under Date Night
About 7 months ago my husband admitted to me that that “he didn’t think he wanted to be married to me for the next 20 or 30 years.” We’ve been married 18 years with 3 beautiful teenagers who were the focus of our marriage. He moved out 6 weeks ago and we’re at the beginning stages of a divorce.
So I’ve been betrayed, and rejected, and now my family needs to find a new normal. I want to date now even though people say it’s too early, but I’m lonely and want to do things with someone. So I signed up for JDate but I don’t know how to proceed. All I know is I don’t plan on or want to talk about my divorce while on a date. Any advice?
Dear Divorced & Dejected,
Whew! You have had a heckuva ride these past few months. It sounds like you have a lot of healing to do but I can understand your need to be with someone… you haven’t been alone in 18 years! On one hand I think some real alone time will do you some good and on the other hand I think some real fun rebound dates where you’re made to feel wanted and gorgeous is good for the soul as well.
My advice to you regarding JDate is this: select divorced in the “current relationship status” box and under “what type of relationship are you looking for?” you should check “an activity partner,” “a date” and “a friend.” At this point you don’t need to go anywhere near the relationship or marriage categories. And in your “About Me” paragraph simply put that you are looking for fun, distraction and nothing serious as your marriage recently ended and leave it at that. You say you don’t want to talk about it with a date, so don’t. And once you go on dates, and they ask about your marriage (because they will), simply tell your date that at this point you don’t want to talk about the past or anything negative, and that you just want to get to know him and have fun. Most of the guys you will be going out with are also going to be divorced and probably don’t want to think about their ex-wives either!
Give it some time but in the meantime, allow yourself to discover the new, independent you! Good luck!
Dear Gems from Jen,
I am coming out of an almost 24 year marriage. My husband decided he did not want me/this marriage any longer, Ouch! Anyway, I am beginning to heal. I met a man through online dating and he has been in and out of relationships for awhile, nothing has stuck. We are keeping this at a friendship level so far. He knows I am not ready to give my heart and I want to be aware not to rebound. But, we went out the other night and I wanted to kiss him, but he gently told me no and I respected this. I have never had a real male friend. I am struggling with being attracted to him and wanting to kiss and hold and be held without ruining this friendship we are trying to build. I am lonely and I am craving being held and kissed and wanted. I can’t tell if he is attracted to me this way or not. It feels like he is and he is respecting our friendship first unless I am totally hallucinating?!
What do I do?
Dear Friendship to More,
It sounds to me as if you might be a bit confused about what it is you are really looking for. On one hand you appear to be enjoying this friendship and on the other you seem to be craving physical intimacy. You are going to need to figure out what it is you truly want from this man. Is it friendship or romance? Take some time to think about this question. Once you cross the friendship line there is no turning back. Take your time, there is no rush. It appears as if he is respectful of your friendship, so while you are thinking about what it is you really want, enjoy having a new friend!
Gems from Jen
I have gotten several letters from JDaters inquiring about dating people who are divorced. What about the divorced daters out there? What are the guidelines, rules, and tips?
• Make sure you are over your ex before committing to a new relationship. If you think about your ex and still feel emotion, whether it is anger or sadness, chances are you haven’t moved on completely.
• Remember, the person/people you are dating might have questions/concerns about the divorce. Be honest, but only share when you feel ready.
• The person/people you are dating are not your ex. Comparisons are unfair.
• If you have children, only introduce them to the new person when the two of you have entered into a committed relationship. Anything else can cause your children confusion, anger and hurt. Remember, you are entitled to have a life, but children should come first.
• Lastly, enjoy yourself. Divorce is serious business and can be very draining. Give yourself permission to live life again. Staring over can be an exciting journey. Time does heal the wounds and second chances in love are more common than most people really think!
Last week I met an old friend for bagels and coffee. She was divorced a few years ago and it was a very difficult time for not just her, but her family as well. Nonchalantly, between bites of my onion bagel with schmear, I asked her when she planned on dating again. Her expression told me the entire story. I was almost certain she was about to strangle me right there on the spot! She told me she was in no way ready to jump back into the dating pool. I then asked the question that almost assured my immediate demise. “When will you be ready?”
This conversation got me thinking about the term “ready.” What does being ready really mean? If we all waited until we were “ready” would we be on JDate? Are any of us really ready? What exactly are we getting ready for? Then the answer came to me. No one is ever ready, that’s life. So simple, yet it appears to be such a difficult concept. I called my girlfriend a few hours later and explained my epiphany to her. Needless to say she is now a JDate member. Is she ready? Am I ready? Are you ready? Life is about risks and all of us need to be proud of the fact that we have taken our dating into our own hands. It may not always end up the way we want, but you never know until you try.