Has Divorce Made You a Couch Potato? How to jump start your heart and get back to life

Has Divorce Made You a Couch Potato? How to jump start your heart and get back to life

Are you the poster child for couch potato? Does your life consist of a back and forth volley of work and couch? Has “couch” become a verb for you? “Nah, thanks for the invite, but I’m actually going to couch it tonight.” 

It is incredibly easy to get into a brain and heart-numbing pattern after a divorce, mindlessly flipping through channels. After all you’ve been through, going into your man-cave is totally natural and necessary, but the key is to avoid getting so comfortable there that it’s a permanent change of address, rather than a temporary getaway. Luckily, there are several options from which to choose to breathe life back into your life.

Adrenaline Junkie.

We start with the most obvious of choices, and the shortest distance from the couch potato position to the front seat of life: if you want to know what it feels like to be fully alive again, come close to death. Kickstart your heart the old fashioned way and scare yourself. Jump out of an airplane. Bungee jump. Skydive. Run with the bulls. Anything that makes you kiss the ground in thanks once it’s over will suffice. Feel your heart in your chest and the adrenaline rush that let’s you know you’re alive. Repeat as necessary.

Sports Junkie.

The next obvious choice is a good old-fashioned sporting match. A couch potato watches the game on T.V. You can do better. But don’t just go to a game; go to a pinnacle of an event, featuring the best of the best. Attend the World Cup. Feel the full impact of a rugby match. Get up close and personal at lacrosse. Any sport where the athletes are true athletes and fans have more than just the game on the line is a great choice. Attend a sporting match where you are a part of something larger than yourself, where you find yourself surrounded by fans for whom bragging rights, loyalties, and the blood, sweat and tears of generations are at play. Remember that life is about being a part of something greater, and let the energy of the moment lift your spirits.

Rockstar Junkie.

(No, not the usual kind.) Does the thought of singing in front of thousands get your adrenaline going? If you can’t stand-in for the front man of a major band, no worries: go sing karaoke. Don’t laugh! You’re not just gonna simply sing karaoke, you’re going to rock. Big difference. Does your heart start pounding and palms start sweating at the thought? Awesome. That’s a good sign that you are not, in fact, dead. There’s hope for you yet.

If getting on stage terrifies you to the point of inaction, go in front of one instead. Buy the next available ticket to a band in town and just go. Get in front. Feel the bass reverberate through your chest. Get jostled around by people who are swept up in the fervor. Dance. Feel self-conscious? Guess what? Nobody gives two shits about what you’re doing. They are in the moment feeling the music. You can be too.

Altruism Junkie.

This is the least obvious of the four choices, but one that may have the most impact on your heart because, in the long term, it has the least to do with you. Find an activity that allows you to look at life from a different perspective, any other perspective than that from which you currently stand (or rather, sit, if you’re a couch potato). Find a cause that matters to you and volunteer; be a big brother, work with rescue animals, deliver meals to shut-in seniors.

Volunteer at a hospice or visit someone in a nursing home. Understand that there are those that don’t have as much time left on this beautiful earth as you do; maybe it’ll be just what you need to realize life is precious and it’s time to start participating again. Speak to those that are further down the path of life than you are. Listen to their stories of love and loss and understand that you will love and be loved again. Donate blood. Build a house. Anything that is not about you, but that will make you feel alive again.

It’s okay if your pace has slowed to the point where Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street could run laps around you, but now is the time to take matters into your own hands and resuscitate your life.

If You Need a Couch Potato Intercession

If you can’t muster the energy to make it from the couch to the car alone, email this article to a friend and type “Help” in the subject line. They’ll know what to do next. Getting out the door is the hardest part.


(c) Can Stock Photo / ocusfocus

3 Potholes To Avoid in Dating After Divorce It Ain't Like Riding A Bike

3 Potholes To Avoid in Dating After Divorce It Ain't Like Riding A Bike

Dating. It seems easy enough. You’ve done it before.  You can do it again, right? Dating after divorce can’t be that hard.Perhaps you’re a bit rusty and you need to get some kinks out, get some air in those tires and figure out if you can still keep your balance. So you venture out. However, the climate has changed this go-round and the conditions are a bit cooler than expected. You’re starting to wonder if it’s you that has changed or the women you’re trying to date.

