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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › A Mercenary Approach to Dating?

A Mercenary Approach to Dating?

A former member
Post #: 38
One thing I've noticed a lot about people when they date after a divorce is that people seem to be very down to business. Which in some ways I admire. It's like saying, this is where I've been. I know I don't want to be there again. So I'm going to be very intentional about not getting involved with a certain type. But I have really mixed feeling about this.

I dated someone during the summer that I tried to talk myself into liking more than I did. She had a lot of traits that I really would want to find in someone and she didn't have some of those red flags that I watch out for, but I just didn't feel it. She was a lot like me in a lot of ways. We could have a lot of really deep conversations. But I just didn't feel it.

I wonder if sometimes people go out with the intention of finding a certain criteria in a person, and often pass by someone who really would have fit... if you're too busy looking for the right one, that you don't allow yourself to just live in the moment. Because all life is is a series of moments. Which is not to say that we shouldn't use our heads. But maybe our rush to get the finish line diverts us from paths that might be valuable to getting there.

I know there have been times I've been on a date and I'm thinking, hmmm, how do I represent the big picture of me. Because I'm concerned that if they don't know what I'm about then they might dismiss me and vice versa. But truthfully, I think it makes for a boring date. I like flirt. I like to have fun. And it's no fun being with someone who is there to judge and it's no fun to judge. And frankly, the reason to go out is to have a good time. And maybe after a few good dates you start learning that someone isn't the right one. But you're not going to see who someone really is on a first date, especially since dating is a really awkward thing.

But one thing I am sure of, mercenary daters are not much fun to go out with. And there's a big red flag attached to anyone who sees dating as something that only serves them.

As I'm starting to wake up from the misery of my divorce situation, I'm realizing how much I like to crush. I don't think that allowing one's self to feel that means that you lose your sanity.

Anyone have a different take on it?
John H.
user 13208067
Madison, WI
Post #: 4
I don't know. I'm still in the VERY early stages of separation (we're not even talking divorce yet) And I've lately begun wondering if and when I ever start moving on, how to go about it? I've been out of the 'dating scene' for so many years now, I wouldn't even know where to begin. I know I'm not ready to even start that process yet. But I wonder the same thing myself? How do you start over, without falling into the same trap that you are just digging out of? How do you trust again? I mean, isn't love supposed to be just another word for trust? (According to the poets and musicians, anyway)

I don't know how to answer that, but I can see how the 'mercenary', or 'down to business' approach would feel safer for a lot of people. I am probably one of them. I tend to take problems head on (not in a mean way, but I don't shy away from tackling problems straight on)

I don't know. I think the first, second or even third dates are the wrong time to 'go mercenary' and lay out all of the 'baggage' that has to be dealt with. I this point, I think that the best approach is to have fun as long as you can, and when things start getting more involved, you just bring up what needs to be brought up, as it becomes necessary.

At the same time, I don't really believe in hiding things, or shying away from issues in one's past. but I just don't know that it is always appropriate to throw it all out on the table on the first, second, or whatever number of dates.

Again, I don't know. I'm way too early in this process to be able to offer any kind of effective advice in this regard. Anyone else have any thoughts?
A former member
Post #: 39
I can relate to a lot of what you're saying.

You know, I think a lot of what gives me balance is my girls. No one matters as much as they do. They are my mission in life. There is so much unsettled about my life, so many things I have to do for myself to make sure I go down the path I need to go, I can't let anyone derail that. Often times when people get into a dating relationship, and this was true for me in the past, you can get very consumed by it and your life starts going the direction the relationship goes. I think that's the wrong thing for me right now. I don't think I could date someone who couldn't understand that. I have one rule, no one meets my kids anytime soon. When I do date, however, it's not to act like a dad. I'm always a dad. But I want to have fun because I was in a marriage for a long long time where I tried very hard, but we didn't have fun together for most of it.

The other thing I realized when I dated that woman this summer is I can't give someone all my time that I don't have my kids. I have too many goals and I want to really enjoy my relationships with friends. I don't know what that leaves for dating. After a year of nursing some pretty serious wounds, I really kind of woke up and I find that I'm interested in the opposite sex again and I really like to playfully flirt, but I still don't know what I want. And I'm kind of okay with that for now. It actually feels good to for once in my life not have the future charted but being open to possibilities, and it feels good that I feel settled like that and not anxious. Which is, I guess, how I know I'm following the right path for myself.
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