I'm a single woman in my mid-30s, and after failing for several years to really meet anyone interesting, I decided to try online dating. I feel like I'm at a point in my life where I have a lot to offer.I've never been married but I would like to be, and I'd like to have kids too. I have a steady job I love, good friends, I own a home, I don't have much debt and I've been in a couple long-term relationships, so I'm not completely clueless.Besides all that stuff that looks good on paper, I think I'm fun and I'd be a great girlfriend and, someday, wife, if I could just meet the right guy. I have been on these sites a few weeks now, looking for guys in their early 30s to early 40s, and I feel like every guy who I match with or who messages me or likes my photos is either "separated" or pretty recently divorced.
I mean, if they've already been married, it's assurance they aren't afraid of commitment, right? I don't want to waste time going on first, second and third dates with men who aren't emotionally ready to move on.So while I haven't done it, I don't think that's the issue. The problem for me is some of these guys still technically are married, and some of them haven't been un-married that long. You know how turkeys come with those little things that pop up so you know when they're ready? The only thing on them that pops up, alas, seems to suggest they are always ready; and maybe they are, physically.Having never been married myself, I have no idea how long a guy needs to "get over" a wife. But being emotionally ready to reconnect after a marriage crumbles is another story.Once (and never again), I dated a guy who wasn't yet divorced, but still "separated." He assured me the marriage was long over, that he had no plans or hopes to rekindle it and it was basically all over except the legalities. But those legalities were consuming, exhausting and an emotional roller coaster all on their own. Because, really, you don't want to be the first person he's dated after marriage."Separated" equals "big red flag." "Recently divorced" equals "caution, big yellow flag." And "It's complicated" means, well, "It's complicated." And who wants complicated? Time spent trying to develop a relationship with someone who hasn't even wrapped up their last relationship is time wasted for someone like you.
So let the separated talk to their lawyers, shrinks, favorite bartenders and moms (and probably their exes) while you spend your time with emotionally unburdened prospects looking for love, not just a bounce-back. If you are looking for "tips for dating recently divorced women" You are exactly right.Before I knew it, I felt more like his counselor as he railed against his "crazy ex" and strategized with a lawyer about custody, child support and alimony. Some things to look for: pay attention to whether he seems to have truly moved past his marriage or whether he still talks extensively or in a heightened negative way about his ex. And has he shown that he's trying to have a social life in other ways, too, like hanging out with friends and doing social things?Because I really liked him, I didn't want to admit it then, but in time I realized and now know for sure that he absolutely was not ready to date. These are all positive signs and would be a good indication it's safe to at least give it a shot.And frankly, that part of the relationship was confusing, exhausting and no fun at all. But remember: lonely birds of a feather flock together.And whether you're a rooster or a hen, when it comes to rebounding from long-term relationships even the finest feathered of us can quickly turn into birds of prey just looking for the nearest warm nest. My next lesson is translating statuses from the online dating jungle. Now that you've been out there for a bit, it's time you set some standards, boundaries and deal-breakers if you're serious about finding someone serious.