Maggie, age 50, told me of her real-life “missed connection” who recently got in touch with her. As she went on over the bad timing of when they met and the way he makes her feel butterflies, I asked why she didn’t go out with him now! Maggie is currently separated, with the divorce to be finalized in July, and has two small children under the age of 8. Her concern is that she shouldn’t date until she is finally free of her ex-husband. Of course, are you really ever free when there are children involved? Dating after divorce has its ups and downs; depending on the scenario, here are four things to remember.
1. Your Ex Is Probably Dating Too
Maggie’s big concern is that if she starts dating, her ex will use it in court against her to try to say that she is more consumed with dating than caring for their children. Here’s the thing, though: he’s been on two dating sites consistently for about six months. Psychologists like to call this projecting. That is, one person is doing something that they know could be used against them or is their fault, but they project their feelings of insecurity onto someone else to avoid being to blame. Your ex is probably already dating. You do not need to wait in fear of what they will say – it is not their life, and their opinion no longer matters in terms of yours.
2. You Deserve Better
Another woman I met, Betty, talked about how she keeps hoping that if she leaves that door open, her ex-husband will come back to her. She says that after 40 years of marriage, he simply “changed”. Betty deserves better. At some point in your life, you have to accept that you deserve better than someone who doesn’t want to be around you all the time. Life is short – especially if you are a senior who is dating – you shouldn’t have to spend a second of it without companionship and without feeling love if you don’t want to. Call the game, it’s over. And move on to someone better without hesitation. Remember, you were married. That person had their chance to make it work. But they didn’t.
3. You Are Built for Companionship
We are all wired for companionship as a natural part of our DNA. Having companionship that is for ourselves makes us happy, which in turn makes everything in our lives seem easier. Think about it.
- If you are having a horrible day, then everything seems utterly terrible.
- If you are having a great day, then the bad things that happen are no big deal.
Sustaining life with kids and work and the stress of daily life is easier when you have someone to talk to and snuggle with at the end of the night. And, in terms of situations like Maggie’s, the reality is that any good parent knows that you need things in your life that help you feel your best. Being a parent is a constant challenge, and it is exhausting. When you take time for yourself, whether it is to find love, be in love, go to the gym, or pamper yourself, it gives you a chance to recharge and continue to be good at being a parent.
You will want love in your life again after divorce. It’s the way you are wired. You should go out there and find it. Plus, remember that the next person you are with isn’t going to be anything like your ex-spouse. They are going to be better. You deserve that better, epic level of happiness.