The honest answer, at this point, is that you both have. And that’s just fine. In order to make the terrain easier to navigate here are three common potholes to avoid at all costs when dating, post-divorce.

Three’s Company 

Are you familiar with the adage “Don’t bring sand to the beach”? In the dating world this loosely translates to “Don’t bring your ex on a date.” You would think this would be obvious, right?

We took an informal vote of every woman on the planet, and asked how many wanted to hear you talk about your ex on a date. Although we are still awaiting complete results, the answer so far is zero. Zero women want to hear you talk about your ex. Now, if this seems harsh, or if you can’t imagine an evening spent without discussing her, your wounds may be fresh and it may be too early. And that’s fine. It simply means that you should spend more time around your friends until that stage has passed. And it will. Someday.

How can you tell? Simple. Conduct a self interview. Can you make it through dinner without talking about her, albeit negatively or nostalgically? Yes? Great. Are you 100% confident in that answer? Do you think you’re a rock in this area? I suggest you test your mettle prior to dating after divorce and find out how many drinks can you handle before you start talking about her. Subtract 2 from that number and that’s your limit on a date.

Less Is More When Dating After Divorce 

Oftentimes when in a new situation or when uncharted territory arises, there may come with it feelings of unknowing or insecurity. In order to give the illusion of confidence, the tendency may be to overcompensate or take up more space in a room than necessary. Behind closed doors, women refer to this as the Peacock Syndrome. And then we giggle. Guess what? You don’t need to unnecessarily self-inflate and I’ll tell you why. She already agreed to go on a date with you.

It’s that simple.

Rather than flood the room with what I’m sure is your fantastic personality, rest assured she is already there for a reason. She is interested in you. If she weren’t, she wouldn’t be there. Use the ‘less is more’ approach to take some time to get to know her. The only way to do that is to talk half as much as you listen. Imagine the date is over and she is on the phone with her friend talking about you, because it will happen. Would you rather she say there was something different about you she liked (hint: you listened) or that you were cool but you really only talked about yourself the entire time? Easily avoidable pothole friends, easily avoidable.

Don’t Bring Presents – Be Present

Showing up with a lavish gift when dating after divorce may be a bit awkward if you barely know the person. Even though showing up with flowers is thoughtful, it may still be a bit awkward, as it brings with it the dilemma of where to put them during the course of the evening.

The best way to avoid awkward is to bring another kind of gift: the gift of self. What does that mean? It means put down your phone, take a deep breath, settle in and give her your undivided attention. Give yourself the time to enjoy the company of the person who took time out of their busy schedule to get to know you. What do you find interesting about her? Does she throw her head back when she laughs? Does she play with her wineglass while she talks? Is she nervous too? Is she a good storyteller? Do you have anything in common? Can you imagine the unexpected payoff of being present for these moments? Some day, all these little things may add up to something incredible, and you’ll be thankful you paid attention.

Save The World, Save Yourself Three ways to be heroically single

Save The World, Save Yourself Three ways to be heroically single

You’ve just made it through a divorce.  Now it’s time to save yourself.  Even if it was an amicable split, it is still a life-changing event and takes its emotional toll.  Even more so if the end of the relationship closely resembled a flaming train wreck or the end of a hostage standoff.  Odds are you came staggering out of the dust and debris feeling haggard and that much worse for the wear.

Getting Back on Your Feet

You may have looked around waiting for some form of disaster relief to appear and patch you back together.  You’re ready for a M.A.S.H. nurse to bind your wounds and hold your hand. If life is still happening and you have no time to slowly convalesce you may wish that someone would just swoop in and save the day.  You may wish that someone would step in and make everything that feels wrong in your life feel right. Guess what?  Someone can.  Guess what else?  That someone is you. Yes, you have the power to save yourself. 

Stand Up. As in, on your own two feet. Gain confidence in your own two legs again.  Odds are they’ve been knocked out from underneath you.  Learn to stand up straight and regain your composure.  What does that mean?  Go out as a single guy until being single feels good again.  Go out as a single guy until you realize your own worth again. So what if your marriage ended in a flaming train wreck?  It’s over.  It’s the past.  And just because that didn’t work out doesn’t mean nothing else ever will again.  You’ve learned.  You’ve grown, and you’re older and wiser for it.  You’re only a failure if you quit and you’re no quitter.  You’re a single guy who is single by choice.  That may not have been the case yesterday, but it is today.  Why?  Because it’s your life and you’ve decided that to be the case.   

