After divorce, take a breather before dating again. This especially holds true when one’s spouse had an affair and left them for someone else.
It may be tempting to jump into someone’s arms (or bed) right after a divorce to reaffirm that you are the sexy person you once were pre-marriage.
Resist that temptation. The ego is hurt after an affair and serial dating is not the cure. A one night stand is not the balm to heal the ego, but merely a temporary quick fix.
When Serial Dating after Divorce Happens
It was such a shock to her ego that she wanted instant validation from other men. She was desperate to be reassured that she was sexy and desirable since her husband had been getting sex elsewhere during marriage.
Looking back, Serena said that the men attracted to her were not really available emotionally or by circumstance. She was dating similar men to her husband. None were willing to commit or contemplate being in a long-term relationship.
They were here just for the present and planning more than a week ahead was out of their comfort zone. These fellows (jerks as she now calls them), were repulsed when told that she had two young children. None of these relationships lasted over three months.
Serena thought she was doing better than she actually was – since she felt popular. She had so many short-terms relationships which she equated with popularity. Serena sought validation externally, instead of having it internally since her self-worth had taken a nose dive.
Dating so many people in a short-time is a distraction (as for Serena) which keeps one from addressing their own issues and work which needs to be done.
This type of distraction keeps the focus on partners and off introspection and what may be uncomfortable in oneself that prevents moving on.
After her husband’s betrayal, Serena did not feel valued and looked to dates to provide this.
Think twice before getting sexually involved with your ex.
Serena had poor boundaries post-divorce and wished she had said goodbye with a clean break – as she had done financially through mediation. She said it was not appropriate to have continued to have sex with her former husband and paid the price for it. It muddied the waters when she started dating again and was trying to move on.
Her ex parted ways with her friend and Serena had difficulty accepting his new girlfriends. Her therapist helped her to see this behaviour was not helpful to either of them.
Reaching out to others and forming new social connections lessened Serena’s need to get validation from dates. As she became more empowered through therapy, Serena no longer sought out validation as she discovered her own self-worth and strengths.
She recommends nurturing yourself, whether it is getting a latte, being in nature or doing other pleasurable pursuits. This self-nurturing is important for moving on and being fulfilled in life.
She started an exercise program, continued to meditate and ate more nutritious foods. When Serena no longer required a relationship to feel valued, she slowed down and took time getting to know people. Once Serena got out of thinking “poor little me”, realized that many others were also suffering and that she was not alone, her life turned around.
Serena is dating a wonderful fellow who loves and appreciates her.
Wendi Schuller is a published author who has conducted classes on various subjects. She draws upon her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, providing a blueprint to guide women through this difficult transition. Schuller hired an attorney for a court divorce, but decided to go the collaborative route instead and has worked with a mediator post-divorce.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce