Two College sweet hearts get married at 24, have three kids and ultimately live in a beautiful home in the suburbs. The super couple, you know the ones who always walk hand-in-hand or are the first to hit the dance floor at weddings and other special events, suddenly announce to friends and family they are calling it quits after 16 years. It's a common story.
Yet in today's break-up scenario, it is the women who are falling short in the long-term commitment, looking for something beyond the conventional marriage. In fact, a study commissioned by AARP in 2004 revealed that nationwide, women in their 40s, 50s and beyond now initiate 66 percent of divorces. More than one-fourth of their husbands, the study reported, were astounded because they never saw it coming.
So what we are left with is an onslaught of full-time, hard working men (still wanting to make the relationship work) out on their own for the very first time. How does a single man start over without letting his pride, lack of time or awareness get in the way?
Post divorce pressures are very different for men than they are for women. For the suddenly single guy, introspection, support, life balance and finding reliable help present the biggest challenges. While a vast library of resources is available to women, when it comes to men and divorce it seems we are just setting the precedent.
If you newfound status has thrust you back into the dating scene please know that you are one in a growing number of plenty. Divorce entails a number of transitions and here are some pointers to get your love life back on track:
Come Clean with Your Emotions: It may be natural to experience self-blame, anger, feelings of worthlessness or a shattered self-image as a result of a broken marriage but when it comes to dating, those feelings can be caustic. So before you get back in the game, come clean with your emotions. In a support group you will find people who understand your sadness, with whom you can talk and share experienced in a compassionate environment. If that's not enough, it may be a good idea to enlist a professional counselor or therapist who can help you.
Condition Yourself to Feel Good: Years of marriage may have led to complacency in the body/weight, personal care and fashion departments. But gentlemen, if you want others to find you attractive, then you may need to spend some time cleaning up your act. Make sure your clothes are up-to-date, pay attention to grooming and try to engage in confidence boosting activities or sports that make you feel strong, sexy and secure about you.
Find Someone Else Who is Left Hanging: It is quite common to lose friends and relatives you inherited through your spouse in the divorce settlement. Unfortunately, many suddenly single men have a hard time because they feel isolated and alone when starting over. Just remember it only takes one new buddy to revive a bleak or miserable social life and there's a good chance you will find another divorce casualty if you look around. So don't be shy to make that first move and drop them a lifeline!
Brush Up on Your Skills: Years of matrimony has kept you out of the loop so it's only normal to experience pre-date doubts and jitters. If where to go and what to say have you frazzled, ask some of the singles you know for some pre-dating advice. You can also read up on the latest dating trends, hot spots and protocols at your local bookstore or find them out online.
Make Room for Personal Time: Love will not coming knocking if you are holed up in your apartment or office. So if meeting someone new is what you are looking for, than you have to make it a priority. Schedule time for dates and social events in your agenda and don't let yourself get seduced by the couch, beer or Chinese on those dates even if they seem more enticing.
Spare all the Sordid Details: "T.M.I." In case you don't know this acronym stands for "too much information" which is what you need to avoid if you want to maintain good chemistry and conversation with someone new. When you find yourself in promising situation save the complaints about the divorce settlement and your ex and try focusing all of your attention on the person at hand.
By Sherri Langburt of SingleEdition.com for SeniorPeopleMeet.com
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