Set in Stone Somehow when we were teenagers and dating for the first time, everything about our life was flexible. We could pick up and relocate, switch jobs, date someone without a job, and be carefree about future plans.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone It helps to be flexible and step out of your comfort zone because you never know where your match will come from. Be open to attending singles events, potluck mixed meals, new shuls, new restaurants, using a shadchan, putting your profile and picture on dating websites, and going on Facebook divorce groups. So be friendly and let your dates see you for the person that you are. I ask those references for names of other people who may know him or her.
It helps if you have a rabbi or friends who have contacts in the neighborhood he is from. Each side in a divorce has a story, and you have to sift through what you hear to make the best judgment possible. There is no fast and easy rule to determine the truth. If someone has cheated, dealt with an addiction, was abusive, etc. Are there several years of recovery under his or her belt?
Are you taking a risk? Yes, but life is a risk and anyone can fall. With the proper support services and a strong will, sometimes a person is capable of change. Can you appreciate that person without pushing him or her to grow at your pace? I believe that being mutually understanding and respectful of someone else can be grounds for a healthy relationship. Just Divorced If you are dating a newly divorced person , be prepared to hear a lot of venting about the ex.
You will most probably hear about every issue in the marriage, explicit details about the civil divorce case — and a lot of negativity. Although there are several exceptions, in general I would suggest allowing a person to heal for at least six months to a year after the civil divorce and get are finalized before agreeing to a date. A year is a good amount of time to transition and gain some distance and detachment from an ex-spouse.
Hopefully he or she will have used the time to reflect, do some inner work, and process the marriage and divorce. Slow It Down When a person is used to being in a marital relationship, it can be easy to see a dating partner in the role of a spouse and get comfortable very quickly. When this happens, that excitement can fizzle out sooner than you think — especially with online dating.
Many of my friends have experienced the intense two-week contact, and then never hear from the other person again.
It goes without saying that any information spoken about during a relationship should be kept private and not repeated all over town after a breakup. Consider Your Kids Sometimes the people we date have issues with our children. See how he or she reacts if you have to cancel a date because of a parenting emergency.
You are blessed if you find that out sooner rather than later. Some signs of emotional instability: His feelings for you may change rapidly and go from being crazy in love with you to having serious doubts. There may always be someone desperate enough to settle for this type of person, but you need to ask yourself, why would you be willing to tolerate this person and stay in the relationship?
Introspection is key here. Self-Sabotagers If someone has a history of childhood abuse or severe dysfunction, chances are, he or she will continue choosing people who perpetuate dysfunction.
That is why therapy is important. Sometimes the person he or she dates will share similarities with a dysfunctional parent. For example, if David had to parent his mother growing up, he may seek out a woman who is incapable of caring for herself.
Two men I previously dated, both of whom had experienced childhood trauma, told me that I was the healthiest person they had ever dated. That was a message. When a person is comfortable in a dysfunctional relationship, he will be calm with a healthy person, but eventually sabotage things. Both men eventually self-sabotaged our relationships. When someone shows them love or vocalizes it, they cannot deal with the feelings.
Counseling can help a person make healthier relationship choices and gain self-worth. However, many people will jump right back into the dating scene the day after they have requested a break. This means they can handle dating, just not dating you. A Few Final Words Second time around dating can be more than frustrating. The rejection and emotional investment involved with dating and singles events can be overwhelming.
If someone is sporadic or inconsistent in his contact with me, I will bring it up. If nothing changes, I will break things off — out of respect for myself. Those of us who have been divorced awhile often wonder why it has taken so long. I look back at how I was seven years ago when I first got divorced and see a completely different person in my mirror today. I can only hope that we will look back on this time, hopefully soon, and know that it was all worth it.
My fellow dating warriors , may you be blessed with awareness, openness, and perseverance.