In response to a recent post by Jason Price, LMFT, offering dating advice and tips for men, Divorced Guy Grinning received this comment/question:
I have been separated now for almost 6 months, although I have been both emotionally and physically removed from my marriage for almost a decade. I was…am one of those guys who simply did not want to date. My kids are my focus and that was truly enough for me. I recently reconnected with an old friend. We go back 20+ years. I had no idea she was divorced – she had no idea that I was getting a divorce. We started talking, reminiscing – we clicked as if we had been the best of friends for the 20+ years, even though we had not seen or even talked to each other during this time (other than the occasional Facebook like or comment). Truth be told, I had a crush on her 20 years ago. I learned she had one on me. But we were never both “available” for either of us to act on our feelings. Now, we both are matured, have experienced divorce and all it’s tribulations (her more so than me) and professionals in our respective fields. We decided to meet. I was excited and scared all at the same time. The night was nothing less than magical. I sat across from a woman who turned my dormant heart and soul flowing again and I simply can’t explain in words the feeling – it was something I almost didn’t recognize having been so long. I guess in a way, we are going to take things slow but i really don’t want to mess things up. Not sure I know what taking things slow truly means? I also have no interest in dating others, and not because I reconnected with her – it’s just not who I am? Advice??
I honestly could not wait to respond to this man, because I was jumping for joy while reading this!
What I first want to say to this man is how happy I am that you are doing what you are supposed to be doing: enjoying life and love!! I think it is so wonderful that you have met someone (or reconnected) who turned your “dormant heart and soul flowing again!”
Before I get into taking things slowly, I want to address your fear that you are going to “mess things up.” My opinion is that is impossible. Why? Because it is in your control and it isn’t. You could act like a jerk, say something really offensive, or not treat her nicely, and that would mess things up. Those things are in your control, and seem like an improbability. As far as what you can’t control, (which is HER), don’t worry about it. My advice is, just keep being you, and have the attitude of, ‘I am who I am. She likes me or she doesn’t.’ It’s as simple as that. But, it sounds like she does like you!!
Regarding taking things slow, I completely agree with Jason’s post, that you shouldn’t mistake the honeymoon phase (which you are clearly in) for love. I believe everyone is on their best behavior for at least 2 years, especially after a divorce, so my opinion would be DO NOT put a ring on her finger for at least 2 years.
All that said, I disagree with Jason that you should “date a few different people.” I personally have never been very good at dating more than one person at a time. If you really like this woman, there is nothing wrong with spending all your free nights with her. “Take it slowly” to me means nothing more than don’t get married.
A relationship is going to be what it’s going to be and is beyond our control a lot of the time. If you and this woman decide to see each other every night for the next month, it’s just going to happen that way. It could turn out blissful, or it could crash and burn. I hope for the former for you!
Whatever happens, the lesson in all of this is that your heart is healthy and capable of loving again, and that is amazing, isn’t it? It sounds like you have been lonely for such a long time, so enjoy this woman. These are good times for you. Let yourself feel like you deserve it.
Take it slow? In the marriage department, yes. In your new relationship, it sounds like your pace is nothing short of someone running the 100 yard dash. And to that, I say so what? Run with it!