There Is Life After Divorce

Take it slow for the best results

Posted Feb 23, 2015

There is life after divorce, or at least there should be, according to “attorney at love” and author of Mid-Life Divorce, Jim Duzak. He believes that one of the biggest mistakes people make is that they go after the next relationship with the drive of a Formula One racer and scare off any new potential partners.

You can’t rush back into the dating scene before making the necessary realizations about what happened in your previous one. Doing so is just foolish. The old saying holds true here, that if you don’t learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them.

You have to be realistic and remember that dating in mid-life (whatever that is these days) is much different than it was in your twenties. Your expectations have to be adjusted, and you need to learn to ask questions, but not too many at once. Don’t make the other person feel like he or she is being interrogated by asking for a financial statement or affidavits from former partners.

The real truth here is that people reveal themselves in the near term, but you have to learn to listen. If someone says that he or she is irritable or irresponsible, believe it. Also if you feel uncomfortable around another person, check out that intuition, for it may be a warning sign.

If you just want to hook up with someone who will take care of you; physically, financially or domestically, you will probably not get what you really need. To be successful, relationships have to be reciprocal and balanced. 

You do not want to rush into a new relationship, but the converse is also true. Don’t wait too long before you get out there again. Mr. Duzak, who used to run a dating service, thinks that people should wait at least six months, nurturing their relationship with themselves and learning to be comfortable with who they are. Most therapists would agree. Your relationship with yourself is going to be the longest one of your life.

If it has been over a couple of years and you still can’t seem to summon the courage to date, you may want to talk with a counselor. In many cases, having a friend who you can run your questions by and who can build you up when you’re feeling a little insecure is a real gift.

Men and women approach these things differently. For example, Duzak says that in most cases, women mourn and men replace. Men who are widowed are five times more likely to remarry within the first year.

Choosing to be alone is perfectly fine, but if you want a mate, you need to do the footwork to find someone who is a good match, and the right person may be quite different from what you thought. So be open to new people, ideas, and experiences. You may just discover the true love of your life.