Dating After Divorce – Are You Making These Four Mistakes?

By Kimberly Pryor I’ll always remember the online profile of a man who had contacted me on a dating site. Here’s an excerpt (I promise I’m not making this up): “I have a pattern of finding Psycho women that terrorize my life after I have given so much of my own self to them. I hope to find someone that can help me enjoy life away from the office. But if you take any psychiatric medication because you can’t handle the stresses of life, please do not respond. “I am currently married. I have been married for 14 months and as of recently, my wife and I decided that a divorce is appropriate. In the first six months we were already receiving counseling, so that tells you that this was doomed from the start. I am not hurt, I don’t have any feelings for her (Especially after she told me she wanted $22,000.00 to walk away from me and the business). I’d spend more in attorney fees by fighting her, so I agreed to the sum. The woman that I would like can now be summed up in more simple terms now….THE OPPOSITE OF MY WIFE…LOL.” I’m not sharing this bad profile with you to make you run away screaming from online dating.  I found my boyfriend online, and he is one of the most caring, funny, intelligent men I’ve ever met. Before I found my boyfriend, I dated and communicated online with more than 100 divorced men. I’ve read the online profiles of both divorced men and divorced women.  And I’ve noticed that ex-spouse bashing shows up quite often in online dating profiles—sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes, as in the profile above, more dramatically. It’s one of four mistakes I see divorced people making when they re-enter the dating world. Read on to discover more about these four after divorce dating mistakes—and one easy way to avoid making these blunders the next time you go on a date or write your online dating profile: 1. Showing Off Your Insecurity At the end of your marriage your spouse probably wasn’t complimentary toward you. Perhaps you were arguing a lot. All this took an understandable toll on your image of yourself. Even though you’re a good person, a sexy, attractive person, sometimes the less-than-complimentary words of your ex still echo in your head. Or if it was your ex-spouse’s idea to get the divorce, deep down inside you may feel unattractive, undesirable. This shows up in little derogatory statements you make about yourself to your date. These are often subtle statements that you don’t think twice about but that give the impression you have low self-confidence. For example, I played miniature golf with one divorced man. We’ll call him Jim. At the end of the game, we were allowed to put our golf balls in one of two slot machines and press a button in order to try to win a free game of miniature golf. Jim put his golf ball in one of the slot machines, turned the handle. . .  and nothing happened. The machine was broken. Jim said, “The story of my life. I’m always choosing the wrong machine.” Now Jim is probably a wonderful guy. But he believes he has bad luck. Not a very self-confident image to project to the world. These same types of statements sneak into online dating profiles. As in “I’m not good at writing profiles.” Instead, start your profile by writing about something you ARE good at, something you love to do, something that you’re so passionate about that you’re filled with joy when you write about it. 2. The Elephant in the Dating Room Often, your ex-spouse shows up on the date. Not literally. But in the way you mention him or her in the conversation or in your profile. You may be thinking: Me? Talk about my ex on a date? Never! However, on dating profiles ex-spouses—or even people you’ve dated after your divorce—are like the elephant in the dating room. Because in your profile, you give little clues to how your ex treated you without actually mentioning the ex. For example, let’s say you write “honesty and integrity are important to me. I would like to meet someone who actually sees me. Not someone interested in judging a book by its cover.” That’s a pretty good clue that you felt as if your ex ignored you and that you don’t feel pretty or handsome enough and that men or women will judge you on this “fact.” This is your ex intruding upon your dating profile. It also makes the writer come across as not liking his or her appearance. And it’s not your appearance that’s important—it’s how you think of yourself that matters. If you believe you’re beautiful, you’ll project an image of self-confidence that will attract quality dates. The same goes when you write “No head games, no playing with my heart.” When you write a statement like that it’s sewage-like residue spilling over from your relationship with your ex and perhaps relationships that came after. It says to the person reading your profile that deep down inside you expect every man or woman to be untrustworthy. And, the message it projects to anyone reading your profile is this: “This person isn’t very trusting. Even if I treat this person right they might not be able to trust me and just assume that I’m like their ex.” Why not make your profile about you, what makes you interesting, what makes you the unique and special person that you are rather than making your profile about what your ex has done to you in the past? Wouldn’t that attract a lot more quality men or women? 3. Bad Bonding It’s so tempting on a date with someone who is divorced like you to commiserate with each other about the breakup. Yet, do you really want to bond with your divorced date over the fact that both your ex-spouses cheated on you or both your exes always were knocking you down? Wouldn’t it be better to bond over the fact you both like old movies or you both hiked up to the tallest mountain around or you’re both training for a marathon or own golden retrievers? Once you heal from the divorce if the only thing you and your new romantic partner have in common is the way your exes treated you, the relationship is not likely to last. Much better to pay attention to the values and pastimes you have in common. 4. Expecting Your Date to Fill Your Post-Divorce Emptiness I briefly dated a divorced man who was very nice. The problem? Every time we talked on the phone or in his emails he would say, “Oh, just sitting around really bored.” He worked every other week—but his off week he couldn’t figure out what to do with himself. He liked to go jet skiing but refused to do it on his own. On our second date, walking on the beach by Lake Tahoe, he said, “I’m so glad we met. I need someone to help fill the time and stop me from being bored.” This man didn’t want a relationship. He wanted a cure for his boredom, as if he expected me to get behind the wheel of an emotional cement truck and fill in a hole inside of him. In reality, he was the only one who could make himself feel whole by finding new activities and hobbies to participate in. I recently saw an online dating profile from a woman looking for a man. It said: “Just looking for the right person to complete me.” Your date’s job is not to complete you. Get rid of any expectations you have from watching the movie Jerry McGuire. You’ll have much more success finding a quality man or woman if you are already complete, if you have passions and interests, if you’ve taken the time to reconnect with what makes you happy. And if you like yourself and are happy in your own skin. One Solution There’s an easy technique you can use to eliminate feelings of insecurity and the other challenges mentioned above. I’ve used this technique to boost my self-confidence and heal heartbreak. When a boyfriend broke up with me in 2005, I used it to feel at peace again and to feel optimistic about moving on and meeting someone else. It’s called Emotional Freedom Technique. To learn it on your own you can visit eft.mercola.com. It’s helpful to visit an EFT practitioner for a few sessions before branching out on your own. And I still go to an EFT practitioner when I can’t find the right statements to tap on by myself. EFT was so helpful in healing my heartbreak and helping in other areas of my life that I wanted you to be able to learn this easy technique, too—which is why an EFT practitioner will teach it to you at The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce Mountain Retreat. Never Give Up Hope Dating after divorce, like most things in life, takes practice. You may have some bad dates along the way, but the more you solve the problems mentioned above, the more likely the good dates will outnumber the bad. Are you dating after divorce and tired of meeting all the wrong people? The Indestructible Relationship author Kimberly Pryor is hosting an event created especially for you. It’s called The Rebuilding Your Life After Divorce Mountain Retreat. Twelve of the country’s top relationship and self-empowerment experts will show you how to have more success when dating after divorce, how to reconnect with what makes you happy, how to help your kids heal—and much more. Part of the proceeds from the retreat go to a children’s charity. Click here now to find out about an event that will bring you peace and joy.       

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1 comment to Dating After Divorce – Are You Making These Four Mistakes?

  • […] to be, it will encourage you to let those bitter feelings go. This is especially important as you begin dating after divorce and want to look and feel your best. 10 Post-Divorce Life Lessons […]