As if breaking up wasn’t hard enough already, divorcing or separating after many years can feel devastating and the thought of ever loving someone else may seem impossible at first. Most people will experience a sense of grief and go through these 5 stages. They are:
- Denial and isolation
So how do you know if you are ready to get back out there and start dating again? Here are a few things that you should consider before you get back on that proverbial dating horse:
Accept that it’s over
Seems like an obvious one but this is a vital step helping you be open for something new. First, make sure you’ve come to terms with your marriage/relationship being over and that you have accepted it. Reaching this stage can take a long time – sometimes years – so be patient and allow yourself to heal first.
The ex is dating again
Remember that acceptance we’ve just mentioned? That resolve can be tested when you see your ex with someone new for the first time. Be prepared for this to trigger emotions you thought you’d dealt with. Seeing him/her with another partner can really hurt and trigger feelings of jealousy and undo all the positive steps you’ve taken since the breakup. At this point, it is important to remember that it’s ok to feel those emotions but not allow them to overwhelm you. Remembering that you and your ex may be at different stages in life will help you remain objective. And that you both deserve to be happy – even if it’s with someone else.
Meeting the kids
Sit down with your children and talk to them about this step waaay before you start dating again. Especially if your kids are older. Helping them navigate their own grieving process will allow the family to heal as a whole before they reach the stage of acceptance. So be gentle and give them time to get used to the idea of you dating again. Just don’t put it off altogether – you too deserve to be happy!
Begin to redefine who you are outside of the marriage/relationship by spending quality time on your own. Take yourself out to dinner or the cinema. You’ve always wanted to try Salsa dancing but your partner did not? Go and do that! By rebuilding your own sense of identity you’ll get your confidence back and will begin to see all the exciting opportunities out there.
As they say, “Time is the wisest counsellor of all.” I think we can agree that taking time out from dating after a breakup is a good strategy. One way to find out if the time is right to dip your toe in that dating pond again is to try visualising yourself with someone else. If you feel a sense of excitement – great – you are ready! If however, you struggle to do that, it’s safe to say you need a bit more time and space until you can. It’s ok to take as much time as you need!
A friend of mine said the other day: “Women are complicated beings. They never say what they really mean. Why is that?”
It’s a very good question and I’m sure he’s not the only guy out there struggling to decipher girl code. Essentially women’s way of communication are motivated differently. They care about other’s opinions and their feelings. They are consensus-driven, which is why we are often not as direct in our responses.
Now let’s take a look at the five most commonly used phrases and decode them for you:
Okay, you probably know by now that when a woman says these two words, it usually means she’s frustrated or upset with something or someone and all she really wants is to be listened to. The easiest way to deal with this is to calmly ask what really bothers her. Say something like, “I sense you are not happy. Tell me what’s bothering you and help me understand.” Knowing when your girl is upset means you care, and talking to her about it will only earn you bonus points.
“I don’t care. Do whatever you want.”
Whatever you do, don’t take this statement at face value. You’ll need to read her body language here. She probably did not say this with a big smile on her face as she kissed you goodbye and took off to do her own thing, did she? This statement is usually expressed when the boyfriend decides he doesn’t want to spend time with her but do something else instead. The uncoded version of this statement is: “You don’t care about me and don’t want to spend time with me.” Deal with this in a sensitive manner. If you committed to spending time with her, it’s important to honour that commitment. If you have to change your plans due to unforeseen circumstances, tell her you are sorry and you will make it up to her. Then follow through with it. She will see you are considered and that she’s important to you.
“Do I look fat?” or “Do I look ugly?”
Here’s the decoded version: “I could use a compliment.”
Many women suffer from insecurities and the simple solution to this is genuine compliments from the man she cares about. It doesn’t take much effort, so go for it. All she needs at that moment is for someone else to make her feel special and remind her that she’s beautiful. Pick your favourite things about her and tell her. Feeling inadequate physically can be draining for a woman in today’s world and can seep into other aspects of her life. Stop these crummy feelings before they have a chance to grow, and don’t forget to make your woman feel like a goddess from time to time.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
This one can be tricky because sometimes it really is true. Women just need time to really think about why they are upset about something before they can talk to others about it. If she means it, then she will give you both some space and let you know when she is ready to talk. Until then, don’t push her.
However, when your girlfriend is telling a bit of a fib, you need to encourage her to talk. You can usually tell the difference in the tone of her voice. If she is relatively calm and speaking in normal tones, then give her space. But if the tension is palpable, then get in there and talk to her. Stewing over your problems is not going to help her attitude about the situation later, so the best course of action is to address how she feels immediately. Talking things out is part of how many women deal with all sorts of problems, and you need to be a part of the discussion. Ask yourself this: Do I want her to talk to me about our problems or someone else who doesn’t know the whole story? The answer should be obvious.
