Timing can be crucial when you are trying to find love. Have you heard the term, “great person, wrong time?” Many women will not even consider dating a man who is recently separated or divorced. Is this a red flag or not? The answer to this question is, it depends on two things: one, are you in a rush to get serious, and two, how ready is the man?
Are you interested in having children in the next few years? Do you want to marry sooner than later? If you are in any kind of rush, dating a man who is recently separated is not the right choice for you. If you have different lifestyle desires, you will feel anxious. You’ll want to know “where is this relationship going?” Ask yourself: “how ready am I for love and what is my timing? Am I completely over my ex, or am I pretending?” On a scale of 1-10, how ready are you for a serious relationship and all that it entails?
Your prospective mate’s timing.
The second issue involves your prospective mate’s timing. How available is the man you are dating? Was he in a short or long-term marriage? Beyond sharing children, pets, and property, where is he in his emotional healing? Pay attention to what he says and, even more, what he does. If he says he wants to be monogamous with you, but his online profile is still active, take caution. Some men, especially those who have been out of the dating scene for a long time, don’t understand the new world of social dating. Let him know that although it is common for men to seek the BBD (bigger better deal), that won’t work for you. I often see men coming out of a separation or divorce very eager to get their self-esteem needs met. These men are emerging from a failed relationship, feeling vulnerable and empty. They know a lot about what they don’t want in a relationship—to be nagged or wrong, for instance—but they don’t know what they do want. These men may be very eager to jump into a sexual relationship but not as eager to jump back into a marriage.
How do you know if you and your date are on the same page with regard to readiness for a relationship? The problem is, at first you don’t. Men will tell you what you want to hear, or even what they believe to be true. In dating, most of us operate using an unconscious model of communication. Many people (both men and women) are unaware of why they do or say certain things. My main advice about timing is to think with your head and heart. Women, don’t compromise your own needs when you like a man. You can only suppress your own needs for so long. If you say “no worries, I enjoy your company” but want something very different, you will regret your dishonesty. Learn to pay attention not only to what men tell you, but what your gut tells you as well. Over the years you may have been hurt so many times that now you doubt yourself. Don’t ignore your intuition. Don’t speculate instead of communicating either. I recommend not making broad, sweeping assumptions about all men either. There is no right answer about how long a man needs to stay separated or divorced before he is ready. Some men may never remarry, despite years of living alone.
I once met a man who referred to his ex-wife as his “wife” countless times during a date. Clearly, he was not as ready as he might have thought. Have the courage to act with self-confidence. Men want to be with a woman who can hold her own. You have to see how invested he is in not losing you. Sometimes anxious women tend to give too much to a relationship and lose themselves. Act confident in what you have to offer in a partnership. You will have to deduce (based upon what your man says and does) whether you want the same things. Learn to trust your intuition again, and it should guide you towards the right answer.
Timing is not the same for everyone. The right relationship is one where you are on the same page, and only you can know when this is the case.
Need some more tips about where you’re at in your relationship? See my post on the stages of dating, or check out How to Date with Intention for even more help.