Dating After Divorce: Diagnosing the ghosting

Ever wonder why, at first, a man seems to be completely awed by you, and may even say that he can't believe he gets to date someone like you.

Yet, only weeks later, he's finding fault with everything you say and do.  He seems to be, somehow, dissatisfied and not that into you.

You can feel your brightness and confidence dimming.  You begin to doubt yourself (even more than you usually might).

And then, he just fades away.  Ghosted.

Most of us have experienced this from hot-to-luke-warm-to-cold phenomenon more than once in our relationships.  But now, post-divorce, it's a wound that doesn't seem to heal.  Rejection on top of rejection.

As I've often said in this blog, if you don't absolutely NEED NEED NEED to be in a relationship, any relationship, at all costs, your opportunity for happiness and fulfillment are much higher. 

When you have the inner strength to walk away, you're in a much better position to find a quality man.  Sometimes finding a great relationship is a lot like buying a car.  You'll always get a better offer when you're ready to walk away from a bad deal.

What signals are you sending from the very start?

When we're treated by men in ways we dislike, sometimes we have to take some responsibility (hard to admit, but it's true). Other times, it has nothing to do with us at all, and we'll never know what was going on with him.

So, let's just skip ahead to situations we can have some control over.

Sometimes, we don't present ourselves as (and don't truly believe we are) independent, self-motivated, multi-faceted women who are fully capable of entertaining ourselves, making new friends, and finding ways to have the time of our lives.  With or without a guy.

We actually are capable of creating a rich life for ourselves even when it takes some extra courage.  Even when we're trying to get through all of the emotions of divorce.  Even when we felt rejected in marriage. 

Instead, we worry about how long it will take for a man to call, or how long it will take for a man to commit, or whether he's relationship material (even when he hasn't shown us red flags).

And, if he really seems special, do you start worrying about whether you're in his league, whether he's a player, whether you'll fit in with his family and friends . . . and it's only been two dates?

There can be the feeling, after divorce, that we really have to work hard.  We really have to sell a guy on the fact that he should be interested.  That we need to show him we care, and go overboard with attentiveness.  Because we've been reading all about how, over 40, it's a buyer's market for men, and they can have their pick from 20-year-olds and up.

At the same time that we're wearing all of our insecurities all over our faces, we're wondering why we're getting all kinds of strange, conflicting signals from our dates (that haven't even progressed to relationships, yet).

Valuing "him" more than ourselves, and the volcano inside

So many of us have never questioned why we feel we're expected to perform all kinds of extra services and emotional labor in order to attract and keep someone. Remember marriage?  All the caretaking, anticipating his needs, being a non-stop sounding board, having our needs ignored or unmet, going the extra mile every single day.  Having sex when we don't want it in order to comfort him or because we worry that if his ego is bruised it's our own fault if he cheats.

Here's a snip from a must-read blog by therapist Christine Hutchison, titled "Why Women Are Tired: The Price of Unpaid Emotional Labor":

<<There were many turning points in Jen’s recovery, but that seemed to be the biggest one. “My life is my own,” she told me the next week, her face holding a lightness I had never seen before, even pre-divorce. “I don’t have to deal with his bullshit anymore. I don’t have to wonder what he’s feeling and what he’s avoiding feeling, I don’t have to be the one who supports him in his career, cheering him on and listening to his woes, acting as his most trusted confidant. I can do all that for myself now. I’m free!”

Jen’s marriage, I suspect, had contained what so many heterosexual marriages do: a pattern of unequal emotional labor that neither party is fully aware of. Tellingly, while Jen felt sad at her divorce, she also felt unburdened and free. Her ex-husband, possibly, had not realized that he had been receiving ongoing emotional support in the form of Jen’s mirroring, curiosity, acknowledgement, validation and empathy. Maybe his emails were sent out of a desire to continue getting what he’d always gotten.

And here Jen was now, in my office, confused and sad again because she’d just received another message from Christopher. This time, he wanted to tell her that he’d realized over the last year how poorly he treated her. That he was sorry. That he hoped she was well.

