How to avoid relationship mistakes when dating after a divorce
Does the idea of dating after divorce arouse the same dread as does a root canal? Are you trying to get back into the dating scene but don’t know how or are scared that you will attract the wrong person? Well, have no fear. Here is some after divorce dating advice to help you jump back into the dating deepend before you know it!
- understand why your last relationship failed
- take notice of your repetitive mate selection patterns
- choose a partner who will give you your happy ending
- interview candidates and be highly selective
- be authentic
- choose a partner who hates his/her mother or father
- choose a partner who’s a project
- delay meeting in person
- choose a person who refuses to take ownership
Do understand why your last relationship failed
Following divorce, it’s only natural to have cold feet when it comes to finding a new flame. Whether conscious of it or not, divorce leaves most people scared of getting burned again. And there’s good reason for fear. What’s to say you won’t make the same mistakes again? If you want to prevent your next relationship from going down in flames, it’s vital to understand the reasons why your last relationship went up in smoke. With clarity comes the courage to jump again into the dating pool — and attract your true Mr. or Ms. right this time around.
Do take notice of your repetitive mate selection patterns
Most of us have been emotionally injured during our “de-formative years.” It is these old scars from childhood that drive us to choose partners who emotionally resemble the parents who injured us so that we can recreate our old scars; not because we’re gluttons for punishment–but because we secretly hope to achieve a happy ending this time around. If our partners bring us the emotional goodies that we didn’t receive from our parents, our old scars will finally feel healed.
Sadly, this plan rarely works, precisely because our partners are limited and damaged in the exact ways that our parents were–meaning they can’t give us any better treatment than our parents did. Awareness of our old scars enables us to make a more conscious choice this time around, and head-off unnecessary heartache.
Do choose a partner who will give you your happy ending
After identifying your old scar, your next task is to become conscious of what your happy ending is. Hint: Your happy ending is the kind of treatment that you always dreamed of receiving from the parent who let you down. Your quest for this happy ending is your blueprint for your next relationship. So, for example, if you had a father who paid no attention to you, look for a partner who is present and attentive to you. The bottom line: This time around you want to choose a partner who will feed rather than frustrate your deepest needs.
Do interview candidates and be highly selective
The only way to determine if someone is right for you is to do your homework. Dating homework consists of asking lots of questions and observing your intended’s actions over time. With both eyes open, you want to be looking for a partner who is similar to you in all the areas that count, including financial, sexual, political and religious values. The more similar you both are, the more compatible you are. And, above all, you want to ensure that the person isn’t like the parent (or your ex) who let you down. Doing your due diligence is the key to preventing a repeat performance of the heartache that you experienced in your first family and in your relationship with your ex.
Do be authentic
Thirty-five percent of all new marriages are the result of online dating. But, with online dating, it’s easy to present a false mask. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University found that 80 percent of online daters lie about their age, height, and weight. So be careful! Don’t take another person’s profile at face value. Keep one eyebrow raised until you can verify the other person’s honesty. And, when it comes to presenting yourself, remember: If you paint a false picture of yourself, you’re painting yourself into a corner! And you can’t undo lies and omissions.
Besides, the more authentic you are the better your chances of attracting the right partner for you. The idea is to give a snapshot of your personality, tastes, and interests without oversharing. So you probably don’t want to talk about your recurring IBS, but you do want to offer pertinent details that will help potential partners know who you are and what you’re into.
Do not choose a partner who hates his/her mother or father
If your date is like most of the world, he/she may be looking to replay unfinished business with a parent using you as the emotional punching bag. Your bottom line is this: If someone has an ax to grind with his/her parents, run for the hills, because it won’t be long before that ax swings in your direction.
Do not choose a partner who’s a project
When you find yourself drawn to someone who’s damaged goods, that’s your warning sign that you’re on the verge of repeating old scars. Trying to fix damaged partners is an unconscious attempt to fix our parents in the hope of achieving our happy ending. If this is your case, step back from dating until your old scar is healed. Then and only then will you be ready to find a healthy relationship rather than a partner who’s a project. Remember: The way to spell heartache? Choose a partner who’s a project!
Do not delay meeting in person
If you’re new to the dating scene, or you’ve been burned and are recovering from a messy breakup or divorce, you probably won’t feel comfortable rushing an in-person meeting. But beware: Anonymous, faceless conversations play a trick on your mind, allowing you to develop an intimacy without really knowing the other person. In other words, that guy or lady becomes a blank screen you can project your fantasies onto—enabling that person to become anyone you want. Keep that going too long, and you may fall in love with a phantom. Be wary of prolonged email exchanges and never-ending phone calls and meet in person asap.
Do not choose a person who refuses to take ownership
When “interviewing” dates as candidates for a possible relationship, listen carefully to what your date says about past failed relationships. If that person blames everything on the ex and takes no responsibility for his/her role in the demise of past relationships, grab your marbles and go home! Otherwise, you will soon be losing your marbles when you find yourself on the receiving end of that person’s blame.
Do not settle
After a breakup or divorce, our self-esteems can be lower than pond scum. In this state, we don’t feel desirable, which can make us come across as desperate and needy. When our self-esteems are flying at half mast, we are at risk of settling for someone who isn’t right for us or even attracting a dating deadbeat. So, before reentering the dating scene, make sure to raise your personal net worth and you will raise the odds of attracting your Mr. or Ms. Right!
Reentering the dating scene is a wonderful opportunity to set yourself free from the childhood emotional demons that haunt our adult relationships. The key to freedom is consciousness: Know your old scars and consciously choose a partner who will bring you healing rather than heartache.