Flex Your Emotional Muscles

You are a strong single man because you want to be, not because you have to be.   When you can stand up, strong and steadfast in your own space, you will notice your life begin to change.  You will get to be choosy.  You won’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.  When you can stand up, on your own two feet and not feel the need to lean on someone just to make it another step you’ll start to look at your life positively.  You’ll feel the freedom of choice where the feelings of need or desperation once stood.   

Start small.  Accomplish little feats like sleeping on the other, other side of the bed.  Get comfortable there; it’s your bed after all.  You call the shots now.  And when you’re ready to kick some ass, graduate to the full starfish, arms and legs fully splayed.  Go ahead and roll around.  Laugh.  We’re throwing caution to the wind here.  Enjoy it.     

Choose Your Super Power

Now that you have your strength back and you’ve learned to stand on your own and enjoy it, you get to choose your superpower.  Are you a cape-wearing avenger with full flight capabilities?  Do you have a secret decoder ring and the ability to teleport with a nod of your head?  Do you have a freeze-ray gun and can leap tall buildings in a single bound?   Be deliberate in your choice.  What does that mean?  Be aware of your talents and do your best to develop them.   Figure out a way to use your powers for good and not for evil.  Use your special combination of talents and skills to make a positive difference in someone’s day, in your community or the world.  You know how to save yourself. Who or what else needs to be saved?  Who is your villain?  What are you up against?  What needs to be done to triumph?  How will you use your superpower to make that happen?  To let another day pass without developing and using your superpowers is like committing a crime against humanity. We need you.  Today   No pressure, mind you, just get busy.   

Clothes Make The Man – Or Superman

Now that you’ve chosen your superpower, you must choose your outfit accordingly.  Laugh if you want to, but look at history.  All superpower wielding heroes have outfits that are equal parts functional, flexible, figure flattering with just enough badass to get the job done.  What does that mean?  It means when the alarm sounds you must be prepared, in this case suitably dressed, to employ the use of your chosen superpower.  It means you must keep this outfit at the ready, typically in a very cool, well-displayed, museum-quality casing with melodramatic lighting.  Accessories must be equally accessible.  But do whatever works for you.  You’ll want to look your best when the paparazzi captures you.  It is against superhero code to appear on the front page of the local paper looking unsightly.

Save Yourself  for A Bright Future 

Go forth young man, and be heroically single.  Stand strong on your own two legs. Develop your unique combination of super powers.  Select that outfit that best suits you and allows you to shine.  Now go save the world in your own special way.  Welcome back.  We need you.

 


(c) Can Stock Photo / ryanking999

The Guyvorce Guide to Movies About Divorce Our Picks for Top 10 Big Screen Break-up Comedies and Dramas

The Guyvorce Guide to Movies About Divorce Our Picks for Top 10 Big Screen Break-up Comedies and Dramas

When you decide it’s time for some cinematic therapy, start with our picks for movies about divorce, the top ten of the best laughers and criers about breaking up. And don’t forget the popcorn.

We love stories because they are cathartic. There is something about seeing the struggle and pain of life reflected on the big screen that lets us we know we are not alone. Movies are a reminder that even when we feel helplessly mired in darkness, if we keep going we will reach eventually reach the light. The resolution of the third act always follows the crisis of Act II

Comedy Movies About Divorce

  1. War of the Roses (1989)

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are divorcing couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rose. The wealthy, ambitious Roses go to war when they split up and neither can abide the other getting their masterpiece of yuppie, aspirational, architecture. The battles escalate into increasing levels of madness.

The masterful trio—Douglas, Turner and Danny DeVito—take you on a ride to the hilariously extreme of a bitter, petty divorce. This black comedy is an emotional release that reassures us, it could always be worse.

  1. Defintely Maybe (2008)

This rosy, father-daughter comedy shows that sometimes our best days are waiting on the other side of our greatest hardships. Ryan Reynolds plays single dad, Will, whose ten-year-old daughter forces him to give up the goods on why her parents called it quits on their marriage.

