Thursday, January 16, 2014

Surviving the Big D: Dating

They say the only way to get over someone is to get involved with someone else.  Yes, okay maybe when my head is screwed on straight and I know what end is up, then ask yourself “What do I want/don’t want in a relationship this time?”  Usually the ink is dry by now or at least in the process of.  Many potential ‘dates’ do not want to get involved with you seriously (for more than just a date-date) if they think there’s a slight chance you could get back with the ex if all the T’s aren’t crossed and papers aren’t filed.  There should be no loose ends when you get back into the dating world.  You should not be dependent on the ex for anything – cut all ties and most of all you should be over him/her.  “Getting back together” at this point is not an option – no matter how much your family liked him/her.

Now I’m not against dating right away, you can venture out with your friends and meet people.  The rules haven’t changed (just technology), but they will seem foreign to you, again it’s just like riding a bike.  You did it before, you can do it again.  This time there’s the online dating universe which you really have to weed through, it’s also best to do it with a good friend as a screener.  This way if someone is really trying to scam you by posting their picture from 10 years ago and your friend happens to meet them before you at least you have a warning.  Yes that actually happened (I may have written something similar in the “Starting Fires” blog with my Shrek reference and continued into “Another Saturday Morning Cartoon”).  Dive right in, fill your calendar, practice, learn and you will find someone.  You may even find someone while you are waiting for someone else to show up at the restaurant.  You can’t think of the dating world right out of a divorce as hoping to find Mr./Mrs. Right Again right away, it’s not realistic.  It should be the furthest thing from your mind until your head is screwed on straight and you have direction in your life.  I’ve known too many people who jump right to #2, or #3 right out of a divorce, amazing how many have gotten remarried within a year or 2 of a divorce and some divorced again. I’m not saying they didn’t find Mr./Mrs. Right Again but you do need to figure things out for least I did. 

I dove into the online dating scene after my divorce on three different sites, when one wasn’t working for me, I signed up for another one.  Dates that never got past the 2nd date-no sparks.  Dates that didn’t last 2 months.  Dates that got weird – doesn’t matter which site you use, they are almost all the same.  You do have to kiss a lot of frogs (again) and yes they are all out there, I’m sure a few of those ‘winners’ made it on the blog at one point.  Once you’re out in the scene and things aren’t going as planned notice your dating patterns – are you still attracting the wrong guys?  Are you sending out the wrong signals? Are you wearing the wrong clothes (i.e. too conservative/too much cleavage)?  Chances are it could be you.  If you keep buying the same cereal you’ll never discover the next one on the shelf.  Learn from your mistakes, write down your requirements.  Did you have a bad divorce? What do you want now?  (You can refer back to the beginning of the ‘Surviving’ series and read the “Requirements” for hints.)  You weren’t put here on this earth to settle if it doesn’t make you happy.

Those dating stories that you bring back to your friends (single/married etc) are the ones you share over drinks and laugh about.  We all have learned from each other’s mistakes in the dating world, there are plenty of books and online blogs out there to help you too.  I’m a total advocate that if you meet Mr. M and he asks you out there’s no reason why you can’t accept a date for the next night with Mr. Y.  Right? Why not?  You are weeding through what’s out there, even if it’s online dating or getting fixed up by friends until you meet one who you only want to spend your days and nights with.  If you’ve been out there recently with single friends there are slim pickins to what you find out at a bar (at our age) so you have to find other means.  So date online, fill your calendar with every flavor possible, go to dinner, have coffee, meet people, let your friends fix you up, take notes from Steve Harvey (yes the grocery store after 8 pm does have single men food shopping on certain days of the week) - when you’re ready for Mr./Mrs. Right Again it will happen.

I can’t pinpoint the exact point when my head was screwed on straight to get back out there, but it all fell into place as it should have (after the ink was dry and the T’s finally crossed) and my heart is where it belongs. ;-) 

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