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Ask Our Coaches:
Dating the Recently Divorced: Good idea or not?
"He's been divorced
I don't want to lose him... how long should I wait until I date him?"
This column answers
questions submitted by our readers. Submit your questions to
who will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each issue,
we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
I met a great guy and really want to date him. We're both in our
forties and have teen-age children. We get along well and we're both
really interested in each other. There's definitely a spark/chemistry.
He's been divorced 5 months after a 22-year marriage. We've gone out
twice together for lunch.
I want to date him (and
he's made it clear he wants to date me), but I am not sure that's the
best thing to do given his recent divorce. I'm really drawn to him and
I don't want to lose him--he seems like a perfect match. Yes, my heart
is over-taking my common sense. He says he's ready to move on and get
into a new relationship. And, I'm definitely ready. I've been divorced
for several years and want to get married again.
What do you think about
me dating him? My friends say it would be a big mistake and that I
would be the "rebound girl." I definitely don't want that. So, if I do
wait, then how long should I wait until I date him? If I wait, he may
meet someone else. What's the best approach to a situation like this?
How do you know if and when someone is ready to date when they've
experienced a divorce? And what about just taking it slow with him -
would that work? What's your advice?
from Colorado Springs
This problem should not
be posed as "date or wait." Instead, the problem should be framed as
"how to find an in-between space" that will allow the relationship to
grow. I know nothing about this man, but you seem to like him, so I
would not count him out just because he is recently divorced. Everyone
goes through hard times and that is not reason to avoid them.
However, it does not make
sense to rush into this either. "Fools rush in where angels fear to
tread." Take your time getting to know each other. Don't invest all
your emotions and expectations with him until the relationship passes
the test of time.
One of the biggest
problems I see is that people jump into exclusive relationships too
soon. Then they find out all the things that need fixing and all the
things that can't be fixed, and then it is too hard to backtrack.
Dating, when there is a
high level of attraction, takes a lot of intestinal fortitude. It is a
risk. You need to ask yourself if you can withstand the risk.
Assistance from a coach or therapist can help you decide, one step at a
time, what is reasonable to do or not do. The path from A to Z is made
up of a series of single steps - don't get ahead of yourself!
Hurlburt | www.PartnersinLoveandCrime.com
I believe the timeframe
of five months since his divorce isn't the issue. The issue is more
about what he has accomplished in terms of healing and personal growth
since he and his ex made the decision to split.
Ask yourself: How does he
talk about his ex? Has he taken the time to understand what he did to
contribute to the health and to the demise of his marriage? Has he
learned his life lessons from the marriage, or will he make those same
mistakes again? Can he be happy moving into an exclusive relationship
with you or does he want to date other women?
There are no guarantees
in life or love. Some people make great strides in five months; others
don't make any personal progress after five years.
Before your heart (and
the chemistry) takes over your logical thinking, make sure he actually
meets all of your non-negotiable requirements, that he has done his
personal work, and that he has the potential to add value to your life.
If you've both done your work and you meet each other's requirements -
go for it!
Scott | www.KatherinScott.com
and Jo respond ...
Ah the thrill of new
love! Feels great -- doesn't it? Enjoy those feelings, yet be very
careful to ensure you are making a conscious choice. How long has he
been separated from his former wife? This is more important in
considering the risk of being a rebound girl than the date his divorce
papers got stamped!
It's great that you have
not given up and you want to marry again. We're sure you want this one
to be your soulmate relationship, so it is critical that you be an
angel, not a fool. Do not rush in! Be the chooser. Trust the attraction
you feel and proceed carefully. Continue to date him, but date other
Here is a great way you
can maintain contact with him, and develop the awareness, skill and
attitude necessary to create a conscious soulmate relationship. Both of
you could engage a RCI coach to ensure you are each aware of the
critical criteria that you must have in a relationship for it to endure
and flourish. At the end of the coaching program, you'll both be clear
if you're a match. If yes -- great! If not, then you can support each
other to attract your soulmates. Either way it's a "win-win."
and Jo Harrison | www.SecretsToSoulmateSuccess.com
Hazel responds ...
This is often a
conundrum, however it doesn't mean it can't work; likewise, it doesn't
mean you will be the "rebound girl." But, it can be risky! Going out
with someone twice for lunch is really not long enough to make an
informed decision. At this point, you are still both on your "best
He was in a long marriage
and has been divorced a very short time. Even if it wasn't the greatest
relationship, there are emotional ties that might need to be cut.
Right now I'm sure things
seems fabulous. However, although the feelings are wonderful, it could
also be infatuation at this point and that's often where people make
the biggest mistake. They leap before looking. Don't jump because
you're afraid he'll meet someone else.
Take your time, go slow
and get to know him properly. Spend some quality time together. I would
also highly encourage you not to have any kind of sex for the time
being. Just because we have feelings doesn't mean we have to act on
them. If this is right for you, another few months won't make any
difference; it can only make it stronger.
I suggest one of the
first things you do is to make sure he meets your relationship
requirements. If you haven't already, read David Steele's book,
Conscious Dating. It will give you a lot of great insight and help in
making decisions. I also encourage you to complete the exercises that
are included in the book.
