While you may be in a hurry to walk down the aisle you may want some “been there done that” perspective to help you make sure you are marrying not just for the sake of getting married. In this up-close and personal interview, one author reveals why you may be better off skipping an ill-considered starter marriage altogether, and how to move on if you find yourself thrust back into the dating scene after that failed first go at it. Sascha Rothchild’s book, How to Get Divorced By 30: A Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage hit bookshelves earlier this year, and she shares with us some of the things she learned:
Question: How to Get Divorced by 30: A Misguided Attempt at a Starter Marriage is the title of your book. Based on your experience, what are the benefits of getting married later in life?
Rothchild: Chances are you have looked back on old pictures and thought, “How could I have worn that! Why did no one tell me to fix my eyebrows? Was feathered hair really ever in style?” With a little age and distance you can see the error in your ways. Youth comes with thinking you know exactly what you want when the reality is you probably haven’t even figured out exactly who you are yet. There is no rush to getting married, especially now that women can have children well into their forties, so date and date some more until you are truly comfortable that you got it right. As you mature, chances are your tastes in a partner will also change, so better to leave marriage until you have a few more candles on your cake.
Question: What are three warning signs that a relationship is doomed from the start?
Rothchild: You purposely try to make the other person jealous. You focus on the end game of getting married rather than the day-to-day relationship. Their quirks go from charming to annoying in less than six months.
Question: Many people get to a point when they simply hate dating. How do you suggest they adjust their attitude?
Rothchild: Dating should be viewed as an adventure! Every date try a different shade of lipstick, a different perfume, a different location. Mix it up and decide to go places you want to go, and not just for the usual coffee or drink. Stories of bad dates are always entertaining and can sometimes be great icebreakers for other dates. If you find yourself just going through the motions, play a little game on dates and promise not to ask any of the usual questions. Try to get to know the person without asking about their job, their family or where they are from. And even if the date you are on is not working, that person has single friends so it’s always good to be on your best behavior.
Question: How does one deal with the uncomfortable “bump into” moments that are bound to happen after a split?
Rothchild: It’s best to be cordial and kind but don’t linger! If your ex acts like a jerk then just walk away smiling that you are no longer married to him or her! Of course, if two people really cared about each other and both have moved on they can be friends. But this is impossible if one party still has feelings for the other.
Question: What’s the biggest mistake divorcees make when it comes to dating and new relationships?
Rothchild: They treat the new relationship exactly like the old one.
Question: What love lesson, if any, do you offer to divorcees?
Rothchild: You may or may not find happiness, but it is much better to be unhappy on your own terms than on someone else’s. So, rejoice in the fact that you got out of a bad marriage!
Question: What advice would you give to singles that have put their lives on hold until they “meet The One?”
Rothchild: There is no “The One.” There is timing and opportunity and openness, and those things will only come together if you keep putting yourself out there, meeting new people, and becoming a better-rounded and interesting person yourself.
So there you have it. Life is a long journey and you want to proceed wisely to minimize the chance you are making a mistake by rushing too quickly into a marriage. Take your time and get to know the person who is sweeping you off your feet. And should it happen to not work out, redemption and opportunity to get it right can be found, perhaps on this site!