Latest update: February 10th, 2014
7. It’s Not Exclusive Till You Say So
Dating the second time around basically means that anything is fair game. Your job is to put yourself out there and to be present in a relationship. That means opening yourself up to the person you’re dating, being vulnerable and letting him or her see you for the person you are. If someone values your worth and is crazy about you, he will focus on you to the exclusion of all others. Each person you date provides you with valuable learning lessons, to learn more about yourself and what you’re looking for.
8. Slow It Down
When a person is used to being in a marital relationship, it can be easy to see a dating partner in the role of a spouse and get comfortable very quickly. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of a new relationship and want to be together all the time. When this happens, that excitement can fizzle out sooner than you think – especially with online dating. Many of my friends have experienced the intense two-week contact, and then never hear from the other person again.
It’s really important to pace things out and give a relationship the time and space it needs to build. It’s important not to emotionally unload every issue onto the person you’re dating because the relationship doesn’t have the strength needed to weather any storm. It’s also important to maintain a level of privacy, because you honestly don’t know if you will end up with the person that you’re dating. It goes without saying that any information spoken about during a relationship should be kept private and not repeated all over town after a breakup.
9. It’s All About the Kids
Sometimes the people we date have issues with our children. There are little hints they drop while we’re dating that should tip us off, but because we really like the person, we overlook them. One man I dated kept telling me I was forcing him to grow up and he wasn’t sure he was ready to be a stepfather. Look at your date’s reaction when you tell stories about your kids. See how he or she reacts if you have to cancel a date because of a parenting emergency.
Make sure you ask if the person you’re dating wants more children. It may sound like a given but I’ve encountered men who have had their kids and didn’t want any more. It’s also important to find out what your date’s children are like and how the dynamics would work if you combined families.
10. Emotional Stability
Men who don’t have their life in order, a.k.a. are not emotionally stable, may or may not find stability anytime soon. You are blessed if you find that out sooner rather than later.
Some signs of emotional instability: he doesn’t have an apartment or regular place to live, he’s in between jobs, can’t stick to his decisions, makes grandiose statements and changes his desires daily. Some examples: “Let’s move to Europe,” “I think I’ll change careers and be a ___” “I want to blow money on ___.” You get the point. He consistently doesn’t follow through and do what he has promised to do, and talks big. His feelings for you may change rapidly and go from being crazy in love with you to having serious doubts. Remember, this isn’t about you. The person you’re dating needs time to get his life in order. There may always be someone desperate enough to settle for this type of person, but you need to ask yourself, why would you be willing to tolerate this person and stay in the relationship? Introspection is key here.Alanna Fine
About the Author: Alanna Fine, a clinical social worker, lives in Los Angeles with her son. She is involved in advocacy, awareness, and empowerment in the hope of initiating a system-wide change for the divorced community. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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