Dating After Divorce: Ladies, Do You Need An Attitude Tune-Up?
Dating after divorce can be way more frustrating than it ever did back in our twenties. Work, stress, kids, exes — not only are you dealing with extra complications, your selection in good men seems dismally small. Perhaps it’s time to fine-tune your expectations – and tune up your attitude.
Update #1: Focus on being the best you
At the end of the day, it’s all about you baby: YOUR thoughts, your attitude, and your choices determine the happiness level of your life and dating life. And regardless of what is or isn’t happening in the man department, you still have a tremendous amount to offer the world as well as lots to learn and ways in which to grow. So focus and commit to taking care of yourself, mind body and spirit, first and foremost. It’s highly possible that you haven’t met your next Mr Right because you aren’t ready yet… even if you *think* you are.
Update #2: Time is your friend, not foe
The countdown clock is NOT ticking; you’re not going to wake up tomorrow prune-faced and all alone at 80. So RELAX – this isn’t a race, it’s a journey, and one that has lots for you to enjoy and learn from. Take your time to not just know yourself but expand yourself. And when you start dating someone, take your time to really get to know him instead of be-lining it to the cliff of “true love” (see all the mangled relationships down below?). And for gosh sake, enjoy the courtship phase; how lucky are you to feel all tingly and excited at this point in your life!
Update #3: Get your butt online – and stay there!
Sure, the dating pool was greater back in your twenties than it is now. But there’re still plenty of singles to choose from, they’re just online. So it’s time to create a profile – or a few different sites – and troll around regularly in the internet dating sea. When or if you get bored or frustrated with online dating, hide your profile for awhile, take a breather, then get back in the game. New people sign up and sign on every minute, every day.
Update #4: Deviate from your normal routine
If you do the same activities, same sports, take the same route to work and go to the same Starbucks for coffee every day, you’re limiting where and who you come into contact with in terms of new people. In other words, you ‘re inhibiting your chances of meeting Mr. Right. So mix things up, enroll in a new sport, attend a different course or event, or at the very least, have lunch in a few new locations.
Update #5: Stop complaining about men
If you’re roaming around thinking or saying “I don’t need or want a man”, chances are high you’ll attract more of the crumby ones, if any. I know you’ve been hurt, screwed over and bitterly disappointed in past, and perhaps the ones you’ve met of late seem “low-calibre”. But there are lots of great men out there and you need to believe that and feel it in order to attract it. Get your past hurts out of your own way.
Update #6: Genuinely want a man in your life
Ever notice that one of your girlfriends or a colleague at work always seems to have men buzzing around her, even though she’s not the prettiest, skinniest or smartest? Ever wonder what her secret is? She’s in touch with her genuine need and appreciation for masculine energy; and have no doubt about it, men feel it. Men need to feel needed and appreciated; that they can please you, make you laugh, make you happy. What energy are YOU sending off?
Update #7: Own your sexual choices
One of the greatest gifts that comes with age and experience post-divorce is greater ownership of our bodies and sexual choices. Whereas back in our twenties, our focus with sex may have been on finding love, getting married and having babies, our maturity empowers us to view sex in broader, more liberating ways. If you want to make a man wait for sex, make him wait. If he behaves lewdly and it turns you off, don’t see him again. If you want to take a lover or have a friend with benefits for the short-term, go for it. You are a grown woman – and you are entitled to explore, engage, or refrain as you see fit.
Update #8: Don’t expose your kids
The boundary lines lies at your front door: Your kids should not be exposed to your dating life, whether you’re casually dating different men or still getting to know someone. I know it sucks when you’ve met someone special and you’re infatuated and it’s “easier” to have him come over than hire a sitter or wait until the kids are with the ex. But your kids have been through enough with the divorce and it’s not fair to invite potential turmoil that can be responsibly avoided. So wait a few months, be patient, and be wise; your kids’ well-being is worth it.
Update #9: Don’t disqualify so damn fast!
It’s great to have an idea of what qualities and attributes you want/need in a man, but remember, this is a real man, not a Hollywood character you’re seeking to date. No, I’m not telling you to “settle”, I’m telling to you not to disqualify men before they even get out of the starting gates. Pick your top “must-have” qualities, then give the man a chance – the perfect man doesn’t exist my dear, only the perfectly imperfect man for you.
Update #10: Check out his luggage
By the time you hit our age, everyone you date is bound to have some luggage. But it’s what they’ve done with it that counts: Is it neatly organized into piles of life lessons or is it lying in a heap untouched? A lot of available men are highly wounded or rebounding and should be considered high- risk and assessed carefully. These include the newly separated man, the widowed or divorced man who never got did the inner work their life change required, and the manchild who never got married and still hasn’t grown up. Go slow, ask lots of questions, and keep your eyes and ears wide open.
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