Dating an ex-spouse should not be a response to loneliness, matter of convenience or lack of alternatives. Deciding to take this unconventional step needs to be done carefully. Basic requirements for considering it include significant time between divorce and dating, a strong belief in change, and considerable courage to go back into a potentially stressful relationship.
Don't most ex-spouses fall into the category of childhood sweethearts? The preposterous proposition is that the sweetheart, who became the source of such pain, still has many of the endearing qualities that brought you together in the first place. And hopefully both of you have grown significantly since the divorce, perhaps enough to consider dating again.
One impact of loneliness, or the fear of it, is that it can compel us to make poor relationship choices. In desperation to be with someone, we often choose the wrong people... At a deeper level, as in all questions of the spirit including love and meaning, we must at some point face ourselves, and being alone, although undesirable, provides that important opportunity.
When women are younger, they are often advised to stay away from "bad boys" who "only want one thing" and who are definitely poor marital prospects. While this is sage advice for unmarried women of childbearing age, it might be misleading advice for women who have been there and done the family thing.
Age is an undeniable factor in life that colors who we are and how we are perceived in the dating world. As a bachelor for the last 5 years exploring computer-dating sites, age seems to be the overriding factor when deciding whether to take a step with someone. Most dating sites include basic information that always includes age, so prospective daters over 60 must decide how to mange that key to getting to "first base".
Sometimes, there is sincere befuddlement and confusion when facing the experience of intensely loving someone and then awaking up one morning to realize that it is not the person of your dreams. Many disillusioned partners become very disappointed and angry about being "fooled" and then, from a victim position, attack the "liar" and proceed to enrich attorneys with angry divorce proceedings. One might say that the "disappointed" partner(s) were victims of a hoax...
In this age of high divorce rates, many people yearn for the good old days of lifelong marriages. Although divorce rates decrease during recessions, the current rate, at about 50% of first marriages within the first two years, remains disturbingly high. I would like to offer a somewhat outrageous and paradoxical recommendation of the "renewable marital contract."
The third chapter has been described as a potentially vibrant and exciting time of transition and discovering what is possible during the ages of 50 to 75. Awareness of this chapter is something new that has some resemblance to the discovery of adolescence - as we now understand adolescence to be distinct both from childhood and early adulthood, the third chapter is a newly identified developmental phase over the age of 50.
There has been a lot written on gender differences and sexual preferences. In fact, the book title "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus," published nearly 20 years ago, has entered the common vernacular, signaling the acceptance of the gender chasm... It seems that men and women might find an improved understanding of differential initial preferences helpful in their dating activities. An open-minded look at such a list, without concern for "political correctness" or gender politics, may help Mars and Venus better understand each other and improve their communication.
As I sit in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, having a beer and reading Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s delightful and insightful book about life over 50, “The Third Chapter,” the story of David Carradine’s recent strange, sexually-related death comes to mind.
This blog is meant to be provocatively defiant of the social norms that put increasing pressure on aging adults to accept a loss of vitality and to yield their societal roles and positions to the younger generation. Baby boomers, who are used to having their way and being on top, are interested in defying the traditional aging process and finding out how to navigate successful aging.