Palache | www.SayYestoYOUCoaching.com
I don't see any reason
why you shouldn't go out with him as long as you continue to date
others. There isn't enough information to discern where he might be on
his path since his divorce, and the length of time since a divorce does
not tell the whole story. It's possible there was a long separation
prior to divorce or that he had made an emotional break well before the
A concern in your note is
that you have already decided that he could be your "perfect match." Do
you know what qualities your perfect match should have? Does he have
those qualities? It is important to find out if he does and the only
way to do that is to take time to get to know him.
If you haven't done so
yet, spend some time thinking about what you require in a relationship.
These are the deal breakers -- non-negotiable qualities that you need
to be present in order for a relationship to be successful for you. Be
objective and pay attention to red flags that come up. Requirements
cannot be adjusted to fit a person; they are either met or not. Staying
true to your requirements and remaining non-exclusive gives you
objectivity while you are getting to know someone. Good luck to you.
Spangler | www.HeartAndSoulMatchmaking.com
Being Single - A Golden Opportunity
to Prepare for the Life and Relationship You Want
by Ann Robbins
A client of mine recently
said, "I love my life. If I had someone to share it with, that would be
great. But, if I don't find him, that's OK too." She is a successful
She has put time and
energy into herself and her life and has not allowed a yet-to-be-found
partner take focus off her goal - to be the best person she can be. She
is also relationship ready. She's not looking for someone else to make
her happy - she's already happy - truly living her life as a
do You Want?
When is the last time you
asked yourself, "What do I want to do, be, and have?" This is not only
fun, it's enlightening. Look ahead to the next ten years. Make three
lists, with about twenty-five to thirty items in each, of what you want
to do, be, and have. And, don't forget the small things.
Your list may include
things like, I want to travel, I want to learn to play golf, I want to
be a mentor to a child, I want to go back to school, and I want to have
a summer home in the mountains. What is standing in your way? What is
one thing you could do today to get one step closer? Start small. Do it
in manageable steps, one piece at a time. And who knows? Taking golf
lessons just might enable you to meet someone special!
True to Yourself
Next, examine your
values. These are the essence of who you are. They encompass things
like integrity, authenticity, balance, wisdom, and passion. Values are
what drive us. They govern our decision-making, our life choices, our
When we live our lives in
alignment with our values, everything is in sync. Our lives have
meaning and purpose. Conversely, when we ignore our values and are
living a life that conflicts with our internal navigation system, we
get off course and we feel the conflict. It can manifest itself in the
form of anxiety, depression, or restlessness, and can even make us ill.
Make a list of your
values and pick your top five. Write a definition of each, describing
what they mean to you. Do the same thing for your ideal partner. Your
partner's values may or may not be exactly the same as yours. Defining
realistically what your partner needs to look like - on the inside -
will help you determine if someone is right for you.
Now, define your
relationship requirements. This is a critical step to clarifying what
that relationship must look like. Requirements are not the "nice to
haves." They are the things that, if missing, would cause you to walk
away from a relationship. Requirements tend to be black and white, and
are often referred to as "non-negotiables." For example, if one of your
requirements is, "I must have someone who will accept my children as
their own," then if this is missing for you, it would cause you to walk
Be sure your requirements
truly are requirements. Always ask yourself, "If I met a terrific
person, but one of these requirements was missing, would I walk away?"
If the answer is "yes," it is, indeed, a requirement. Try to keep your
list to about five to seven items. If you have more than that, this
ideal person probably does not exist. Be sure you're being realistic
and that each requirement truly is a concrete non-negotiable.
Knowing your requirements
will enable you to quickly assess if a potential partner is right for
you. Ask questions early-on, when getting to know someone, to uncover
whether your requirements will be met. Check for alignment with your
values and the desired values of your partner. This will prevent you
from wasting time and learning important things too late.
Needs and Wants
Think about the things
you need, but don't necessarily require, from a relationship. Begin
with your relationship with yourself. Needs typically remain constant,
while wants can change over time. You might need to play tennis each
week for physical and social enjoyment, and if you skip a week or two,
you feel a strong void. You may want a certain racquet, or want to play
on a specific court.
The same is true in
relationships. Relationship needs are different from your relationship
requirements in that needs are negotiable, requirements are not. When
one or more of your needs are unmet, it is critical to address it and
Suppose one of the things
you feel you need is someone to help you with the household chores. Or,
on the emotional side, you need someone who shows affection and
expresses love on a daily basis. These things can be negotiated by
voicing your concern, clearly discussing expectations, and agreeing on
Date a variety of people
on a non-exclusive basis. Enjoy yourself and strive toward living as a
"successful single" in alignment with your values and goals. Sort and
screen potential partners and learn what they're about and whether they
meet your requirements.
Have the courage to walk
away if you know someone is not right for you, and never ever talk
yourself into a relationship. Listen to your friends. Sometimes,
friends and family spot red flags you might choose to ignore. If more
than one of your close friends or family doesn't feel good about
someone you're dating, pay attention! They may be spotting something
You the One for Me?
