Dating After Divorce: Sending Mixed Signals

Tina is 61, petite and attractive.  She’s been ready to date for a while and has just started her activity to meet men.  Recently she connected with Pete on SilverSingles.com who is a widower.  Turns out he lives just around the corner from her sister.  What  a small world.

For their first date, the two decided to meet at Tina’s sister’s house.  Then they could go on their date in Pete’s car. They went to dinner and had an excellent time.  Then Pete, who happens to be very pleased with some redecorating he just completed, was anxious to show off his hard work.  He drove Tina to his home and they went in to view the new decor.

Tina thought he did a lovely job.  Pete took her around and explained all the changes that were made.  It was fun!  Sort of a romantic, Pete put his favorite music on the CD player and then asked Tina to take a spin with him.  Tina started to feel a bit uncomfortable as Pete pulled her close and moved to the music. She told him that it was time to get going and they went back to her sister’s house to pick up her car. Date over.

Tina and Pete had a second date that was very similar.  She really enjoyed this man’s company, but he took her back to his house again where they had a repeat of the dancing scene. Tina was miffed that she had to go through this all over again and decided it was time to leave.  Then she decided it was time to dump Pete.

Now I’m probably going to surprise you , but I’m on Pete’s side here. Why? Because in all fairness, Tina sent him messages that going to his house and what might come afterwards was OK. How could that be? Think about it. Tina got in the car with a man she didn’t know.  Yes, she met him at her sister’s house, but they didn’t stay there. So now Pete could be easily thinking, “Well that was easy.”

Tina gave Pete the impression she was easy going and comfortable in a strange man’s home.  So what’s the surprise to think he put the moves on her?  No surprise to me.  Tina didn’t have any boundaries and then was mad when Pete crossed the line. 

Actually, I think this situation was a real shame. The fact is Tina really liked Pete.  But once he tried to get too close, she shut him down.  And she was completely unwilling to consider how she had contributed to his making a pass at her.  After all, who had gotten into his car and gone to his house on the first date? She had sent mixed signals. She was open to  going , and yet she was angry that he tried.

He is a man after all.  Regardless of his age.  It’s in the genes (jeans) to try.

If Tina had been a bit more savvy, she would have met Pete at the restaurant.  And  then she would have driven herself home, saving the house tour for a point further down the road when intimacy would have been more appropriate and comfortable for her.  She closed down a potentially good man who probably misread her signals and willingness.  

The best thing you can do when dating is to know your limits. Set boundaries so that you don’t get into situations that you have to find your way out of later.  Remember, you are sending messages with your actions, not just your words.  Be clear with yourself and with the men you date.

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