5 Lies You Hear About Finding Love After Divorce

holding handsWhen you start all over after a divorce you get a lot of misinformation about what's out there -- and what you deserve. After I split with my husband of 16 years I was almost certain I'd just spend the rest of my life single. I was ready for that. And it's because of everything I was hearing about dating and relationships after divorce. I have to say, the landscape looked treacherous from where I stood. But maybe I was listening to the wrong voices? It turns out, when it comes to finding love again after divorce, it's not as complicated or difficult as you'd think. Forget the unhelpful noise you hear -- like these 5 bits of popular wisdom.

1. You're damaged goods. Something about surviving a bad relationship makes people feel less lovable, for some reason. The stigma of divorce is fading (finally, thank goodness!) but it's still hard to shake that feeling that you deserve less. But that's bunk. You are a survivor, and you deserve good love. Period.

Instead, consider your experience and what you have to offer your "social price," a term professor of economics Dr. David Anderson coined to describe how we perceive our value in a relationship. "The more you have to offer in a relationship, the more you can expect in return, thus increasing your appropriate social price."

2. It's slim pickings out there. That's what I hear all the time, especially from my single friends. And to a certain extent, they're right. Dysfunctional man-baby knuckleheads abound. But there are also men who are kind and mature; They've had the same kinds of ups and downs in love that all of us have, and that's why they're still single.

3. Time is running out. Just after I split with my husband I felt this pressure, like I had just a couple years left of being attractive before I hit my old hag years. That's bananas. I mean, I should have more faith in my ability to age well. But that aside, this isn't a race. The men my age are getting older, too. We're aging together. And you need to let thing unfold in their own time or risk making a hasty mistake: The rebound relationship.

4. You're going to ruin your new relationship with your old baggage. You're not -- if you've done the work and are paying attention. Be present in the moment so you can be aware of old patterns of thinking or feeling creeping in. Remember you're dealing with a new person, not your ex. Also, everyone has baggage, not just divorced people.

5. A new relationship will make you whole again. It won't. You need to find out how to be a whole person on your own, first, before you find a new person to love. You can't use a new relationship to heal from the last one.

What's the most surprising thing you learned about finding love after divorce?

 

Image via Keren Su/Corbis

 

 

 

dating, divorce, commitment

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nonmember avatar Rach

Puh-lease. Good for you if you found love after your divorce, but in the world I live in, men my age don't want anything to do with me and my two kids, and older men want younger women who also don't have kids.

nonmember avatar Juana

Rach...take your time especially if you're still rearing your kids it'll happen when you least expect it. There's still a lot of decent people in the world but you have to keep an open mind/heart to find them. Remember that old adage the only thing you pick up when you're down is dirt!

Coles... Coles_mom

It depends on the situation...it's been a disaster for someone like me. I left a disastrous marriage 100 pounds overweight, 3 little kids, nearly a million dollars in debt (thanks to my husband ruining my credit by opening a business in my name and running it into the ground), and to top it off....a psycho ex husband. I can guarantee you I will never find anyone who will take me as is. The few decent men I know that I possibly could have had a shot with told me outright that they didn't want that kind of debt attached to their name and they most definitely couldn't deal with the ex husband (he's the kind of guy who gets mad at someone and will accuse them of being a pedophile publicly). My ex took the best of everything I was/had/could have been and left me a shell. He did exactly what he set out to do. He's on the hunt for another 20 year old, size zero trust fund baby.

Krist... KristaWhite

These are common misconceptions; don't believe them! A large amount of my clients are divorcees and many have found love through our matchmaking at IJL. Everyone deserves a chance at finding their true love!

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