Dating After Divorce: Are You Doing All the Work?

YOU go on a date with a nice guy. You send him a cute note  thanking him for the evening. Seems like the right thing to do, after all, you want him to know you’re interested. You want him to know you’d like to see him again .

I even sent a guy a small gift  after a particularly good first date.  Just to reinforce what a great catch I was.

Then you don’t hear from him over the next week or two. You start to wonder. Maybe he’s busy. Maybe he’s out of town. Maybe it’s something you said. You wants to call to say “Hi.”  Nothing serious, just get into a friendly conversation and ask him how things are going. Being friendly. Moving the ball forward.

Know what I learned after doing this?

It doesn’t work.
The strategy is ALL WRONG.

I learned my lessons the hard way – by living them. But you don’t have to. You can read what this dating coach has to say and learn what work so much better.

Think about dating in a new way . There’s a dating strategy to find the right man for you. A guy who knows what he wants and he wants is YOU. He is ready for a relationship.

How are you going to find this type of man? Well, it actually takes less effort. What? Less effort? How can that be?  The first thing  to understand: Chasing men does not work.  So what does work?

Ballroom dancing. What has that got to do with dating? Everything!

How many leaders per couple in ballroom dancing? Just one. How many followers? Just one and as a woman, that’s your role. What if you both want to lead? POWER STRUGGLE! And he’ll lose interest quickly. Men like to chase, not be chased. It’s the law of the jungle and dating is still an archaic mating ritual. The more you fight this, the more you struggle and feel frustrated.

I know this is hard to take in. We are emancipated! We are equals!  That may be true, but the part you are missing is that WE ARE NOT THE SAME.  A visual example of this is the Yin/Yang symbol from Eastern philosophy. Equal black and white paisally-shaped pieces fit into each other to make a bigger whole. The pieces are the same size but they are not totally the same –  they are mirror images.

So, if you want a man to act like the man, you have to let HIM be the man. You have to let him lead. Not for eternity . But for the first phase of dating which is some where between 4-10 dates, depending on the couple. After that, everything starts to rebalance.

The purpose of dating is to gather data. But when you take the lead, you cannot get any information about what  man will do without your prompting. And that is the only behavior that matters!

As a woman, you want to know what he’ll do to win you  over. How he’ll try to please you, impress you , get to know you. If you  call him, ask him out, or pay, you won’t know when he would have called or if he’s generous. You can’t collect any reliable data about a man when you pursue. That’s how you find a guy who is ambivalent, who doesn’t follow through, who is unrelaible. Do the work for him and he won’t have to …He can be lazy because you’ll pick up the slack! We women can be such accomodating work horses.

Stop doing all the work! Let men step up to the plate and then you’ll know if he’s really interested in you. Your job as a woman is to share your attention and the pleasure of your company.That’s it!  If he likes you, he WILL CALL YOU. He will text or email. He will ask you out and pay for the first few dates.

Let men chase you and watch how your results shift.

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony,, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

9 thoughts on “Dating After Divorce: Are You Doing All the Work?”

  1. Gee – thanks for putting in your two cents. I don’t think the man should do everything. But during the initial dating phase, at least the first 3-4 dates should be all you. Of course you can ask your date what she might like and get her involved to lessen the burden. Women’s lib hasn’t changed the dating process. That is the crux of the issue for many daters today who don’t know this. If women let men lead during the very beginning, its a sure fire way to know if the guy is interested, how interested and or not. There is no other way to find this out.

  2. the 1950’s called…they want their dating etiquette returned ! 2011 men want to be swept off their feet just as much as women do. women want equal rights , but yet they still expect the man to do all the work in a courtship. it’s exhausting planning everything all the time,so i find proactive women very refreshing. snap out of it women, & ask that guy out !

  3. Well letting them take the lead is the hardest thing for women who like to be in charge of their life. But it is a must. So do whatever you have to do to let them be in charge, and the outcome will be much better. You will not be sorry for it.

  4. Hi Amanda,

    I understand how hard this can be! Believe me, I’m such a chick in charge. but the results are worth it.

    Let me answer your two questions:

    1) If you meet a man who says the ball is in your court – leave it there. They are not really interested or they’d pick up that ball. As a sales person, would you ever leave the ball in your customer’s court unless you thought they were a total lost cause? NEVER! Do not pick up that ball.

    Another option is to be direct. When I was single and a man gave me his card or suggested I call him, I’d just smile coyly and say “Gee, I don’t call men. but if you’d like to see me, please call and ask me.” Then I’d walk away. That’s it.

    2) What is wrong with your male friends? They feel strong enough to ask a woman for the first date, but are too shy for the second date? This is complete nonsense. Once they have success by getting a “Yes” and having the date – they are too shy for more? Think about it – does that even make sense? The hard part is over. I think you should kick your buddies in the butt and tell them to snap out of it! Without engaging their natural masculine hunting instincts, they are going to be VERY LONELY.

    Don’t fall for any of this.

    While their may be male confusion about dating roles, don’t make excuses for men. If you do, you could very easily end up doing all the work. If you really like a guy and felt this might be going on, then if you have to JUST ONCE, you could always say, “If you want to see me again, just ask, I’d say yes.” Then he’s still asking you, silly as that seems. But NEVER do it more than once.

    Stick to your guns girl! Hold out for a man who knows who he is and what he wants – which is you!

  5. This is so so hard for me but I buy it totally. I do try so hard to not call and chase even though i work in sales and that is my natural tendencies.

    I do want my man to be a man and so Ronnie I will follow what you say and report back with the success.

    One question – sometimes I have met a man ( on two occasions ) who have told me that the ball is in my court and that I need to make the next move. How do I handle this –

    Also male friends have told me that they feel shy asking a woman out on the next date and it would be so much easier if the woman was to call and encourage the man that she liked him…With such positive requests from modern day man, still let them hunt ?

    Any suggestions –


  6. Sally, – so glad to hear how you handle this! Just sit back baby and smile to show your appreciation. I’m a big fan of “volume dating” and dating other men to distract yourself. This is a very helpful strategy to keep you from over thinking and investing prior to collecting enough information. Congrats!

    Cathy, thanks for confirming the post with your experience.Men are hunters – so true! Now that we have fought for and won so much equality, it’s time to reclaim our feminine charm, the very essence of our female nature. And the part that attracts the masculine we so desire in a partner.

  7. “You can’t collect any reliable data about a man when you pursue. That’s how you find a guy who is ambivalent, who doesn’t follow through, who is unrelaible. Do the work for him and he won’t have to …He can be lazy because you’ll pick up the slack! We women can be such accomodating work horses.” So true!!!

    I fell in love with a man who at the beginning pursued me then he had a change in circumstances and I thought we were in the next phase of shared commitment… but, no, sometimes even quite a way into the relationship – if there is no formal commitment – I say still let them do the running. That’s when that relationship worked best (especially if there is also external circumstances that already affect the man – eg change in career, or new job).

    We have to learn that men are really hunters and who wants anything that just lays down to be caught? Not real men, that’s for sure 🙂

  8. I’ve followed your advice on this and it works! It is challenging when you really like a guy (and if you’re a confident, strong woman) to sit back and wait. What I do to keep myself occupied while I wait is to date…. Yup, date a few guys at a time and someone is always calling. And if the great guy turns out to be a dud, I have a few others to keep me in the dating game. Collect data!!!


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