If you are recently separated or divorced, like me, you may be wondering how to start dating after divorce. I have covered this topic in several posts, but in this one I would like to talk about dating someone similar to yourself, and why that is important in post divorce dating
Last night I had a phone call with a guy who asked me for my number after chatting a bit on a dating site. It did not go very well. This encounter reminded me that I had read that dating someone similar to yourself is important for a relationship to work long term. While you don’t want someone exactly the same as yourself, the idea that opposites attract is not good for a long term success in your relationship. A biker dude and a yuppie woman will not last long for example.
The conversation last night started well; he thought I was cute (check….men get attracted first through physical attraction), I thought he was polite enough (women get attracted first through mental cues). I ran through some of my potential deal breakers and he seemed OK with them. We both had similar aged kids, similar length of marriage and were happily self employed. So far so good.
Then he tried telling some jokes and everything fell apart. I realized he had a very different sense of humor than I had. Next we tried to find some common interests and came up dry. I tried some intellectual conversation, which I live for, and got nothing. We talked about gay rights and he came across as far less open minded about it than me. He told me about his work, and it was basically hands on while I am a strict pencil pusher. Strike 5.
While I was loathe to give up a date with someone who still seemed eager to meet me and seemed like a decent enough person, I woke up the next morning and told him I didn’t think we were compatible enough to date. While your choices are more limited in middle aged dating, you need to do an assessment of how picky you can be and stick with that.
Dating someone similar to you has been shown in a study to improve marriage
The book that I read, Finding Love Again, talked about how important dating someone similar to you is was:
This book is based on The Early Years of Marriage study that followed over 300 couples since 1986. The conclusions are not just based on the clinical practice of a therapist but rather surveys of people that had both successful and unsuccessful marriages.
Another great point about divorce and dating that I got from this book is that people who divorced and than did at least SOMETHING to change themselves were far more likely to remarry. Whether they worked less, joined a club, took up a sport or whatever; if they got out of the rut that they were in when they were married, they had a much
I have changed quite a bit since I got separated. I started going to meetup group events like happy hour and dancing, started volunteering, joined a ball room dancing class, started meeting with a sci fi book club, started studying to go back to school and started taking a wine tasting class. While that does not seem like much if I were a natural extrovert, I was pretty closed off in my marriage and I am a natural introvert. I found that doing all this opened me back up again almost as much as when I was in my 20s and single last time.
This book was very encouraging to me and I recommend it. It skips over all the games that people play when dating and all the fears people have about impressing someone and tells you to think about what YOU want in a partner.