Dating after Divorce: Beware the Wounded Heart

broken-heartI do have some male over 40 dating coaching clients.  I love working with men because I learn so much that I can share with my women clients. Plus, the men who reach out to me tend to be good people who are committed to finding love.

Anyway, the other night Alex called me with a quick question. I noticed several red flags in what he shared with me.

He was confused by a recent exchange he had with a woman whom he met on Match.com.  Alex had one date with Cassandra , but since then they have been emailing and talking on the phonee because Cassandra has been really busy. (Red flag #1 – Too busy to  date)

It seems in their last phone call, Cassandra was pouring out her heart about her ex husband who was quite the scoundrel.  He abused her badly. (Red Flag #2 -Talks about ex frequently)  Alex told me he didn’t really get a word in edgewise. (Red Flag #3 -Doesn’t show interest in the other person) 

At some point, a break in the conversation occurred.  In the spirit of give and take, Alex took the opportunity to share one of his stories. Cassandra interrupted to tell him about a similar thing that happened to her. But Alex wasn’t finished.

Alex said, “Cassandra, please let me finish my story. ”  Casssandra was furious, told him not to try controlling her and hung up. (Red Flag #4 – Emotional problems – flying into a rage) Alex was confused, surprised, wondering how to handle such a situation better next time.

Here’s the over 40 dating coaching advice I gave Alex:

1. Cassandra is self-centered, maybe a little crazy, but most importantly WOUNDED
2. Cassandra is not ready to date, not available for dates, wants to talk about ex, wants to talk only about herself and her problems
3. Cassandra couldn’t handle a request or suggestion for fear of being controlled
4. Cassandra is not a good match for Alex and lucky for him, he found out relatively quickly

The Wounded Heart is Easy to Spot in Men and Women:

  • They are not often in light-hearted moods
  • They need to talk about their ex and what happened frequently
  • They focus the conversation on themselves and their problems
  • They feel more comfortable retelling their own tale of woe than talking about anything else
  • They don’t listen well

Unless you want to be Florence (or Fred) Nightingale, don’t get tangled up with a wounded person. They will drag you down and suck you dry. Even if you manage to help him or her get over whatever happened, chances are strong he/she will move on once healed to date others.

I’ve seen this over and over. You probably have too.

It may seem like tough love on this topic, but I share this advice sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I want you to be happy and enjoy life with a partner who expands your world.

A person with a wounded heart can be:

  • Not truly open or ready to date
  • Not emotionally available
  • Needy and energy draining
  • Depressed
  • Angry and may lash out at you
  • And many more unpleasant things

If you are dating a wounded heart and recognize these symptoms, think how this is affecting you. Ask yourself if this relationship is fulfilling and makes you happy. If your answer is “No” please consider moving on. There are plenty of fish in the sea and many are wonderful people who are happy to be alive and ready to meet a fabulous person like you.

Hope may spring eternal. But my hope is that you won’t get into or stay in a relationship like this with the hope the person will someday improve or recover. Don’t try to save him or her. Instead save yourself and move on to find  the loving, happy partner you deserve.

Photo credit: Wolf’s Soul



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