Beware of the Divorce Backlash
By Claire Aldrich
After a divorce, the newly single person often aims to find a mate who's the opposite of the dreaded ex-spouse. So recognizing the backlash tendency is important for a potential companion.
For example, one divorced friend said he wouldn't date women who spent too much time online or stayed friends with old beaus. His ex had cheated with a college boyfriend after reconnecting online.
Another divorced friend said she'd only date guys who had a lot of money and treated her like a queen. Her ex didn't. Can you say “high maintenance”?
Setting specific criteria based on past experience is a not-uncommon repercussion of divorce. But it certainly sets some challenging hurdles for potential dates, doesn't it?
What She Wants: Many freshly divorced women seem frustrated that their ex-husbands weren't assertive enough and didn't take responsibility to make things better - whether that means finances, emotions or family responsibilities. “I want a real man!” is the mantra of the divorced woman. She wants him to be financially and physically strong but to show his softer side by holding her hand and giving her tender kisses.
What He Can Do: The man who wants to impress a recently divorced woman should step up when action is needed. Pick a restaurant and tell her you want to take her there - as opposed to asking her if she wants to cook something for you at home. Help her when her car conks out. When she hints that her door is about to fall off the hinges, bring your tools and fix it for her. Clean up after dinner without being asked. She's impressed with muscles and manly action.
What He Wants: A newly divorced man wants a woman who's faithful and adores him. He wants a lover who really wants to be physically intimate with him. When things went sour with his ex-wife, she probably got a lot of headaches at bedtime. And sometimes she found other beds to meet her needs. This time around, he wants a hottie who's only naughty with him and who treats him like a king.
What She Can Do: A woman who's interested in a freshly single guy will catch his interest if she's generous with the compliments. Describe in detail what impresses you about him - his talents, his looks, his intelligence, even his boat or his car. If you're serious about a relationship, let him know it with words and actions. He wants your affection and undivided attention more than anything.
Of course, the truth is that those backlash expectations after a divorce can be unrealistic. Setting specific criteria to screen for cheating lovers is not the answer. Neither is looking for a financial savoir. But if you're willing to enter into the territory of the freshly single guy or girl, it helps to know where the painful pitfalls are so you can avoid them. Good luck!
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