She read me the email. It struck me as not manic or fake like his previous ones, but gentler and more self-aware. They were the words she longed to hear last year. So why did she, and I, feel confused?

“Would you rather have not heard from him, that he’d kept his apology to himself?” I asked.

She looked startled. “You know, yeah! I don’t want to hear from him, ever, and I’ve told him that TWICE. Is he still looking for a response from me? Does he want me to forgive him so HE can feel better? Ugh! I am so beyond done with this shit.”>>

Earlier in the above post, Hutchison details how one of her clients was blindsided by divorce and was so emotionally exhausted from the marriage itself and from the divorce process that she was literally suicidal.

Many of us know, intimately, that "nothing left to give" feeling.  And the anger and weakness we feel is a volcano inside ready to explode, or to implode and hurt not him, but our own sense of worth (or lack of it).

So, now we're dating, and thinking "Why, why, why is he acting this way?" and the answer might be that we're presenting ourselves like a bargain Happy Meal.  But, at the same time, we're getting really angry about why he doesn't see our worth.

Does he make you feel lucky?

What would happen if we just stopped over-giving? Or, if cold-turkey feels a bit much, what if we checked our caretaking impulses one out of every five times we feel like stepping in to fix things or to make things better for others?

One of the problems about providing generous, unpaid, emotional labor (whether at home with the kids, or when out on a date) is that no one sees it, values it, or respects it.  

When dating, the combination of being overly nice while giving off invisible vibes of neediness could be a little bit suffocating to a guy.  But there's also a third quality to the mix: a vague undercurrent of resentment that we feel because all of this emotional labor moves only in one direction, outward toward others.

How confident do you feel when you're exhausted for handling everything for everyone in your life when no one is there, in the same way, for you?

Why do we do it? I have a sneaking suspicion that it's because we've been taught at home, at church, and in our society to value others -- especially the man in our lives -- more than we value ourselves.

Here's an opinion piece that I love about this topic.  And here are a couple of highlights from it:

<<Let's take a look at your current love interest. What exactly is it that you like about him? Really think about this, and don't be afraid to be critical of your own responses. Do you like him because he's nice and funny? Well, news flash: There are about a million other nice and funny guys I could find for you in a second.

The point here is to find out if the connection you feel with this guy is something real or just something you built up in your head. Does he bring something to the table that you truly believe no one else could? What is that thing? Pinpoint it.

“What do I deserve? “And am I getting it right now?” Sure, he may be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But never forget that you're also great. You are the only YOU out here in this big, bad world, and he was lucky to have found someone so wonderful and unique — someone who really can see and appreciate how special he is. He is lucky.

But does he make you feel lucky? Is the type of relationship you have with him right now enough for you? Is it what you want? How is it that you think you deserve to be treated? Think about it. Maybe even write yourself a little list. What do you, an awesome, unique human being, deserve in a relationship? And does your current relationship give you any of this?>>

What to do instead

One of the best interpersonal skills to learn after divorce is to deeply value ourselves.  But what does that even mean?

It means that instead of fixating on a hypothetical "him", let's put that same level of attention and focus on learning about ourselves.  Become really fascinated by learning about your own likes and dislikes, preferences and talents (besides taking care of others) -- things you may not have thought about for many years, back to when you were single.

Learn to be more interested in your own plans and activities, scheduled weeks ahead of time, so that you're not waiting for some guy to fill the void.

After my divorce, I read many, many dating manuals about how to find love over the age of 40, and I was so discouraged to read about how, if an older woman was to have even a prayer of finding a relationship, she had to make finding a man her full-time job.  There would be time for nothing except work and the hunt.

I suggest that, for the first year or two after divorce, you spend on yourself the hours you'd be plowing into a dating site and the due-diligence of meeting every semi-reasonable dating-site guy who suggests coffee.  You can find my super-epic dating-after-divorce post here.

If you feel compelled to go get some quick sex as a touché against a cheating spouse, just be prepared for the grief that you may feel if you become unexpectedly emotionally unattached to your hook up.  I've coached many a client through this situation, and the worst part is the feeling of being taken advantage of yet again.

