Dating after divorce for a man comes with this romantic notion that there are millions of women just waiting for him, the stud-man, to be the one to sweep her off her feet, make passionate love to her, and answer all her feminine needs. Yeah, right! Just the other day, the message from a male client was… “I had a horrible first date yesterday. Just a nightmare.” Of course, it was. Stuck in your unfulfilling, possibly sexless marriage, dreaming of getting out, you have no idea what dating after divorce for men is really like.
Even when the man in the partnership cheats or emotionally leaves the marriage first, most men find dating after divorce a complex and difficult experience. There’s some truth to the wisdom that having such a plethora of women to select from - which online dating offers all - adds to the overwhelm and inability to commit or to find pleasure with the woman across the table from you on a date.
But, just as true is the fact that after divorce, a man is equally as scarred and scared as a woman. My female clients see this all the time. They experience first-hand the broken spirit of a guy or two leaving a marriage (no matter who was at fault or who called it quits first). It’s difficult for women to connect with this beaten down demeanor. And guys are unsure of what to reveal, how much pain to admit to, or what to say when the woman on the dates asks for her needs to be met. When or if she declines sex on date #1, they mistakenly take it personally and turn her needs for safety into a personal rejection.
A broken heart is a broken heart and why dating is so hard for men isn’t just that guys don’t want to admit they’re in pain too, which would be an authentic truth, it’s that they’ve lost track of the self-confidence (not machismo bravado) that’s required to woo a woman to fall in love with them in the first place. And though they want a woman in their arms, any woman capable of healing a hurt man needs to know how to heal him, to begin with. She needs to know her place in the dynamic and she needs to be able to be his lover, not his mom, making sure her needs get fulfilled in the process as well. It gets confusing. He has to be able to trust her enough to let her and she has to know what she’s doing to help while he puts her safety first.
The fact is, most guys aren’t really ready for love in the state they’re in. What woman wants to jump into bed with a guy who may end up crying after sex? This is tough to write but very true. And even harder for guys to get. I say, “Welcome to the human race!” You’re designed to feel feelings and no amount of cigarette smoking, pot using, drinking or drugs is going to numb the pain of your divorce for as long as you need it to. At a certain point, the truth will come out. So let’s start speaking straight here.
Dating after divorce is really tough.
Yes, transactional sex with any number of beautiful wo/men is available nearly any day of the week, in all its guises, paid and unpaid, in groups, alone, in public, in private. You can enjoy the transactional experience of sex at any moment your body needs to have it. It’s really not that difficult to have your needs met!
And if you wish to argue with me that that’s not who you are, that’s okay with me too. I don’t need you to prove to me that you’re a man of character. What I know about you is that you’re also deeply wounded and really and truly need time to heal and learn a new perspective.
If you’re dating right after a breakup or during your divorce, sorry, you’re setting yourself for a nightmare experience (orgasm or not).
That perspective, the life that you’ve been living while being married, and the man you are right after your separation, aren’t really healthy enough for the kind of relationship you’re so frightened to admit to wanting. On a certain level, we all want to be listened to and seen. But your pain, anger, frustration, and fears permeate who you are.
Pain, anger, frustration, and fears permeate every divorced woman’s heart and mind too, never mind all those single, young, beautiful women you think you want to be with. We are all dealing with inner conflict and fears.
I challenge you to become the great guy you know you can be. Make your dating life exactly the way you imagine it… do you want to be seen as kind, smart, successful, wise, handsome, sexy, a great lover, a handyman who can hold her, handle everything she asks for, and be her hero? Awesome! Go become that man and you’re right… women will be at your beck and call!
And though I know you’re already a great guy (with a broken heart) and though I know you can be an awesome, satisfying lover, what you’ve got to show a woman is that you can put her needs above yours. And in truth, that’s probably not the fact right now.
Right now your broken heart and confused mind need mending.
