Red flags when dating a separated man
I’m not clear on what exactly that means, and I am clear that I don’t know. Even though she was resetting and I was being accommodating, I was ignoring my own over-accommodating tendencies. So slowing down and paying attention to what the other person is saying, IS important. When the listening is too animated, too connected, you need to gauge whether someone is being attentive for their own needs or as a strategy. I listened to women complain about their marriages. (We’re talking first dates here, so either way it’s OK, but it’s giving me a lot of information.) Do you touch me back? I can tell a lot from a first intentional touch on your shoulder.
But I have figured out some things along the way that are measures of my readiness—or any man’s readiness—for his next intimate relationship. And I realize, just as I’m writing this, that she’s a disaster waiting to happen. I listened to them talk about how great their kids were. So if I go in for the arm brush too early, be aware that I’m feeling you out for your touchy-feely level. Sure, I am illustrating a point, but I’m trying to sense out your touchy-feely scale. Or does touch/hugging/kissing/sex come with deeper reservations? And when I touch you, it IS casual, but I am looking for clues to how you will react later on.
When I catch myself listening for overtones and hints, I try to stop. If you’re touch-adverse, I’m guessing you’ll give off these clues fairly quickly. When I was in my early, and very passionate, months of trying to date, I tried to convey my seriousness and earnestness with my dark and smoldering eyes. I was just peering out of very emotional eyes and I wanted you to see and notice how sensitive I was. I’m not sure how well it worked, but it didn’t ever really result in the date I was looking for. When you see an infinite and sensitive soul in your date, you might sit back a bit and see how desperate that searching feeling gets. They are simply how I am in real life, only exaggerated about 10X.
I try to just listen lightly, respond naturally, and just have a conversation. And when I listen hard, like I am a therapist, I am really just trying to get you to love me, or to trust me, or to sleep with me. Being a pussycat, I never pounced with this dark killer instinct, but I knew I was not 100% ready for what I might get had I leapt into the frenzy from this wounded place. I do have deep and sensitive eyes, but I shouldn’t really be lasering you with them on the first date.
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When you see a joyful person do you gravitate towards them?
When the chemistry is right between us, it’s possible that these clues, or tells, are going to resonate between us. And while none of them turned into the long-term relationship I am ultimately seeking, I learned a lot from every experience.
And really, that’s the message I want to get across. We have no idea what life is supposed to be like after divorce.
And when you are still reeling from the collapse of your marriage, you might be ready for some free love, but the completion of the work needed to actually enjoy it is still a few months or years down the road.
♦◊♦ For me, it was indeed, several years before I was ready (am ready) to enter into a joyful relationship.
When a few too many red flags come up early in a relationship, it’s OK, at this stage in our lives to just say, “Later.