Forced to face the reality of his failed marriage, and his relationship with two other women, Reynolds gains clarity. His divorce opens the path for him to pursue lasting love with the woman he is truly meant to be with. This film gives hope that every ending gradually gives way to a new, better beginning.

  1. Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)

The incomparable Robin Williams plays a divorced dad who comes up with an outrageous strategy to be in his kids’ lives, full-time. Daniel reinserts himself into his children’s home incognito as Mrs. Doubtfire, a robust, elderly, British nanny. Through his ruse, Daniel learns how to be the amazing parent he never was when he was married and took his family for granted.

Divorced dads can relate to the hardships of shared custody, and the insecurity of a new father-figure entering the picture. This fun, family film about divorce lets you vicariously release your co-parenting stresses by enjoying the hilarious antics of one of the best comedians of our time.

  1. Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

Steve Carell and Julianne Moore’s twenty-year marriage hits the rocks in this divorce comedy. Ryan Gosling comes to the rescue of the clueless Carell after he is thrown back into the dating pool and starts to sink, rather than swim. Gosling’s character turns the drowning dunce into a suave player.  At turns funny and sweet, this is the feel-good medicine to improve your melancholy mood.

  1. Intolerable Cruelty (2003)

A jaded, sharp Beverly Hills divorce attorney (George Clooney) is bowled over when he finally meets his match in a stunning, crafty gold digger (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Clooney’s character knows he should know better, but he can’t help himself from falling for the conniving bombshell. The Cohen Brothers’ take on divorce is as inventive, fun and clever as you would expect from the Oscar winners. You owe yourself these raucous laughs, and the healing that comes from them.

  1. Bye Bye Love (1995)

Bye Bye Love follows the trials and triumphs of divorced dads Randy Quaid, Rob Reiner, Paul Riser, and Matthew Modine.  The laughs roll as these A-list funnymen tackle single parenthood, dating, and dealing with the exes. Just like life itself, the film is not all laughs. This flick also touches on the emotional process of moving on as these men navigate to the best of their varying abilities.

Dramas About Divorce

Diving into the deep end of divorce are four critically acclaimed dramatic films. We provide the titles, you bring the tissues.

  1. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

One of the best movies about divorce ever made pits Meryl Streep against Dustin Hoffman in an agonizing custody battle over their six-year-old son. This story takes you on an emotional jaunt that is, at turns, overwhelmingly sad, and touchingly funny. Racking up five Academy Awards, this is a must-see for any film lover, but a truly essential cinematic journey for anyone touched by divorce.

  1. Irreconcilable Differences (1984)

Irreconcilable Differences is another movie that explores the toll of divorce on the most vulnerable and innocent participant, the child. Stellar performances by Shelley Long and Ryan O’Neal as spouses that are so self-serving, and self-absorbed, they constantly throw their daughter (played masterfully by a young Drew Barrymore) in the middle of their own acrimony.

Fed up with her parents’ blindness to how they are damaging her at the expense of their own pettiness, she decides to seek a divorce…from them. Drew’s character is the hero of this poignant film that puts into perspective the collateral damage of divorce.

  1. The Squid and the Whale (2005)

This artsy, indie dramedy features a hip, Brooklyn couple whose marriage falls apart.  Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney are so caught up in their own career aspirations and dating lives that their two sons take a back seat to their own needs. Their 16 and 12-year-old sons bear the brunt of their parents’ skewed priorities and start acting out in troubling ways.

A break out Sundance film, The Squid and the Whale nabbed the Grand Jury Prize and Best Dramatic Direction and Screenwriting awards. It went on to get Hollywood cred with an Academy Award nom for Best Original Screenplay.

This indie darling gone mainstream is a brilliant take on divorce and co-parenting.

  1. What Maisie Knew (2012)

We see the fall out of divorce from the point-of-view of six-year-old Maisie for most of this film. Passed between a Rockstar mother (played by the incomparable Julianne Moore) and a businessman always on the go (Steve Coogan), Maisie is left mostly to her own devices to figure out what divorce means for the future of her broken family.

An artful balance between harsh reality and stirring sentiment, this movie is powerfully moving without being sappy

Breaking Up On the Big Screen

There are few things as emotionally liberating as a sad song, or a tender film, when you are down in the doldrums of life’s troubles. Movies have the power to let us process our feelings by getting out of our own heads, and away from our own difficulties, even if only temporarily. Whether you need a good laugh, or to let a few tears flow, these ten films will get you there. What movies about divorce do you go to when you need a lift, or an escape?