Nurture yourself to shine from the inside out as the prize that you truly are.  After you do that for a couple of years, you'll naturally be attracting the good guys.  And, you'll easily be able to turn heel on the guys who have overwhelming needs.

And, some final words of advice . . .

I can't resist sharing one final blog post I love from Maria Walley at Verily.

This one's about a college breakup, but we can learn a lot from the millennials, and here's a snip from it:

“I realized last night that—that sometimes a situation isn’t worth an emotional reaction,” she began. “And I realized that if a guy is making you feel like you’re insane, he’s probably not the one,” she smiled again, relieved. “So, I think from now on—any time a guy makes us feel like we’re inadequate, or utterly bewildered, we should just let him go his own way.”

22 things that make a woman attractive to men

I'm always looking for useful news articles, blogs, and videos to share on my Dynamic Divorcée facebook page.  In pursuit of this, I view a lot of awful dreck, and the other night, I couldn't help myself.  I watched a creepy video sales pitch called "How to Be an Adorable Woman."

It was so awful that I scrolled down to read the comments to see if anyone had uncovered what sort of scam this was.  There I read a couple of long comments from a guy called 1971SuperLead.  He decided to fill us women in on what a real guy thinks would make a woman adorable.

[Warning:  You may find some of this offensive, but it's not often that a regular guy tells you the truth about what men want, and I think a lot of this stuff is what men think across a broad range of demographics.]

Here's what he had to say (and, of course, these are his words, not mine):

1. Be confident
2. Smile a lot.
3. Sit up straight.
4. Don't be needy.
5. Show interest in what he does.
6. Don't talk his ear off.
7. If you need help, see a shrink. Don't ask your boyfriend to be your shrink.
8. Watch the movie Simon Birch. Ashley Judd plays what every man wants.
9. Never complain. Just be grateful for every act of kindness he displays.
10. Don't dress like a whore. Don't wear baggy clothes either. Wear make up that makes it look like you're not wearing make up.
11. Part your hair on the side. The shy playful hair in the eye look is irresistible.
12. Never be manipulative.
13. Be a cheap date.

Follow my instructions and you'll land nearly any man you want.
Was I helpful? Do you want more tips?

14. Go easy on the perfume. We shouldn't be able to smell you unless our nose is less than a foot away. 
15. Sorry, but we really don't care about shoes at all.
16. Being able to cook scores a lot of points.
17. It's okay to be smart. Smart is sexy.
18. Be mysterious. Don't show him your photo albums, all your clothes, all your awards, all the things you got on trips, etc. The less he knows about you the better.
19. No guilt trips! Ever! If the guy is a creep:  Leave him! Don't try to fix him. Don't try to change him. Don't make deals with him. He's not your project. He is what he is. Love what he is or split.
20. Contrary to popular belief, guys don't like big boobs any more than small ones. So don't ever think about implants.
21. Keep your apartment clean.
22. White teeth are important, but not too white. They gotta look somewhat natural.

Shoot, I can go on and on, but what is surprising to most women is that what is really attractive to a man is a woman who sits up straight, doesn't talk more than he does and smiles a lot.

Smile when you look at him. That smile is what's gonna win him over. You know what a man wants when he comes home from a hard day's work? He wants to come home to a decent woman who's happy he came home, and shows it with her smile. That's really all we want.

We just want to be appreciated by someone we can respect. If we can get that we're happy! You know why? Because we can't get that!

Instead we come home to women who aren't happy and who can't wait to tell us about their day and all their drama and problems. Guess what?  We don't want to see that or hear it.

Your drama doesn't interest us in the slightest and, even worse, it makes us feel inadequate, because we can't solve your problems and it's ingrained in men to solve problems, and so you become a source of frustration, because if you aren't happy we feel it's our duty to fix things for you. Don't ask why this is.  Just accept it as how men are.

So, you need a girlfriend, so you have someone to talk to, because men don't want to talk, unless it's about going to Las Vegas or what's for dinner.  Keep your drama away from him. That's what you have friends for.

Even if he says he wants to hear your problems don't tell him, because a girl with problems is not attractive. We like healthy women. We are biologically attracted to healthy women. Physically and mentally. This is what turns us on. It's just our nature.

So never let him in on your problems, because every problem makes you uglier to him. Discuss your problems only with your friends and your doctors. He doesn't need to know them. He can't help you anyway with your problems, so why discuss them with him?

Oh yeah, if you have a flat tire he can help you with that, but that back-stabbing bitch in the office you work with? No, never mention her to him. Got it?

Now spend some hours looking in the mirror and learn how to smile. I did this with a few girls. I had to teach them how to smile. You girls don't know how to smile. I've seen some homely girls turn into angels just by looking in the mirror and learning how to smile.

You have to practice looking happy, loving and confident. You have to practice FEELING happy, loving and confident. THIS is what men want! This is the Secret! I've fallen for fat ugly trolls because when they looked at me they looked me right in the eyes and smiled with a happy, loving and confident smile.

It was like they were filled with goodness and could see my goodness. What a turn on! Again, watch Simon Birch. Ashley Judd walks around happy, smiling, confident and seems to see goodness in everyone.

It's all about attitude. Fall in love with yourself and everyone around you. Be thrilled to be who you are and be thrilled by the people around you. Never complain! Never! It's so unattractive. If you run into Charles Manson, don't hate him. Pity him and say something nice about him. That's sexy! That's irresistible. Don't be a bitch. Be an angel. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything. Men will kiss the ground you walk upon, and why?

Because most women are unhappy, angry, unsatisfied, judgmental nags who actually think they are helping you and themselves by trying to change you. All you're really doing is telling us we are inadequate. We feel inadequate enough without your help! LOL, but seriously, we do. God, what we wouldn't do to have someone so lovely tell us that we're wonderful as we are!

We are wonderful! People are wonderful, but who wants to hang out with someone who is blind to this truth? Certainly not me. Life is wonderful! People are wonderful! Never forget this and you will have men begging just to be in your presence. So simple! Just smile when you look at people! Nothing is more attractive! Smile like you are looking at something surprisingly precious and sweet. Is that so hard? You have no idea the power that you'll have. You'd never have to work another day in your life.

I couldn't find a woman like that, so I have a cat. She's thrilled when I come home. That's all I want: Someone who's happy to see me come home! That's what men want! To be appreciated! That's it! If we have that we are happy! We'll do anything to have that! Nothing else really matters. Just love me.

You don't even have to have sex with me. Just be glad I'm alive. What the hell? Why is that so difficult for women? Why are we instead seen as the cause of all your problems? We don't cause your problems. You cause your own problems.

If you're not happy with us, it's because you're killing us with all your complaining. If you'd shut up and smile, we'd smother you with gifts. It's what we do. We just want to provide for the woman who is happy we are alive. It's so simple. Your nagging accomplishes nothing productive. Your appreciation for even the smallest things will turn your man into a superhero who will kill himself to make you even happier.

If you can just remember that your man is good, no matter how bad he messes up, he will serve you. But as soon as you accuse him of being rotten, you have killed the drive within him to serve you.

We just can't be loyal to someone who doesn't see the goodness in us. How many times can you kick a dog before he bites you? Men are no different. We don't improve by being beaten. We only improve when we are rewarded.

Reward us with your faith in us and we will kill to protect you. Yes, men are dogs. We are very simple beasts. All we want is to please our kind masters.

So if you are kind to a man and he bites you. Leave! You found yourself a sick dog. You aren't a veterinarian. Get the hell out of there and find someone else. Never try to heal a man. It's not your job. It's his. Wish him luck and go find a healthy man.

So, just who is 1971SuperLead?  You can check out his youtube channel here, where you'll find this bearded, 60-something gent playing some great bluesy guitar solos.

being invisible . . . does it feel like this?

