3 Reasons Why Dating Sucks After Divorce
I got this message on Twitter this morning: “1st date since my divorce was an utter disaster, never doing this again. I think I’m better off with my books and movies.”
My response: “Give up after one date? If you read one bad book, would you never read again? If you had one bad job, would you never work again?”
Dating after divorce can be frustrating, but there are good people out there. So, why does dating after divorce suck? Why can’t you find a decent person to date? Or if you found one, why doesn’t it work out?
A: You’re dating people who are not a good fit. There are going to be way more people who don’t work out than people who do.
Dating is all about trying people on and seeing if they fit, learning from the experience, rinsing and repeating. If you’re searching for lasting love, all it takes is one. Everyone else is a detour along the way to love.
B: You’re saying or doing something that’s killing attraction (without even realizing it). Let’s explore option B. We’ll look at why your dating life sucks, and what you can do to find love again after your divorce.
3 Reasons Why Your Dating Life Sucks (and what you can do to find love after divorce)
1. YOU’RE OVERLY EAGER
Let’s say you’ve just had an amazing first date. It’s been such a long time since you’ve dated anyone who is articulate, attractive, kind, fit, smart, and funny, you’re excited beyond belief. You want to talk every day. You want to text in the morning, during work, and whisper sweet nothings over the phone before bed.
You ‘friend’ her on Facebook. You can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving with him. You plan a fancy dinner and want to invite his kids.
SLOW the freak DOWN! Anxiety is a relationship killer. If you’re too future-oriented and come on too strong, chances are he/she will perceive that as neediness and run away.
Do this instead: Take a breath. And take your time in getting to know one another. If you try to rush the relationship, you run the risk of losing him/her. A good relationship unfolds at its own pace. Savor the process.
2. YOUR INNER CRITIC IS RULING THE SHIP
Someone you’re dating compliments you, and you think, “I’m beautiful? Yeah, you probably just want to get into my pants.” Or, “You think I’m funny? You’re probably saying that because you don’t want to hurt my feelings.”
Do this instead: When someone compliments you, smile and say ‘thank you’. Ladies, he’s not analyzing your cellulite like you do. If he says he loves your body, he means it. Guys, she could care less that you gained a few pounds or lost your hair. Own who you are. If she says she’s attracted to you, she is into the whole package.
When you love yourself and have self-compassion about your perceived ‘flaws’, people will be drawn to your inner radiance and confidence.
What to do if that saboteur shows up? Practice just noticing the critical voices—almost like a cloud floating by. “Oh, isn’t that interesting. I’m noticing that I’m getting defensive. Hmmm. I can see that my body is tensing up. How fascinating.”
The saboteur voices are not you. They are your thoughts. You are in control as to whether you let them take over and define you, or whether you will let them float on by. And then tell them to go take a hike while you get ready for your next date!
3. YOUR ATTITUDE NEEDS AN ADJUSTMENT
How’s your dating attitude? Are you bringing negativity, hopelessness, and bitterness to every date?
No matter how much you think you’re hiding that negativity, it leaks out of you. Your date can sense your judgment.
No matter how much you think you’re hiding that negativity, it leaks out of you. Your date can sense your judgment. He or she can tell if you’re just waiting to rule them out and catch them doing something wrong.
Do this instead: A positive attitude and the confidence that goes with it are necessary for dating success. On the first few dates, share your passions and the things that light you up.
Don’t bond by sharing your wounds. If you’re telling your date about the bitter argument you had with your ex yesterday, or the fight you had this morning with a co-worker, it’s a buzz kill.
Brené Brown once said her best friendships are like a string of twinkle lights. Each time you feel a connection, you turn on one twinkle light. Your romantic relationship is also a culmination of all the little shared moments, creating a beautiful string of lights.
So, the next time you’re about to tell your date that annoying thing your daughter did last night, stop and take a breath. Turn your attention on what’s working in your life, not on what’s draining you. Share that on your date to increase your dating success.
If you work on these three things, I can pretty much guarantee your dating life will not suck. You’ll be a happier person with a better attitude. And people with a positive mindset are more likely to find love after divorce.
Are you dating after divorce? Please share how it’s been for you in the comments below.
This article first appeared in Good Men Project.