Tell us your fave flicks about divorce in the comments below. 

Share this list on your social media – you might end up with a movie date! 


(c) Can Stock Photo / alinoubigh

How To Escape From A Really Bad Date The Best and Worst Survival Techniques for Lousy Match Ups

How To Escape From A Really Bad Date The Best and Worst Survival Techniques for Lousy Match Ups

Escaping from a bad date is no laughing matter. Mostly. Some first dates are so horrible they make for a great story later, if you can just make it out intact to tell the tale.

Step 1:  Assess The Severity of the Situation

Before pulling the proverbial fire alarm to escape from a bad date, assess the situation. Are you over reacting?  Is the fact that she owns 14 cats and has spent the last 42 arduous minutes sharing pictures and describing their personality traits truly a deal breaker for you? So what if she not-so-absentmindedly doodled her first name with your last name on the cocktail napkin before the appetizers arrived. That’s no real reason to panic, right?  

Step 2:  Try to Salvage What’s Left of the Date

Escaping from a bad date may not be necessary if the situation is, in fact, salvageable.  Many a good relationship starts off with funny stories of misunderstandings and a lopsided interest.  Yours would neither be the first nor the last date to begin awkwardly only to find magic as the night went on, so can you turn things around? Maybe an accidental water spill on her cat pictures is all that is necessary to change the subject. Consider it a blessing and discuss your mutual interest in sailing around the world, where the cats can’t possibly join you.

Step 2.1: If Necessary –  ESCAPE

Let’s face the cold, hard facts. The two of you are wholly incompatible. A moment more spent in this insufferable situation is time that could be better spent picking up your dry cleaning, walking your dog, or picking lint from your belly button.

In short, escaping from this date is your only option. When you feel the need to flee as though the future of the free world depends on it, it’s time. As it stands, you have several options.

Bad Date Escape Options

The best technique for escaping any given bad date will depend upon your personal style, and your assessment of the situation. Review the following and choose wisely. 

The Cowardly Lion

Escaping from a terrible date is as easy as walking out the door.  Some call it “going ghost”.  Other’s call it “the backdoor boogie”.  In this case, we will refer to it as The Cowardly Lion. In essence, when escaping from a bad date – your first and most natural reaction is often to bail, leave, duck out. Zero explanation. Zero confrontation. After all, couldn’t she see you yawning through your teeth? Your eyes glazing over?  It’s okay to take a runner out to the parking lot when every attempt to change the subject and salvage the conversation was made, right? 

Perhaps. 

Just know The Cowardly Lion is the least preferable of all ways to escape from a bad date. Even if she is clueless and the chemistry nonexistent, this method of escape should be reserved for the most extreme cases, which hopefully means never. 

The Alibi

Your second alternative for escaping from a bad date requires a bit of premeditation to maintain an air of authenticity. Similar to buying trip insurance, establishing an alibi provides you with legitimate backup should you need a reason to leave. Only a slight step higher on the authenticity scale than The Cowardly Lion, The Alibi involves a bit of engineering.  At a preset time, your friend/plant-sitter/plumber/stockbroker calls. Excuse yourself from within earshot, yet not visibility, and take the call. In the event you need to escape the date, the alibi kicks in.  Feign surprise, but don’t overdo it.  Your body language should convey shock and dismay, not national disaster.  

The secret to a successful Alibi is in the swiftness with which the departure must be carried out. A skilled Alibi consists of one solid motion from the moment you hang up the phone, to your harried explanation, continuing through the hug, the thanking her for her time, the paying of the check, the hefty tipping for stiffing the waiter out of a full seating, and on through a fluid departure out the door.   It’s like a run-on sentence, keep moving and take no breaths allowing anyone else a word in edgewise until you are a safe distance to, or better yet, in your car.

The Double-Booking

Your third option for escaping a bad date is like the Alibi’s second cousin… related, sort of look alike and yet rarely seen together. The Double-Booking is prearranged in the same manner as The Alibi, however instead of blaming your rapid and non-negotiable exit on something borderline catastrophic, you’re blaming it on a scheduling error. This works particularly well if you have children as you didn’t realize it was your fictitious night to drive the evening carpool. Gotta run! Sorry, the car will be full and it will take me hours to get everyone home, greatmeetingyoubye! As you run out the door. 

