I get a lot of questions about dating and divorce. I know its not easy out there. This email from a divorced woman in her 40’s sounds like many of the emails I receive. If you are dating and divorced, I hope this helps you draw the line with men who don’t know how to treat a wonderful woman like you.
Dating and Divorce: Love Yourself First
Dear Ronnie The Dating Coach,
I am in my 4o’s, divorced and been dating the last 2 years. I am just shocked at the morals and attitudes in the dating world. I have been seeing a man for 10 months now. We don’t spend a whole lot of time together due to his work and I have my job plus 2 kids to take care of.
It all started out like a dream. He treated me like a queen. After 3 or 4 months though, he started slowly ceasing and I saw the real him. Once he had me, he quit trying. My expectations of being treated like a lady, treated with respect, respecting my time by planning in advance (I have kids) and just to feel appreciated have caused a ton of problems.
It took me three months to get him to realize he should offer me something to drink while he’s standing in front of me drinking. His social skills are lacking. I don’t feel I am asking too much. This has led to fights as I excuse myself and politely leave if he feels the need to surf the net reading emails or be on Facebook while I am there.
We don’t get much time and I think it’s quite rude when I give him my time and then he finds other things to do. We sit in his garage at his computer or sit outside and talk, rarely do we join each other on the couch to watch TV, eat dinner together or have a date night out. All we do is talk about him. He texts me and tells me about his day, I respond. If I text him something about me, he ignores it and doesn’t even acknowledge I said a word.
He thinks I expect too much and will never find a man. I live in a small town, so it’s hard to have much of a selection. The final straw for us was him calling me awful names, swearing at me when he got mad on two different occasions last week when I voiced the fact he was being rude. I didn’t yell- I tried to explain, but every time I do I set him off. We can’t discuss it and I just didn’t feel valued.
I respect myself enough to not be treated like a door mat. After 20 times of nicely asking, I tried a little more direct approach by leaving early. But, I never yell or get nasty. Still, I shouldn’t have to tell a man to act like I am there. I am seeing so many men act like this though. Being a 50 year old man, he should know a few social skills and know how calling women awful names is total disrespect. Its very hard to leave but I know I deserve more value and more respect than what he can give.
Thank you for your articles,
Small town woman
Dear Small Town,
You are not too picky – don’t believe a word of that bunk. If anything, you are too polite and patient! That man is a total cad! The epitome of Mr. Wrong. Common courtesy and respect are not too much to expect – they are the most basic relationship requirements.
If He Doesn’t Treat You Well from the Start, He Never Will
To tell you the truth, I would never ask a man to do anything 20 times. Once or twice tops. Anyone can have a bad day or lash out and regret it. However, if you don’t get the respect and treatment you deserve after a couple of minor disrespectful interactions, you can assume that is the man’s way and will not change.
Red Flags Are Waving
After 10 months, he continues to ignore your requests, treat you poorly and ignore you. Why have you stayed so long? I say this with compassion truly, because I want you to wake up from this bad dream. How could you work on him for 3 months just to offer you a drink? That’s huge red flag about the extent of this man’s self-centered, narcissistic ways.
Sadly, I have to say this is not a relationship. A relationship is two people working together, enjoying each other and supporting each other emotionally. This guy is in a relationship with himself – not with you.
You Always Come Back for More
When you make repeated requests, a man sees that you’ll put up with his bad behavior. You leave which is great – but you always come back for more. Even though you are doing the right things, you have been doing them for too long. I can’t see one reason to stay with a man like this! Does he really add to your life? He ignores you, is rude to you, is inhospitable…
Self Respect – Show that You Value Yourself
I’m glad to know that you respect yourself, but my request as your dating coach is to step that up quite a bit. Leave this bum in the dust. No matter how small a town you live in, there is no reason to accept this kind of treatment from any man. Dating and divorce are not easy, but keep self respect as your top priority and your decisions and next steps will be much easier.
Wishing you mutual love and respect with the right man,
Ronnie Ann Ryan – The Dating Coach
Photo Credit: MBK Marjie