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What's your opinion on conventional wisdom and dating?

GraceLove posted 6/12/2019 09:20 AM

I had heard that conventional wisdom says date 2 years after divorce date, or at least wait 1 year. I have also heard 1 year for every 4 years of marriage which puts me at waiting for 5 years.

Realizing that every situation is different and it's up to me, (and that some separations are loooong) I am interested in hearing your lived experience on this. How long did you wait after divorce? In hindsight, how did this work for you?

I say to myself since I've been in complete no contact for almost 2 years, that counts. I'm only 6 months out of divorce and am thinking that maybe conventional wisdom is right after all...
Hard to say.

Cheatee posted 6/12/2019 11:00 AM

I started dating a few months after the separation. Too soon? Yeah, I reckon, but I have to say my ego needed major resuscitation after the hell it endured. I made sure to be upfront with all dates, let them know I was freshly whooped upside the heart. Some declined, which was fine.

Ideally one should wait, but it depends on many circumstances.

The important thing, IMO is honesty to oneself and to any other you wish to date.

Hobbyist posted 6/12/2019 11:14 AM

My opinion is, no matter how long you wait, it will feel too soon. First few will be "reclaiming your youth/crazy side", followed by realizing it was too soon, saying you'll wait a long time, starting again too soon, etc... It's a process!

Adaira posted 6/12/2019 11:27 AM

I went on my first date about a month after my divorce was final. Was it too soon? Yep. Was it a helluva lot of fun? Also yep. Lol. I think the key - regardless of when you decide to date again - is to just be honest and up front from the start about where you’re at and what you want.

Queen posted 6/12/2019 11:31 AM

I went on a date a week after my divorce. It took over a year to get divorced and I was not going to spend another weekend alone. I'd been so lonely in the last years of my marriage. Was it too soon? Probably. But I'm not sure I could have made as much progress on myself as I have if I hadn't had the challenges that dating presented. I viewed it as an opportunity for growth.

ErinHa posted 6/12/2019 13:23 PM

I met someone shortly after separating. I went through 2 years of hell and false R. It was not too soon, I knew I wanted out.

I would say anytime, I'm not a big fan of conventional wisdom in most circumstances anyway.

Go enjoy your life, meet some new people, try some news things. We only go around once in life and I'm not going to waste another minute serving a sentence for a crime I didn't commit.

Newlease posted 6/12/2019 13:31 PM

I was married just shy of 24 years.

Let's see - I kicked him out on Dday #2 - March but I was still playing the pick me dance right up until the D was final in July, so that was 4 months. I started dating the following April, so that is an additional 9 months.

It was too soon for me. I ignored red flags in my delight that someone was paying attention to me and wanting me. I ended up in a bad relationship that took me two years to end.

However, I learned a lot about life and myself - what I would not accept in a relationship and to trust my judgment. Lust is fleeting and I'm just not built for FWB or ONS.

I'm currently in a long-term relationship with a wonderful man (the best man I've ever known). Life experiences, good and bad, brought me to this sweet spot and I'm enjoying it.

Sending strength and peace.


Phoenix1 posted 6/12/2019 13:43 PM

Okay, so I didn't follow "conventional wisdom," but there were some mitigating factors.

I didn't start "dating," per se, but I met my SO organically. Our first date was a short time after my D was final. We have been together ever since (5.5 years now).

Now, the mitigating factors. My first Dday was in 2009, 4.5 years before D. I knew, without any doubt or reservations, I was going to D Xhole. I was trying to wait until youngest graduated high school before pulling the pin on the M, but asshats are gonna be asshats. Xhole was caught in another A.

Almost immediately following first Dday, I started to emotionally detach. I didn't know that is what I was doing (hadn't found SI yet), but I was. In reality I was trying to disassociate myself emotionally from Xhole while we were still in a pretense of a M. It was the only way I could get through the days. His very touch made my skin crawl.

So over 4.5 years, there was a whole lot of emotional detachment taking place. By the time I kicked him out and filed for D, I hated him and was in a white hot rage at this last humiliation (my oldest DD uncovered both his first and last A and told me). Once the D was final, the black cloud had lifted, my anger dissipated, and I felt incredibly unburdened and free. Like a huge boulder literally being lifted off my shoulders.

