Men who have been involved in a messy divorce are understandably shy about getting involved with a woman again. For one thing, they may believe that they are better off avoiding entanglement, but that may not be all that is keeping them from pursuing a new romance. They may also be afraid that a new woman will cause them financial distress or upset their children. These can be powerful forces that combine to scare many brave men away from a new relationship or marriage.
However, this does not change the fact that most men prefer the married state. Surprisingly, a study sponsored by no less reputable a group than the Centers for Disease Control found that 81 percent of men have married at least once by age 40. Once men have been married, they are more likely than not to remarry; a poll conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that at least half of all men who are widowed or divorced remarry in five years or less.
But What If It Doesn’t Work?
People have a deep-seated desire to find love and a meaningful relationship. However, fears about former relationships can get in the way of new romances and can doom these new ventures to failure before they are fairly started. Here are some tips designed to help you think about a new relationship without the level of fear many men feel when considering a post-divorce romance:
- Learn from former mistakes. Chances are your marital problems were not one-sided. Although it may hurt to admit it, reflect on where your behavior may have been less than desirable and work to correct your own bad habits.
- Do some “me” work. It may mean talking to a counselor or making time to spend with friends you trust, but take some time to rediscover the “you” that was once confident and attractive. If you have gained weight, join the gym; if you have let your wardrobe go, do a little shopping. You will be amazed how much better you will feel if you take some time for yourself.
- Do not be too anxious. Some men panic and jump into a new relationship because they are afraid of being alone. Take some time to be with yourself before you venture into another romantic involvement.
- Get your finances in order. Dating is more enjoyable when you can afford to do some fun things. Take a bit of time to get your budget in order and ensure that you have time to recover some of the financial ground you may have lost during the divorce.
- Start slowly. Join a class, meet a group of friends for coffee or otherwise spend time with more than one person. You will re-learn important social skills that will serve you well when you start to date and you will remove the pressure to date just one person.
The Men’s Legal Center is here to help you when you are facing a divorce. Contact us for advice and support during this difficult time.