If you don’t have kids, no worries.  Any occasion will do. You forgot you promised your aunt a night out on the town.  You swore to your boss you would let out her dog.  You totally forgot you had an appointment to get your appendix removed. At 8:47 pm. On a Thursday night. In a snowstorm. Chat soon, bye! 

The Flare-Up 

The Flare-Up is fairly easy to pull off, all things considered.  Escaping from a bad date using the flare-up requires no premeditated phone call, no alibi, and no outwardly visible physical symptoms either. A flare-up can strike at will and when necessary. A flare-up could be something as simple as a severe stomachache rendering you the world’s largest drag to be around. It could also be an old back injury, or some other phantom pain that allows you to beg off the evening’s festivities in a timely fashion. The Flare-Up is the Switzerland of reasons to leave a date, it’s a neutral territory where private matters are treated with discretion. One should exercise caution, however, as overdoing the Flare-Up could backfire leaving you with an overly attentive date that refuses to leave you without medical care. 

The Catastrophe

Use of the Catastrophe to escape a sucky date is neither for the weak of heart nor the superstitious. If you are feigning an accident, a sudden illness or claiming that your kitten is trapped in a tree you’d better have the acting chops to pull off a convincing delivery.  Furthermore, watch your karmic back on this, as it may be poetic justice if you get home, crack a beer and relax ,on the sofa only to find your precious Mittens is, in fact, out on a limb. 

The Honest Abe

The Honest Abe approach is the antithesis to The Catastrophe when escaping a rotten date.  Hands down, however, The Honest Abe is the most courageous. If things aren’t going the way you’d hoped, and you know beyond the shadow of a doubt the date just isn’t salvageable, it takes a courageous man to simply say so. And it takes an honorable man to take ownership of the mismatch, even if it was her idea to surprise you with skydiving not understanding you are afraid of heights.

The Honest Abe approach is very calm and non-accusatory. It simply lets you both off the hook of what was surely a painful experience and saves any awkwardness later. There will obviously be no good night kiss.  A polite hug with two pats on the back is stretching it.

Should you assess, salvage and still need to escape from a date, a clumsy handshake and a moment or two of awkwardness is the pricetag for the remainder of the evening being yours to do with as you wish. Maybe you’ll head home, hop online and find the woman whose conversation flows freely with yours.  Where there is no effort and the only misunderstanding you share is who went on more awkward dates than the other before you finally met. 

Godspeed my friend.

 

Tell us about your worst dates and how you survived in the comments below.

 

Safety first.

Share these survival tips on your social media.


(c) Can Stock Photo / mikdam

When to Start Dating After Divorce How to Know You’re Ready

When to Start Dating After Divorce How to Know You’re Ready

Dating after divorce, how do you know you’re ready? Well for starters, the ink is dry. The actual divorce is final. That’s a great first step. Boxes have been packed. And unpacked again. Days are brighter and a weight has lifted. You’re settled into your new life. Routines have started to emerge and you’re getting your sea legs back again. Life has returned to what is now your new normal. You may actually be getting the hang of this.

And yet something is missing. Rather, someone is missing. Someone to do things with. Bounce ideas off of. Laugh with. Watch the game. Go to dinner. Perhaps a night of “Netflix and chill” or legitimately watch a movie and relax. You don’t know who is missing, exactly, because you haven’t met her yet. Or maybe you have, but have yet to ask her out. Known or unknown, there is a tangible absence.

Signs That You Might Be Ready

Dating after divorce can be the best thing for you, but how do you know you’re ready?  Well, if the thought of approaching a woman for the first time in ages scares you a bit, it’s likely time. If you feel like you’ve been out of the dating loop and wonder what’s changed since you were last single, it’s likely time.  And if you find yourself giving extra long thought to the woman in line at your coffee shop, you guessed it… it’s likely time.

But, if you want to be incredibly sure you’re ready to begin dating after your divorce, know that you have options. While we don’t necessarily have an app for that, we have something that may be of service to you. For example, if you can legitimately send yourself through the gauntlet, Wipe-Out style, and find yourself standing victoriously, arms in the air at the other end… you, my friend, are ready.

