I have decided to exit a ten year marriage. I have come to realize that I compromised so much of myself to make him happy and in return my happiness was depleted. I no longer have an emotional and mental connection to this man and I am moving forward. However, I have also noticed that this “new-age” dating is not for me. It appears that every relationship is about sex and having multiple partners. Though I do not disagree with having sex and dating around to be sure you are investing your time and energy into the right person before becoming exclusive, I have an issue with sex and multiple partners being the main focus and NOT developing an intimate relationship. I realized in this marriage I married a selfish individual who abuses alcohol and, unfortunately, does not love himself (what he told me). I am not interest in this new-age dating, but craving that intimacy.
-urgh it’s complicated.
Dear Urgh It’s Complicated,
Thanks for writing to me. First and foremost, I’m sorry to hear about your marriage. It’s never that easy to end a relationship with someone no matter the circumstances of the breakup. In your case, you spent at least ten years of your life with a person you imagined would be with you “forever.” Unfortunately as time has passed, and you two grew in different directions, you realized that forever was not worth your peace of mind and happiness. So now you find yourself back in the dating pool (which can be at the very least, an interesting experience).
In this day and age, when it seems like most of the world is talking to headless profiles on a screen and/or swiping left or right, dating can at times seems a bit intimidating. You try to meet a person to build something, and he’s counting down the minutes until he gets to smash. Then there’s all the guys you meet who are boring, self-centered, terrible liars, or a mixture of the three. I get your frustration, and so do countless millions.
I know you probably really just want me to tell you where to find all the quality men, however there’s another issue I feel obligated to address. You yourself said you are getting out of a ten year marriage. Since that is the case, I actually don’t recommend trying to date for the sole purpose of hopping into another relationship right now.
I wouldn’t want you falling into a trap I see too many people falling in. Folks will break up with their significant other, then immediately jump into another relationship. They don’t give themselves time to grieve what was, before attaching themselves to what could be. And more importantly, they don’t evaluate why the old relationship didn’t work and what they did or didn’t do to contribute to its demise. These folks don’t ask themselves, “What did I learn from this?”
All I’m saying, is that most people need to take a break in between relationships for reflection. From the way you phrased your letter, I’m not sure the ink is dry on your divorce papers. After ten years of marriage, you owe yourself time to become reacquainted with who you’ve grown to be in a decade and what you require from a mate now that you’re a little older and hopefully wiser. You also need to think about what mistakes you may have made in your old relationship that you want to avoid in your next relationship.
In short, use this period you have for yourself to get to know yourself. It will be important in the long run. Once you feel you’re absolutely ready to move on and have got your ex and the past out of your system, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to find a new man. Get into the mind set of dating just to date. See what’s out here in the world. I’m not telling you to have sex with multiple men. I’m just saying, meet new people and let an organic relationship happen when it happens.
Suggestions moving forward.
- All dating apps are not of the devil. Sometimes you can find those rare folks searching for something beyond the physical. But pay attention to the word rare. I usually don’t encourage being a pessimist, but assume folks on the app are just trying to bone until they prove otherwise. ( I know the whole expression about “assuming,” but throw it out the window here.)
- Don’t be afraid of going old school. Go to an occasional happy hour at a few of your favorite restaurants. Head to the gym. Shoot make your way to the mall. Those are all places where you could meet a man. Just look up from your phone, and open your mouth.
As always nothing but love,