be your life coach. I wasn’t interested before, now I’m definitely not, have a nice day. Block.
Meeting in person was typically not any better. After a couple of dates, there was only one thing that I looked forward to. Wearing my clothes! All of the clothes that I was sick of seeing myself in were new to these people whom I had never met before. You know what I’m talking about! When you are with someone for so long and you just stand there in front of the closet trying to figure out how not to look the same as you do every single day. That was the most exhilarating thing for me. The fact that I looked fresh and didn’t even have to leave my closet.
Initially, I found myself overwhelmed and discouraged by the selection of dates. As I continued to sift through the many profiles and messages, I gradually began to enjoy the process more. No one is perfect and the more people that you meet, the more things you figure out that you do or do not want in a relationship. There are interesting, funny, and smart people out there. Even if those people aren’t the ones with whom you would choose to pursue a relationship, it is fascinating to see how different people walk through life. Just enjoy the experiences, good and bad. It is a different world dating after divorce!