Obstacle One To Dating After Divorce

The Tequila Test

After a night of solid drinking*, are you able to have a conversation that, not even once, ever mentions the name of your ex? This means no ranting, raving, or carrying on in any manner about how much you, or she, was to blame for the demise of your marriage. This involves, but is not limited to, drunk texting any of your friends on the matter. Or worse yet – her. To successfully pass The Tequila Test, no drive-bys of her house are allowed. Not even to casually see what she’s up to or to see if any cars are parked outside. (Dude, you aren’t stupid enough to drink and drive, right?)

In order to claim victory of this first test, singing is also strictly prohibited. No playing of ‘your’ song from any device. Points will be deducted, resulting in a negative score, if you even approach a juke box. And you will be immediately disqualified in the event you attempt to serenade her from a balcony, whether she has one or not.

* For all my newly divorced non-drinkers, not only do I salute you, but I offer the following workaround: Stay up for a solid 24 hours then go for a brisk run, the delirium effect will be equivalent.

What passing the first gauntlet means:  Where your mind goes when it wanders speaks volumes about who and what you’re missing. If, after knocking back a couple of pints, you’re able to hold a decent conversation that doesn’t involve your ex, you’re in decent shape. You may now level up.

What wiping out means:  If you failed this exercise miserably, take heart. And also take a good couple of weeks off before re-attempting.  Give your emotions and your liver time to heal.

Obstacle Two To Dating After Divorce

The Walk Through

You’re one step closer to dating, so let’s take you one step closer to being confident you’re ready.  Imagine you new date comes over for dinner. You’re cooking together. She compliments you on your cookware. Do you tell her, involuntarily or otherwise, it was a wedding gift? She spills pasta sauce on her white t-shirt and goes into the restroom to clean if off. She looks under the sink for a fresh bar of soap, does she find anything of your exes? You run to your closet to grab her a t-shirt, do you mistakenly grab the one you haven’t been able to part with? Mail is on the the hallway table, is any of it still addressed to Mrs. Yourlastname?

What passing the second gauntlet means: If your divorce is final and you’re ready to move on, your ex will be out.  All the way out.  Her clothes. Her mail. Her toiletries. Her everything.  Gone.  If you can walk through every room in the house and not see anything that your ex could call you to come pick up at any minute, you’ve passed The Walk Through. You may now level up.

What wiping out means: Need help getting a passing grade on this? Have a female friend come over and do a walkthrough for you. She’ll spot everything that needs to go, from a woman’s perspective. While the Great Purple One, may he rest in peace, was loved by many, likely none more than his ex-wife.  Famous or not, we don’t want to see you on an episode of Hollywood Exes.  Please don’t let this happen to you.

Obstacle Three To Dating After Divorce

The Bounceback

Imagine that you ask the girl from the coffee shop out on a date. She says yes. Elation sets in. Now imagine you ask the girl from the coffee shop out on a date. She says no. Are you blaming her for everything that’s wrong in your world? Is she a continuation of your ex? Are you going to go ask out the next woman that has a pulse just to get back at both of them? Have you anchored your self-worth to the responses of either of these women and now it’s somewhere at the bottom of the ocean where they tossed you overboard with a simple ‘no’?  If you answered no to all of those questions, congratulations.  You, my friend, are officially ready to date after divorce.

What passing the final gauntlet means: You’re able to distinguish between heartbreak and a standard rejection. While both are a part of life, they can exist independently of one another and a turn-down on a date is just that, a no. A no, when handled from a well-adjusted place, can propel you forward to the next potential yes with a new and better prospect.

What wiping out means: While dating can be serious business, it’s okay to break character. Laugh, start over. If Debbie Downer can do it, so can you. And when all else fails, try again next week.

Nervous? Take heart, and leave yourself an out. Leave enough room for the magic to happen.  Dinner. A drink or two.  And a gracious exit. Better to leave her wanting more time with you, and a second date, than unceremoniously making the blooper reel on the first.

Dating after divorce can feel like an obstacle course, especially if you don’t know you’re ready. But take heart, as dating life may be your new normal. After you’ve run the gauntlet once or twice, the more confidence you’ll have in the process and the more fun you’ll have.  Before you know it, you’ll actually get the hang of it.

Do any of these obstacles sound familiar? Got some more? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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(c) Can Stock Photo / akiyoko

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