When it comes to dating after divorce, you have to be in a dating state of mind. It’s unrealistic to expect your next long term partner to suddenly, magically appear on your door step but the good news is that plenty of people do fall in love again and go on to enjoy richly-rewarding, loving relationships.
It’s ten years since my current guest, Lucy got divorced. She’s now married to a man she met when she took up running and who she says is completely different from her first husband. Here’s Lucy:
I really had never dated as an adult, because I met my first husband at a $2.00 keg party and then never went on a real date again.
This whole dating thing was new. My friends would set me up with their friends, brothers, whatever and I’d go out on dates. But every date I went out on I was like, “OK, this is interesting but I don’t want to go out with you again.”
I would date and date but something inside me was closed like, “I can’t go there yet.” I just had to heal. And I healed by dating a lot of people, which gave me confidence because when you don’t care if the date turns out well or not you’re fine. All I did was go on a date, I wasn’t like this serial ho. It was just a dinner or whatever.
I then did Match.com and eHarmony but I was a chicken. I would just see this email or I would just email my matched dates and email my eHarmony. I never touched the dating stage, because I was afraid.
Finally one day I was like, “I am so sick of everything. I’m just done with Match, I’m done with eHarmony.” Then literally the next day I met ‘him’ in a marathon training group. I was training people and he was one of my new trainees. I just met him out of the blue when I wasn’t thinking about it. Then we emailed each other about running and after a month or two it just clicked.
We met at the end of 2005 and then started dating in 2006 and really it was a huge whirlwind. At the beginning of 2007 we decided I would sell my condo, he would sell his house and we’d get a house together.
We just did everything really fast. I should’ve taken more time probably but I didn’t. It felt right and we were in love and it was good. And it still is good, but it just was very fast to not allow for a lot of thinking.
At first we weren’t going to get married. I had reservations about getting married again. I didn’t want to give up the new me, the independent “I’m OK on my own” me. I thought that by getting married I would go back to the married person that I was.
If you saw the movie Eat Pray Love, it was exactly like the end where Julia Robert’s boyfriend wants her to go on the boat and cross over to the island for the weekend. He’s saying, “We’ll go together. We can spend the weekend together. It’ll be great.” All he was doing was asking her to spend the weekend on an island, but she just saw it as the bigger thing like, “I’m asking you to give up your sense of you,” and that’s how I felt about marriage.
If I got married and took somebody’s name and did all that then I would be giving it up again. So, I kept my name this time.
I just knew that I didn’t not want to be with him, so it was easier than I had thought.
Lucy’s comment that she her dating helped her heal from her divorce underscores that when to date after divorce is all about when you are ready and you are the best judge of that. It’s not some arbitrary milestone such as a year from your divorce decree. Another of my guests, Swati had a similar experience with her dating after divorce.
The other message in Lucy’s story is the value in looking beyond online dating services for ways to meet singles. Meeting someone through a shared activity is a great one because you know you have at least one interest in common.
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