When I went out with SO, I had no emotional baggage whatsoever. Sure, I still had moments of dealing with (then) present Xhole asshattery, but that was all.

For the year up to me kicking him out, Xhole had been unemployed (read: plenty of free time). But for the 1-2 years prior to that, Xhole had been working far away (plane flight) and I was only seeing him a handful of times a year (mostly holidays) anyway. I was essentially a single parent already, and I thoroughly enjoyed not having him in the home. That last year he was gone a lot, which I found out later was because he was at last OW's house playing happy second family with their OC.

If you put all those little tidbits together, the fact was that I was in an emotionally healthy place to date someone else. SO just happened to come along at that time.

Any time earlier than that it would not have worked. Not because I was still emotionally attached (that was long gone), but I still needed to work through the rage I was in. THAT would have doomed any chance of a new relationship.

I will say that in the beginning it felt very awkward with SO. Like I was cheating or something. I think it was because I was with Xhole for so long it took some time for that change and the feeling to abate, which it did. Our first act of intimacy was incredibly awkward, too! But we both acknowledged it and just laughed it off. After that, it was fireworks all the way!

[This message edited by Phoenix1 at 1:45 PM, June 12th (Wednesday)]

GraceLove posted 6/12/2019 17:16 PM

I can't tell you how helpful this is. Thank you SI ers!

I am currently dropped out of online dating because I just hated it.

So I am trying offline dating. So far no dates. But you know, I drank the hopium at some point in my life and despite everything , I haven't given up hope. And I just figure God will help me out on this one.

Anyone else out there with an opinion on this?

Chili posted 6/12/2019 19:19 PM

I haven't given up hope.

I think this very thing is what did it for me. At about the 3 month post-legal stuff, I realized I wasn't going to be the jaded, spend-the-rest-of-my-life-without-love-don't-need it-don't-want-it woman I thought I was going to be.

First, I spent about a year getting Chili back. And being comfortable in my own skin. And kind of digging my own company but also being around all those loving (but non-lover) type people in my life.

I did add some big love in the form of a puppy who literally taught me how to feel that love again. And I just opened myself up to all that stuff and not be afraid. I had to trust myself that this time around, I knew what the real deal looked like.

I had this vague, fuzzy notion that perhaps someday/somehow I just might figure out a way to have another person in my life....

And then. Yeah. Without dating or looking or anything else. There he was. That was 6 years ago.

But really this is a very long-winded way of saying that it took me a minute (and several steps) to get to that point of "not giving up hope." And for me - it wasn't necessarily being hopeful to find a life partner, but working hard to not shut myself off from things resembling *love.* I was very very close to doing that in order to protect myself and am so relieved I didn't.

So conventional wisdom? Eh. Timeframes seem a little irrelevant. I've seen people here who spent the last two years of their marriage working hard to heal and detach. They can be quite ready for the vulnerabilities that serious dating requires. I've seen others divorced for years and years who are nowhere close to being healed. I think that's where your "hard to say" is really spot on.

You are the one that really gets to say. (Ok - well sometimes I have opinions on things when children become involved in their parents' revolving doors, but that's a different topic). When you are honest with yourself - do you feel ready? Are you able to give something back to someone else - even if it's just enjoyable conversation on a first date? Are you ready to receive that kind of attention? (I have some funny stories about how I was appalled by random male attention for a while).

Those are the questions you get to answer. Take some steps forward and then maybe one or two back - see how it feels. You are the great decider now GraceLove (your username is perfect for this discussion by the way). Proceed with grace and love?

Tallgirl posted 6/12/2019 19:37 PM

I think you should screw conventional wisdom and do what you need and what is right for you now.

InnerLight posted 6/12/2019 23:56 PM

Through the infidelity hell and divorce I felt like I was in a dark tunnel. I also felt allergic to the idea of a relationship with a man again. At some point I felt like I was through the tunnel and in the light. I dreamt of desserts blossoming. I could imagine a joyful New Name/New LIfe (divorce) party. That's when I started dating. 18 months after DDay. I don't think it was too soon. This was 10 years ago, so I have perspective. I gained a lot from that relationship which lasted just over 6 years.