Right now, there’s a lot to figure out. Dealing with attorneys and learning how to be a single dad can be exasperating. Co-parenting with the person you don’t want to talk to is infuriating. Living on your own again isn’t quite as simple a transition as you once thought it might be. You’re still worried about your financial future. The gossip and drama blow up your phone.
What’s really going on?
How’s that new apartment feeling… is it homey enough yet? How’s the eating going, have you had to bone up on your cooking skills or are you spending a ton of money eating out? How much weight do you need to lose to find your six-pack? What about your health? Drinking more than usual? Using again?
Take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How’s it going, big guy? Is she going to be able to see me and all I’ve got to offer at this moment?” If the answer is somewhere between “No and Maybe” you’ve got some work to do. So get to work!
A healthy, happy, delighted woman who’ll let you live your own individual life and be there for you as a monogamous lover, a friend, a confident and a muse needs you to be healthy enough to fall in love with. Anything short of that and she’ll be afraid to commit and to go deep.
Healthy women have a tough time trusting men in divorce… too many red flags are waving in between you and their dinner plate.
They’ve got you under a microscope and are plugged into their judgment more than their hearts or their pussies… again tough to write but very true. You had better realize that now before you waste more money on taking that cutie out for dinner. I mean, transactional sex goes both ways so you might just get lucky, but don’t expect her to want to hang around too much after she gives it away. (And if she does… be careful!)
It’s time to prove your dates wrong.
It’s time to admit that you need some new tools and a few new lessons. If you’ve read this far you know I care deeply about guys in general, not just you. But listen up… you want a healthy woman not the same kind of woman you were just married to. Nor the one who cheated on you, or the one you had to cheat on to implode the marriage. You don’t want another woman who’s using and running away from being in your life. If you want to date, you need to get what dating after divorce really is.
Dating is a chance to start anew. To re-rack and learn how to be the kind of man you’ve always dreamed of becoming. Is this a tall order? You bet!
Is it required of you? All day long!
Ask some questions and figure out the answers you need. (News Flash: these are probably not the answers you've been getting from your best friend or the bartender down the street.) You need a new perspective. You need to understand what masculine and feminine energy is… not genitalia! You need to feel good about your role as a dad, a husband, a lover, a friend. You can’t mix up your needy sexual energy and your leadership or managerial skills at work (just watch the daily news to see how well that’s going these days). You want to disentangle your sexual prowess and your financial wins from any measure of character and self-worth.
Dating after divorce becomes a place for you to practice being the kind of man you’ve always wanted to be seen as. (The kind of guy you think you really are deep down inside.) However, you need to know how to become that man, to begin with. So seek some guidance. Enter into self-development (not just self-awareness); you’ve got to take what you know you did wrong, figure out new ways of doing things and then become fit at showing up that way.
It’s emotional fitness and intellectual understanding, not just the newest insight you have on how to date well. In other words, if you read an article that says, “a good woman won’t sleep with you on date #1” you might want to figure out her point of view and why that’s important instead of just a blanket expectation that you might have to KIIP (keep it in your pants) even though you’d like to use it. Are you with me? It is waaaaaaaaay more about male-female dynamics than it is about having an orgasm.
You just might want to learn what that’s all about and become the kind of man who can show up putting a woman’s needs first no matter how badly you’ve been hurt by the woman you just left. It might actually change the trajectory of your dating life. In fact, realizing that, is the first thing you need to get to make your dating life exceptional. Then you’ll be able to show up as the one to sweep her off her feet, make passionate love to her, and answer all her feminine desires. Leave a comment below…
doingDivorce School is open for applications for the October - December session. I am taking a limited number of men and women interested in recreating their love life and understanding this modern-day rite of passage. The difference is stark. You either use this experience as an opportunity to get what it really is or you end up repeating mistakes. After going through two divorces, I’m pretty passionate about making a difference. It will be a big change for you, it’ll also be incredibly worth it. Reach out http://www.doingdivorceschool.com/