Dear Ronnie The Dating Coach,
I love your dating site because you’re obviously a real person and not twenty years old– and the advice is good and to the point. So here’s my question, with a little background first:
I’m 47, young-looking, educated, and teach at a university. I’ve been divorced for several years with little to no “baggage”, at least not from my marriage. I’m more of an introvert and have to force myself to get out there.
I’ve done the Match.com thing several times and have met a lot of men. Most were not sufficiently compatible with me or I ultimately wasn’t attracted enough. A couple were dashing charming ladies’ men who I unfortunately tried to cling to, to no avail. I was quite hurt by one of these and it took me a while to get over it during which I took a hiatus from dating.
On my recent run with Match last month I met “The Perfect Man For Me”. He’s attractive, successful, and we have so much in common: We both, play Scrabble, like to hike, have mothers who were in the same profession, have read many of the same books and had similar thoughts on them. Plus, he is genuinely NICE. We have no end of things to talk about.
Only problem is, he’s been divorced only six months from his wife of twenty+ years.. Plus, his elderly mom recently fell ill.
At the end of the third date, he said he said “Let’s talk about us– are you enjoying this? Me too, but I want to take it reeeallllly slow.” Then, I didn’t hear from him again!
I called and left messages twice, once asking about his mom and another time inviting him to do something fun. Nothing. I don’t have his e-mail address and neither of us are on Match any more. Obviously he doesn’t want to be involved with me, at least for now, but is there ANY hope? I honestly don’t think I’ll meet a man this great again.
Patient in Pasadena
Regarding your guy, it’s a sad thing I agree. I know it seems like you’ll never meet such a great guy again, but personally, I hope you meet a better man. What I mean by that is a man who is emotionally available and relationship ready. This guy, unfortunately is clearly not. Men who are recently divorced, specially if the wife left, can be in pain and emotional turmoil, even if they don’t say so or are even aware of it themselves.
So while you think he is great, in reality, he’s missing essential elements to make him the right man for you. Waiting for him doesn’t make sense to me because there is no way to know if he’ll come back, when he’ll be ready or if he has found someone else. I know it’s hard, and I say this with great compassion, but I recommend accepting this is over.
However, there is good news in this story.
You can now see that good men are out there! He is your evidence that you can find a guy who meets many of your needs. My advice is to stretch a bit further to find a man who is also interested in and ready for a relationship with you.
The only way to find out is to date men. It’s not easy because human nature causes us to get attached quickly and start planning a future. That’s why I advise my clients who are dating over 40 or dating after divorce, to hold off on falling for any particular guy until he proves to you that he’ll be around for a while.
I also recommend dating more than one man (when you can find them) at the same time since so many seem to disappear as quickly as they appeared. This also helps you avoid over-focusing on one guy or getting prematurely attached.
To safe guard your heart, use this suggested “self talk” to keep you from thinking too much or too far ahead:
“He seems like a great guy. Let’s see what happens next – what he’ll do to win me over and please me, if he’s consistent and treats me well. I hope we have the same values and want the same thing. We’ll see.”
That’s why I tell my dating coaching clients to remember the point of dating – it is to gather data. You need to observe a man’s actions and behaviors as you get to know him and this is a process that takes time.
So, do some healing to get over this guy and know, that he is your evidence. Better men are out there, looking for a great woman like you!