When women heard Jason Momoa and Tom Brady were getting divorced, they started primping, but not so fast, ladies. Jason and Tom are technically available, but they might not truly be ready to date again.
If you’re a divorced man, fixing to get divorced, or Jason or Tom, check to see if you’re doing any of the 8 things here. If you are, that may mean you’re not ready to date.
And if you ignore these 8 signs, you may, unintentionally, hurt women in your rush to get back into the dating market.
1. You’re haggling over money with your ex.
It takes a while to get finances sorted out after a divorce. Divorced men might even struggle to pay for dates while their finances are in flux.
It’s not about the money, though. It’s about your stress. Your stress over your finances — and the fairness of how it’s all going down — is a big downer when dating.
Maybe the first couple of dates you don’t talk about it. But you’re living it and breathing it every day, so gradually the topic starts creeping into conversations with the woman you’re dating.
You start giving a blow-by-blow description of what your ex said and what your ex did in the latest fight over money.
You may slip and say things like, “Women are just after one thing — money!”, forgetting the person you’re on a date with is one of those creatures called ‘women’.
You didn’t mean it. You’re just aggravated. But it means you need to get your business straightened out before you start dating.
Don’t make the woman you date be collateral damage in the war you’re waging with your ex.
2. You don’t have friends.
I’ve heard divorced men say that they lost their friends in the divorce. (Often, the ‘family friends’ were friends because the wives cultivated those friendships.)
When a friendless man starts dating, he starts hanging out with the friends of the woman he dates. In his fragile, emotional state, he appreciates and enjoys the social life provided by her. That becomes his social life, his network, his outlet. He’s ‘borrowing’ her support system.
We didn’t build our support system so that you could use it to get you through your hard times. Get your own.
It sounds like I’m being stingy with my support system, but the problem is this: If you start having doubts that the woman you’re dating is the right person for you, you may stay with her because you’re reluctant to give up her social support.
You’re using her.
Not cool, buddy. Spend time after your divorce building your own support system before you get back into dating.
3. You have a huge list of all the things you can’t wait to do now that you’re divorced.
When you were married, you didn’t get to do all the things you wanted to do. You didn’t get to buy dirt bikes and spend your weekends on dirt-biking trips.
At this point, you’re itching to make up for lost time, to do all the things you had to give up when you were married. If your priority is to do those things, you may be more fun-minded than relationship-minded right now.
Perhaps now your goal in dating is to find a woman who wants to do the things on your list, too. Having a couple of shared interests is good.
Filtering out women you date because they don’t want to do everything — or even most of the things — on your list —isn’t good. You have unrealistic expectations.
You may find a woman who will occasionally drive around on ATVs with you, but she may not want to go to every heavy metal concert with you, no more than your ex did.
Also, you may be so focused on doing things on your list that you’re a little less willing to do things that your new woman wants to do. After all, you accompanied your wife to those stupid musicals she liked. You did your time as a good sport and are over it.
I’m just saying: Spend some time playing before you resume dating. When you feel more eagerness about meeting a cool woman than going fishing (or whatever’s on your list), then you’re ready.
Plus, make friends who will do many of the things on your list with you instead of expecting the women you date to be your playmates (at least not in this context).
4. You don’t have your child custody issues ironed out.
Say your ex finds out you’re dating a new woman. She may use this against you to advance her position in your child custody wars.
I see this particularly when a man, fresh off divorce, pushes the new woman he’s dating to move in together. (Maybe he’s pushing because co-habitation will help his post-divorce, depleted coffers.)
So then the ex-wife pulls the “My kids would be living in a house with THAT woman” card, and off to court she goes, alleging the new woman would be a bad influence on the kids.
Have you ever noticed that people can file accusations in court without any proof that the accusations are true? Your ex doesn’t even have to specify what shady properties the woman you’re dating has; she need only imply.
After some court dates, your ex’s accusations are thrown out as baseless. Your child custody isn’t affected, but the woman you dated was affected.
Her good name was dragged through the court mud because you wouldn’t wait to get your child custody issues straightened out before diving into the dating pool.
5. You badmouth your ex.
Bashing exes is kind of normal. Plus, it feels good to vent and compare notes sometimes. But there’s a fine line between a natural amount and the amount that indicates you’re not ready for dating.
I’m more concerned with how much time you spend badmouthing your ex in your mind.
If most of your thoughts on a daily basis are about your ex — how awful she was and how she did you wrong — that means your ex still occupies a lot of your headspace.
You know how you have to get rid of some stuff in your closet so your new honey can keep some of her clothes over at your place when she spends the night?
You’re going to have to move some of that ex stuff out of your head so the new woman can fit in there.
6. You’re not willing to talk about your ex.
I just got through saying don’t t constantly vent about the wrongs perpetuated by your ex and the financial disputes you’re having.
Here’s the nuance: When you aren’t willing to share any information about your ex, then you’re probably not ready to date again.
You may argue that you’re a private person or are trying to honor your ex’s privacy. Nice try. Sharing some information about your relationship history with the person you’re dating — and building a relationship with — is normal and healthy.
If the topic of your ex is so sensitive that you can’t even talk about it, or you refuse to talk about your ex because that’s your way of coping with it all, hit pause on dating. Spend time processing what happened until you are comfortable talking about your ex with someone new in your life.
7. You listen to sad music.
My friend’s wife left him, so he’s been divorced for about 4 years now. When he showed me his favorite playlist, I knew something was awry.
Every song on his list just happened to be about someone leaving someone. Granted it was country music, but country artists do cover other topics, you know.
Look, you’re going to feel a bit melancholic every now and then about your ex, naturally. Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s regret.
Maybe it’s grief because you failed in something so important.
I’ve been divorced over a decade, and I still tear up when I hear a couple of songs that meant so much during my marriage. But you know what I do? I make sure those songs aren’t on my playlist. I don’t let myself wallow.
A little bit of wallowing is ok. But if you’re wallowing a lot, stay off the dating apps.
8. You try to find someone who is the exact opposite of your ex.
If you hate your ex’s guts, then look for someone who isn’t at all like her. Seems logical, eh?
Actually, it means you’re doing some ‘extreme’ thinking. You’re still thinking that what went wrong with your marriage was your wife — the way she was, the person she was. That implies you did nothing wrong.
If you’re not owning your part of the marriage’s failure, then I fear you’ll take that self-righteous attitude into dating. You didn’t learn what you needed to learn so you could be healthier in your next relationship.
Plus, it means you haven’t really thought through what qualities in a partner would be most compatible for you.
If your answer to “What are you looking for in a woman” is “not my ex”, then take some time to revise that answer before you start dating.
You may end up with a woman who is the opposite of your ex but is also completely wrong for you in a whole new way.
You’ve got a lot to sort out in your post-divorce life. It’s understandable, and many of us women are willing to date you knowing that healing is a long-term process.
I’m just suggesting that you check to see if you’re doing some of these things. If you are, put a pause on dating til you work through some of this.
Think of it this way: When you invite people over to your house for the first time, you spiff the house up before they arrive.
Don’t invite a new woman into your life if your life is a big mess. Get your life cleaned up a little bit first.
Unless you’re Jason Momoa or Tom Brady. Y’all can just get your maids to tidy things up a bit before I come over.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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