I've been single again for the last 3 years, the longest I've ever been without a relationship. I think the benefit of being single a long time is that it takes a while to grow into the person you are without a partner.

Consider conventional wisdom, consider your own deep inner wisdom to chart a path that is right for your next stage in life. Oh and notice your libido and don't let it emesh you into a relationship with an idiot who happens to be sexy.

Tripletrouble posted 6/13/2019 19:00 PM

I was with my XH for 20 years, my divorce was final less than 3 months after I went to my attorney to file (four months after D day), and I had my first date about two weeks after the divorce was final. I dated a lot for the first year, never serious. Then I had a 3 year relationship that was exclusive but not serious and did not have long term potential. Late in that relationship, four years after my divorce, was the first time I felt like I might want something serious and long term. We broke up and now I am remarried.

I don't regret dating right away, and I was upfront that I was not looking for exclusive but not marriage. Everyone is different. It worked for me, helped me heal, hurt like hell a couple times when something didn't work out. It was all part of the experience. You have to do what works for you and conventional wisdom is not one size fits all.

LoveTKO posted 6/14/2019 10:02 AM

I met someone shortly after separating. I went through 2 years of hell and false R. It was not too soon, I knew I wanted out.

I, like ErinHa, starting dating soon after my separation. I went through 2.5 years of hell and false R too. I knew I was 100% done and although I wasn't looking to date, someone I had met through friends earlier was interested and I felt safe to see him because I knew "of" him and knew he was a nice guy.

Was it too soon? Maybe but I was honest with the man I'm dating and I also was honest with STBXWH (I told him I was not going to "work" on the marriage any longer, I was done and I was going to start dating whenever I wanted to and he should too).

Do what YOU feel is right. Nothing else matters in the long run.

Ripped62 posted 6/14/2019 10:03 AM

It seems unexpectedly I will be following unconventional wisdom as well.

Alonelyagain posted 6/15/2019 17:12 PM

My divorce proceedings commenced in August 2017, and we had been married about 15 years at that point. We were doing an in-house separation and now XWW was going strong with OM2 and leaving the house often to be with him, leaving me with our 3 kids, who were the 14, 12, and 8. This was fine by me because spending alone time with my kids was dramatically improving my relationship with them. In February 2018, I signed up on an OLD site. I had quite a few first dates and several went to a 3d or 4th date. However, I would have to cancel dates on short notice because then STBXWW would disappear from the house just before I was getting ready to leave. Several women broke up with me over that and deservedly so.

While the divorce was finalized in December 2018, we worked out a custody schedule several months beforehand. At that point, I could make and keep plans. I entered into my first serious relationship in November 2018. At that point, I was more than ready!

Chili posted 6/18/2019 09:10 AM

t/j because I just can't sit on my hands any longer.

It seems unexpectedly I will be following unconventional wisdom as well.

Ripped - do you have something you'd like to share with the rest of the class?

Fablegirl posted 6/18/2019 17:15 PM

I didn't pay attention to conventional wisdom. I started going on OLD during the separation negotiation process because my attorney said it was fine. By then STBX was still living in the house but openly carrying on with OW and having overnights with her. OLD distracted me from my grief but I was in no emotional shape to have a deep emotional connection with anyone.
D is finalized now and I have being dating someone for almost a year. From D day to present it has been almost 3 years.
Dating had its own challenges -- I was easily triggered and had my heart broken by someone, but in the long run dating others helped me heal. Just being intimate with someone else (after a long abstinence while married) was its own medicine.

SoHappyNow posted 6/20/2019 16:09 PM

Conventional wisdom, and my grief counselor told me that I was NOT doing the wisest thing when I moved from friends with a married man into a relationship at about the six week mark after my FWH lost his 26 month battle with lung cancer!

The married man was alone, because his wife moved out on him 15 months previously. Married man had been my deceased hubby's best friend. Deceased hubby had asked married man to "look after" me.

Married man got his divorce decree about 4 months after we fell in love.

Over six years later, married man and I are now married to each other. He's the reason I changed my name from Hit-By-A-Train to SoHappyNow.

I must have done something really good to deserve this much happiness after I flouted conventional wisdom and shocked several relatives and aquaintences.....

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