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.