Engage both your heart and your head to find your perfect match after divorce.
Are you afraid of getting into another relationship because your marriage ended in divorce? But you're also afraid of being alone for the rest of your life? But maybe you can find the REAL love of your life if you can just get over the terror of getting stuck with the same kind of person you just divorced!
It's confusing isn't it? Believe it or not, what you're experiencing is pretty typical of what we all go through post-divorce. And there is a solution to the confusion. You can fix your picker and discover true love.
The solution is not very romantic, but it works. You need to treat choosing your next mate like you're interviewing them for a job.
Yup, you're going to interview for someone who will hold a very special place in your life and your heart. You're going to have to look past the initial romance of the flutterings of your heart (and past the great sex). The attraction, connection and sexual tension are just the minimum requirements.
To fix your picker you need to critically evaluate the character of the person. You must refuse to settle. And above all, you are not desperate!
As for any job posting, there are 3 things you need to do to find the perfect person for you. You'll need to come up with a job description; you'll need to interview the candidates, and you'll need to decide upon a trial period for the top candidate.
Yeah, it might sound clinical, but you're going to have to come up with the requirements your new sweetie must meet. You might already have a good idea of the qualities you need in a mate. You might also learn about other qualities as you start causally dating. And just in case you need a few ideas to get started, here are some for you to consider:
- Willing to mutually create the relationship - no bulldozers or blamers
- Will have your back when the going gets tough
- Demonstrates high character in all areas of their life - work, parenting, friendship, family and, of course, with you
- Trusting and trust-worthy
- Self-confident, but not cocky
- Capable so you don't have to carry or fix them all the time
- Will genuinely feel bad if they hurt you or treat you poorly and do what they need to do to make it better
Don't treat your first list of requirements as perfect. You're probably going to discover more qualities to add and maybe delete as you date. That's OK because you'll learn from your experiences.
Once you know what you're initially looking for in a mate, you can start the interview process (aka get serious about dating). Serious dating means that you're always interviewing your dates and you're quick to move on if the person you're seeing doesn't make the grade in the important qualities you're looking for.
You're probably wondering how you interview someone you're dating. It's not as weird as it might sound because all you have to do is talk, watch and listen.
In addition to the fun flirty questions, ask your dates serious ones like "How did your last relationship end?" If all they do is blame their ex, they're not right for you because they'll wind up blaming you for things too. You want to hear them take some responsibility for their breakup and how the might have done things differently.
Don't be afraid to ask their friends and family strategic questions too. You can think of this as checking out their references. The perspectives of those close to them will give you a more well-rounded picture of who the person you're dating really is.
Another important interview technique is situational interviewing. In the dating world you can do it by creating situations to see how your dates respond.
When I was seriously dating it was important to me to find someone I could work well with and who was willing to pitch in and help. After a few dates, I would invite the fellow I was dating over and I'd cook a meal for us. If they asked to help and then really did, they passed. If they didn't, like one guy who just kicked back and told me how nice it was for me to wait on him, then that was the last time we went out.
Interviewing means that you're aware of all the little things too. Do they think before they speak? What's your gut telling you about this person? Is there something about them that reminds you too much of your ex? What red flags are trying to get your attention?
You must pay attention to all of these little things because when you're dating someone is not the time to give them the benefit of the doubt. When people are dating, they're on their best behavior. If their best isn't cutting it, they're not the love of your life. You need to move on.
When you've found someone who passes your interview process, you're ready to move on to the final phase: the trial period. This is then you're dating someone exclusively and, no, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're the one. It just means that you're focusing on them and testing out what a committed relationship or even marriage with them might be like.
The important things to remember in the trial period are:
- You need to regularly evaluate the relationship.
- You refuse to settle.
- You are not desperate.
If things don't work out during the trial period, you can walk away. And when you're ready you can start the interview process again.
If things do work out, you'll know that you've fixed your picker. By using both your heart and your head you've found the love of your life.
Treating your search for the REAL love of your life like a job interview isn't romantic, but it is effective! How do I know? Because this is how I found my husband after my first marriage ended in divorce.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who are dealing with the stress and pain of divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re ready to take the first step toward working with me as your personal coach, you can schedule an introductory private coaching session.