“I don’t need you.”
A woman might say this to her man when they are fighting and she feels vulnerable. Guys, what she really means is that she does need you, but she’s afraid you’re slipping away. There is a lot of pressure on women these days to not be so emotional or to prove they are as capable as men. But the bottom line is that women have feelings — deep feelings — that can make them feel very vulnerable when things aren’t going quite right. “I don’t need you” means your lady is trying to convince herself she’ll be okay if she ends up losing you. The truth is she’s really hurting inside.
Comfort her. Reassure her that you aren’t going anywhere. Even if you are boiling mad or trying to convince yourself of the same thing, try to take a breath and talk calmly about what is happening. You will make this moment easier on her and on yourself. Address how she honestly feels, and make it clear that you both need each other. Communication is the key.
Gentlemen, the takeaway here is that your girlfriends are not out to get you or punish you for obscure reasons. If your girl isn’t saying what she really means, then you are going to have to listen and give her a reason to trust you with the truth. Knowing that you care will be enough to get her to open up.
For better or for worse, following this advice will crack the girl code in your relationships.
Now, spread the word to your bros and find the truth behind her words!
Long gone are the days where people thought being on a dating website was for weirdoes.
Online dating is now a key part in today’s dating culture, and it’s actually one of the most successful and efficient ways to meet someone special. But most people just don’t know how to unlock this opportunity.
So here are our top 5 tips on how to make it easier to find love online.
- Be yourself
It can be so tempting to exaggerate or embellish your traits to help find a date but it’s important that you are honest on your dating profile (and IRL obv). Saying you are 6’1 when you are 5’5 may not seem like a big fib to you but your date might feel like they’ve been deceived. Stay honest and real and the right person will find you.
- Go on dates
It seems like an obvious one but it bears repeating – the more dates you go on the bigger the chances you will click with someone in real life. When looking for a new job you wouldn’t say no to turning up for an interview and expecting to get the job, would you? If you are serious about finding that special someone you’ll have to go out to find him or her. No hiding behind a computer screen!
- Stay optimistic
It can be really disheartening when you’ve been single for a while and feel like you’re the only person on Earth still left without a partner. To take the pressure off, focus on making a new friend rather than meeting the love of your life. This may seem weird at first, but if you’re too focused on ‘The One’ it may blind you to the possibilities out there. Most of the time it’s our own expectations that get in the way of connecting with the people around us. Go easy on yourself and your date!
- Check your dating profile
Coming back to point 1 (being honest) when was the last time you’ve checked in on your own dating profile. Are you honest about yourself? How old are your images? Sprucing up your dating profile can really boost your dating game. Check out our post on DATING PROFILE MISTAKES WOMEN HATE for some dating profile tips (also relevant for the ladies!) If in doubt, ask a straight-talking friend to check over your profile and give you some tips.
- Before you meet in person, have a phone convo
We know in today’s world having an actual phone may seem like your dating in the 90s but trust us when we say this should be the first step before you meet a date in person – no matter how much you liked them online. A phone call will give plenty of time to check if you have chemistry. After all, if you can’t talk over the phone, you are not likely to have much to say to each other in real life.
Ready to find singles in your area? Join Plentymorefish free today.
We spent a lot of time online. A.LOT.OF.TIME. So we can confidently say we’ve seen our fair share of men’s dating profiles. Some good, some amazing, and some…well, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. Sorry, lads – we have to call it. It’s always surprising when someone looking for love doesn’t seem to put any effort into creating at least a ‘decent-ish’ dating profile.
So from a female perspective here are the biggest dating profile turn-offs.
We get it – you like your friends. But if your dating profile comprises of mostly group shots you are turning it into a game of “Where’s Wally”. Worse yet, looking at you in group shots with other ladies. What exactly are you telling a potential date? She won’t know if the other woman in the pic is your ex or your sis, and as soon as confusion sets in, she’ll be on to the next profile. Make it easy for her to see whose profile she’s looking at.
Sex doesn’t sell
That’s right, Gentlemen, your abs may be harder than the surface of our office desk but we really don’t want to see them in your dating profile. Whilst we can all appreciate a bit of eye candy, that’s what Instagram is for. Your dating profile isn’t a place to hawk the goods unless you’re after a no-strings-attached-date, in which case check out our Naughty Pond. If you are looking for a relationship, add photos of you in well-fitting clothes that compliment your nice physique. If in doubt, ask yourself if you would show that pic to your Nan.