Doing the up-front inner
work, defining who you are, and who you'd like to be, what you'd like
to do and have, clarifying what you must have from a relationship
partner, and not settling for less, are all great steps toward
relationship readiness and truly becoming a "successful single." When
the 'right one' walks into the room, you'll recognize him/her and
you'll be ready!
Copyright © 2009 by Ann Robbins. All rights reserved in all
is founder and president of LifeWorks Matchmaking, a professional
matchmaking and relationship coaching firm. She is a Certified
Professional Matchmaker, a member of the Professional Matchmaking
Network through the Matchmaking Institute of New York and a
professional Relationship Coach through the Relationship Coaching
First Date Dating Tips - Part 1 of 2
Are you getting ready to
go on a first date? Want a hint or two about what to do - or not do?
Our RCI relationship coaches have provided some great tips to help you
make the first date a great one. We're publishing these helpful hints
as part of a two-part series so stay tuned for Part 2 in an upcoming
edition of Conscious Dating Singles News.
Editor, Relationship Coaching Institute
Dating Tip #1: Let your date get to know you by
A person's body language
speaks volumes! Learn to express confident body language on your dates
- especially your first date, as this is a crucial time when first
impressions are formed. Confident body language makes you look more
attractive and allows your date to feel more comfortable.
What does confident body
language look like? A welcoming smile, direct eye contact (more is
better), open body language with your body clearly facing towards them
and your arms at your sides, not crossed defensively in front of you -
these are all signs of open and engaging body language. Also, nod
slowly as you listen to your date speak and reach out and touch their
arm or hand if you're drawn to them!
Scott | www.KatherinScott.com
Tip #2: Find something of positive value that will make it worthwhile
to have a second date
Too often people judge a book by its cover and miss out on good
opportunities to get to know another person. Nearly everyone has
something of value to offer us, so it is healthy to find out what that
may be. Don't get trapped in the mind-set of, "I can only date one
person, so they must be perfect." You can get to know several people
simultaneously, fill your various need "niches," and allow yourself to
learn who "the one" is -- slowly. Unless your dating calendar is
already very full, you can use this time to cultivate new friends on
many levels. A second date is not a commitment to marriage, so don't be
too quick to close the book!
Hurlburt | www.PartnersinLoveandCrime.com
Tip #3: Chemistry may be immediately apparent, but maturity takes time
One of the biggest dangers in the dating game is getting too involved
too soon. The initial feeling and flutter of "chemistry" may make you
want to have more dates, have sex, and think about all sorts of future
possibilities. But, the other half of the love equation is "emotional
maturity," and this is very important.
The person's ability to
listen to your feelings, make and keep commitments, etc., are critical
to the success of the relationship. We all tend to put our best foot
forward in the beginning, so it's best to wait at least three to six
months before getting more heavily involved, and then, make a careful
assessment of his or her emotional maturity.
Hurlburt | www.PartnersinLoveandCrime.com
Tip #4: Turn off your cell phone and pay attention to your date
When you go on your first
date, or any date for that matter, it is important that you turn off
your cell phone. Your date deserves your undivided attention and should
not have to compete with calls, emails or text messages from friends
and family members. Besides that, it is rude to take phone calls and
send text messages when you are on a date. It sends the message that
you are more interested in talking on the phone than being with your
date. So, let your friends and family know in advance that you will be
unavailable for a few hours and that your cell phone will be turned
Smith | www.AStrongerBond.com
Tip #5: Free your heart, clear your mind
Hopefully, on your date,
no unwanted guests will be tagging along! These unwanted tag-alongs
could be lingering hurts and unresolved feelings, or judgments, fears,
beliefs, attitudes, and/ or fantasies for this date to live up to. Just
like you get ready physically for a date, get ready emotionally as
well. See if you can allay, soothe or put aside any angst that could
sabotage a potentially positive connection.
By working with a relationship coach, you can learn to attract and/or
keep the right healthy, loving relationship. Journaling and meditating
could help you feel present. To add an upsurge of positive energy, try
a few minutes of deep breathing, belly laughing, hearty singing,
dancing, drumming, or walking in nature. Enjoy!
Carpien | www.GreatRelationshipsTraining.com
our website at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
for cutting-edge information and tools for finding the love of your
Listen to outstanding audio programs such as "Find the Love of Your
Life AND The Life That You Love" and "Conscious Dating for Relationship
Access our Knowledge Bank for innovative relationship tools, strategies
Check out our talented RCI-trained Relationship Coaches at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/resourcecatalog.htm
you a coach or other helping professional who works with singles and
couples? If you want to know more about adding the Conscious Dating
Relationship Coaching tools to your professional toolbox, visit relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
Please share this newsletter with your single friends, family, and
co-workers, and you can be a partner in their success, too!
Links to Us
Tara Kachaturoff | Editor,
Conscious Dating Newsletter for Singles
Visit our resource
catalog for singles at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/resourcecatalog.htm
Free introductory training! relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
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Copyright © 2009
by Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved. Feel free to
share this with others as long as our contact information and
authorship is included.