One common question about divorce is how long to wait before dating again. Some experts advocate waiting a year, while others, myself included, say it’s up to you. Gregory Smith from MidLifeBachelor tells his readers to be careful of waiting too long to start dating after divorce.
Gregory Smith was married and divorced in his twenties. Now in his fifties, he has not remarried, has enjoy several committed relationships and offers dating advice for men. Here’s Gregory:
What I routinely tell people now is that after they get through the process of figuring out how their marriage ended and it is a process that I take them through, but once they get their heads back, my advice is they should get right back out there and start dating again, and find the happiness that they deserve.
These days we have so many more tools and technologies so if there’s a will, there’s a way these days.
The most recent girlfriend I had which lasted about a year came from millionnairematch.com. I’ve also been on match.com. And then a girl that I’ve been dating real recently I met at the tennis club that I played tennis at.
If you’re going to use an online service my advice would be to be very careful, and to meet someone for coffee first because people are often not who they say they are. And don’t give up your phone number until you’ve actually met them in person.
My advice would be to meet as many people as you can, but be very careful especially if you have kids. Don’t introduce anyone to your kids, not for a while. What does a while mean? Maybe six months, it’s what I would say. Relationships especially if they’re started by meeting online tend to be very flighty. Some of them last a week or two weeks, and the last thing you want your kids to see is a new boyfriend every week or two weeks.
You may have to meet 20 or 30 people before you find one that is actually a decent person that could be a good long term match for you.
I’ve found that there’s a lot of photo fraud that goes on on these dating sites. I think the most interesting one was probably the first online date I had after an eight-year relationship. It was the woman who had six or eight photos up. She said she was one year older than me. I was 47 I think at that time. She said she was 48. But when I met her in person she was at least 65 years old. I was floored.
Well, fortunately for her, I’m a very nice guy. I went through with it and I bought her dinner, and we had a nice time and we talked. But at the end of the date she did expect a good night’s kiss, which did not happen. I just said, “Look, I really don’t know that we’re right for each other.” And she was crushed. Lots of people say when in a situation like that you should just cut it off. They’d say I should never have brought her dinner or anything, but that was the first date I’d been on in years, right? So I was just, ahh! I didn’t know what to do.
These days, instead of meeting somebody for dinner for a first date, I would meet them for coffee for 45 minutes. That way I’ve just saved myself a $100 dinner bill in case the date turned out to be something weird.
I just get a sense for who they are. It’s interesting to ask people open-ended questions when you’re in a situation like that. You can ask a question like, “Who are you really?” And see how they respond.
I’d never lied about a thing online but honestly online dating has made me just doubt the sincerity of the human species. I’ve run into so many nut cases out there. It makes me think that the majority of the world is crazy. But who knows? Maybe that says the same thing about me.
I do believe in love.
I tell people on my midlifebachelor.com website when they talked about going out on a date that there’s one thing you need to keep in my mind. It’s called the Golden Rule of midlife bachelorhood, and that is always go for it. Whatever situation you’re in, ‘Should I give her a goodnight kiss, should I not?’ ‘Is this the appropriate time for that?’ whatever. Just think about that rule and then you’ll know what to do.
Always go for it. Actually it applies universally, more than just in dating.
The Divorce Coach Says
Some experts recommend waiting a year to date. I don’t subscribe to that because I have no idea where to measure that from. It’s a year after separation? Is it a year after the divorce is final? Is it a year after you started talking about divorce?
Divorce often doesn’t follow a neat, orderly timeline so setting a deadline like this I don’t think is helpful.
My philosophy about dating after divorce is also a little different from Gregory’s and I do think it’s different when you have children. For me, dating after divorce is about time and timing: you have to feel you have the time available to date and you have to want to date.
I know lots of parents who consciously choose not to date primarily because their children are with them the majority of the time and between parenting, working, and running the home, there simply isn’t the capacity to add dating into the mix.
However, one of my interviewees, David had a perspective on this I completely support. By not dating you are ignoring/starving an integral part of who you are. Humans are social creatures. Most of us crave the company of others and most of us need intimacy. So while I don’t agree with the “get right back out” philosophy, I do think it’s important for you to be honest about why you’re not dating. Do you truly not have time or are you unwilling to be vulnerable?