If I could turn back time
That ‘used by date’ applies to images too, or at least it should. Any images of you that are older than your mobile phone should not make it onto your dating profile. How would you feel if your date shows up to a dinner date having suddenly aged 20 years? It’s not a great way to start off! The same applies to fibbing about your age, height, hobbies, anything really – just be honest, please.
Let’s face it
Your profile pic should not make you look like you ought to be on Crime Watch. We cannot tell you how many photos we’ve seen taken by low light, with a shadowy figure staring down into a webcam. It’s simply creepy af and is not going to get you dates. Instead, go for images taken in natural daylight. Ask a trusted friend and head to the garden or the park and take a few pictures – preferably headshots. So – you know – she can see your actual face!
Gents, if any the above describes your dating profile, we hope you take our well-intentioned advice and put some effort into updating it. We really want you to find that special someone. So start with your dating profile and put your best (virtual) foot forward.
Ready to find new singles in your area? Set up your free dating profile with www.plentymorefish.com and start chatting to other singles today.
Let’s be honest for a moment and put it on the table; dating in your 40s is pretty grim (ok, personal experience talking, it is bleaker than a public service station restroom at the side of a deserted motorway). At 40 the competition is steeper and it becomes a whole lot more confusing and you’ll find the type of men in the over 40s dating pool very different.
Here are some truths that could help you navigate the tricky path of mature dating.
The men are having a mid-life crisis
Men like younger women. A lot of men in their 30’s and 40’s seem to have an awakening moment and panic that they’re getting old and as a knee jerk reaction go out and find the perkiest 25-year-old they can find in an attempt to settle down. Even if you are near their own age they will still see you as ‘old’ and dismiss your profile. Harsh. You may well be witty, successful, outgoing and smart but none of that matters in their heads once you are in the over 40’s club.
You attract that toy boys
An older, gorgeous, confident and self-assured woman is an absolute lure for a man in his late 20s. To them, the age gap works in their favour as you’ll be comfortable and well skilled in the bedroom and the perfect teacher for them to learn some tricks. It may suit you to end up with a 25-year-old toy-boy between the sheets but you’ll struggle to find someone old enough to suit your lifestyle and goals if you go down this path. Think late night booty calls and the wonders of dick pics…really??
You love your kids but not everyone else does
Having kids and attempting to get back to dating and relationships is tough. All the time you are mindful of their needs and emotions. You’re careful not to introduce them to every date, you question when to introduce them to the date and then you’re also trying to juggle a date around organising child care. For some guys the fact you’re a mother will discount you instantly; remember… that says way more about them than it does about you. Equally, you don’t need to introduce them to everyone unless you think that person is going to have some level of permanence in your life. If you enter a relationship be upfront about your kids and whether you realistically want more and you’ll soon find out which guys are serious about sticking around.
You’re set in your ways
Dating in your 40’s means you know what you want – this translates to you’re stubborn and won’t deviate from your ideal situation. Your list of dating dealbreakers is far more set in stone than it was when you were 25, and if you’re looking to settle down and start a family this is now crunch time and you’re going to be super picky about it.
There’s too much choice
Your phone is full of dating apps, you have RSI in your thumb from continual swiping and you’ve moved to second base (WhatsApp) with several potentially interested parties. Stop! Too much choice is a bad thing and makes it harder for you to spot the genuine guys who are real relationship material. If you want a partner with a similar professional mindset and age to your own then it is quite possibly you need to be looking at mature dating websites rather than the usual hookup apps.
You’re flying solo
Chances are that by this point all your other female friends are married, also have kids or are in long term relationships. This means that you’ve lost your partner in crime who will pull you back to reality on nights out after too many mojitos. You are flying solo with no wing woman in your corner to guide you. It can be awkward talking to your friends about your dating exploits when their lives are on a very different path and can leave you feeling a little isolated. Advice? Confide in one close friend who you really trust with your dating tales and keep it between the two of you – their advice will be invaluable and more genuine if they feel like it is something just between the two of you.
Dating in your late 30s and early 40s is complexed. Shapewear becomes your best friend and there’s a whole text acronym sub culture you don’t understand, but on the plus side you don’t have to justify your stream of one night stands to your mother anymore.
Ultimately, don’t lose hope, when you fall in love as cheesy as this sounds it really is something very special and if it was so easy to come by, well all the sense of mystery around it would be gone and it would lose the magic.
Remember at the heart of it you are an amazing woman and anyone will be lucky to have you….just be patient, don’t settle for second best and keep on searching.