Dating After Divorce: I’m Dating Dr. Jekyll, But Don’t Like Mr. Hyde

Here’s a question that shows up more frequently that you might imagine. That’s why I want to share it with you – in case you too might be going through something similar.

Dear Ronnie the Dating Coach

I’ve been dating a 41-yr old man since last December. He pursued me while I was living in far away. Now we live in the same city and see each more often. Every time we get together, the chemistry is amazing. He even says how much he likes me and feels deeply connected. the problem is  that a few days later, he completely rejects the whole idea of a relationship and backs away. It’s like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – he becomes the total opposite of who he is when he is with me.

His excuses are ever evolving – first he wasn’t ready. Now he says he  doesn’t get enough butterflies when we’re apart. The problem is he keeps his distance and I sense his fear of commitment. His wife left him 2 years ago and he’s been up and down like a roller coaster every since.

He tells me how much he cares about me and he won’t fully dump me. Yet reacts almost irrationally when there are a few days between visits. I don’t know what to do because I like him and I know he likes me, and our chemistry is hard to find. He has even admitted this to me.

I know the answer is to let this go. But it’s hard when I know he still has feelings for me. I wish I could understand his inconsistent behavior, and then, have some resolution in myself to be able to move on and get over the longing that I have for him.

Please help,
 Tired of Dating  Dr. J

Dear Tired,

I totally understand what you are saying about this guy. And you may not like my advice, but since you did ask this dating coach, I’m going to tell you what I think.

As I would say to any dating coaching client who asked me this question, I want to simply confirm your own feelings about your man. I recommend that you let him go. That is the only solution because you cannot change anyone. And he is not emotionally available, regardless of your great chemistry.

In addition, chemistry is not enough to hold a relationship together – it takes Emotional Maturity – something he may be lacking; Commitment – something he isn’t capable of right now; and the Desire  to make it work. Your desire isn’t enough for the both of you.

Also keep in mind that Dr. Jekyll will always come as a package deal with Mr. Hyde. They are inseparable because they are the same man. This might be what adds to the chemistry and excitement because you are kept on your toes, never quite knowing who will show up.

He won’t let go because he knows you are a great catch and possibly because he just can’t be alone. But his yoyo-ing is very bad for your self-esteem.  When a man doesn’t know what he wants, the woman suffers who tries to hang in there. I’ve been down this same road myself. And it took me 18 years to recover! Don’t let that happen to you.

Don’t wait for him to dump you – let go of him because he is not ready. And therefore, he must not be the right guy for you. Someone else is out there for you. You deserve a man who is ready for a relationship, treats you well, is rational vs. irrational and knows a good thing like you when he sees it.

Wishing you love,
Ronnie – The Dating Coach

photo credit: newhousedesign

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony,,, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

1 thought on “Dating After Divorce: I’m Dating Dr. Jekyll, But Don’t Like Mr. Hyde”

  1. Ronnie, This is great advice. Thank you. As time has passed; I see how all you were 100% perfectly accurate. I knew and believed everything you suggested here, but as we all know, emotions take awhile to catch up with logic. So, unfortunately, although I distanced myself, it was hard to fully let him go… and I did suffer for this. I think it made it worse that I thought I could keep my eyes open and accept the situation, keep my guard up, but try to remain friends. As I found out the hard way, keeping my guard up only takes more energy and does become destructive to my self-esteem. I let myself enter into a limbo zone and didn’t seem to have to energy to pull out of it quickly, probably because of other circumstances in my life. Well, the silver lining right now is that I am stronger and have grown, and feel that I can still love — simply because I was able to surrender to the fact that I can’t change anyone. Also, I accepted that I needed to love myself first and foremost.


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