Today, I want to share with you some things that women in my Dynamic Divorcée community have said to me -- this month alone -- on the subject of feeling invisible.  (But, keep reading past the sadness, because -- let's not stay in this invisible black hole!)

First, some raw and honest responses to the question, "What does being invisible mean to you?" 

"Hollow. I see the person in the mirror.  She looks like a tired version of someone I used to know.  She's definitely not the vibrant person I used to see."

"Being treated like you are worthless, weak, and can be bullied."

"Irrelevant, stuck on auto pilot, bland, grey."

"It seems no one sees me, my pain, my value as a human. I feel like everyone just sees me as a tool to get what they need."

"Feeling as if I am not making a lively and beneficial contribution to friends and family, and the world.  Also, feeling small because everyone else seems to be so dominant and happy."  

"It's going about my daily life like a robot of sorts, nobody seems to notice you.  You're there and even appreciated, but nobody seems to take the time to ask you to do things with them."

These are just a few of many responses that I received when I did a giveaway of private coaching with me in my Invisible to Irresistible program. 

Okay, let's try to shift this dreadful, maybe-the-best-part-of-life-is-over feeling.  Is it possible to see the humor in this?

If you haven't seen the Mindy is Invisible superbowl ad (and even if you have),  take a look:


I love this because, while you're working out ways to be less invisible in your life, it's fun to enjoy all the things you can get away with since no one's looking.  (Though I don't recommend eating the gallon of ice cream while walking down the grocery aisle!)

Okay, once you've seen the funny side of this situation, what can you do?

How about starting with this.  Ask yourself, "How can I be a little more outrageous today?"  Wow, there's a pretty good chance that you've never even aspired to being outrageous.  In fact, maybe you're not even sure what that might mean for you.

Good.  Time to think about it!

Is your closet almost entirely comprised of neutrals?  Hmmm.  How much fun is that?  Maybe it's time to remember what your favorite color is and to include it -- love seeing it in your surroundings, and on you!

When was the last time you created a little adventurous fun in your life?  Eat something different, see something different, hang out with someone who isn't part of your usual circle.  Find something to get excited about.  You can't be excited and interested in life and still be grey and invisible.  

Don't feel like taking the above suggestion?  Is your inner response that you're just too tired, too cash poor, too depressed?  That's what I'm here for.  To tell you to stop resisting and to take a baby step in the direction of being the person you've dreamed of being.  

Maybe you stopped having personal dreams (you know, the ones that get you really excited with positive expectation) a long time ago.  It's time to get back in touch with the young, hopeful you -- in little ways that feel safe to explore.

And, out of the foggy, grey invisible form that you now see as you, colors and focus and a beautiful form will start to emerge from the inside out.

What is one small thing you can do today to step out from behind the mask of invisibility, and say "Here I am!"?

I keep linking to this blog post of mine from last year, but if you haven't seen it yet, it's all about using just a simple smile to feel better right now. If you're completely stumped about a first step to take, take this one!

Are men really more attractive as they age?

Is it really true that men become more attractive with age, and that women go straight to the gutter?

Hmm, let's first consider how attractive these older bon vivants are.   We're not talking about movie stars, models, actors, or triathletes.  We're talking about normal, beer-and-whiskey-drinking, couch lounging, self-gratifying 50-ish and 60-ish guys (the ones who are hitting up ladies in their 30s and 40s on dating sites).

Let's consider some of the typical men I see looking for much younger women on my online dating site.  They often look a little like the guy to the left.

If it's not their looks that make them more attractive as they age, then it must be their professional and financial success.  Well, not if I go by the last bunch of cream-of-the-crop dating site men I've recently agreed to meet.

(Full disclosure:  I have a couple of great guys in my life, but I believe in continuing to look until I find the one who really is, in my heart and his, the rest-of-my-life partner.  For me, it's not enough to agree to be exclusive with someone who's not too bad.  Ladies, you know that I believe, utterly, that it's our path to expect more from life, not continue to settle for less.  But, back to the subject . . . .)

Lower Slobbovia
Guys seem to feel no pressure to look attractive (even on the first few dates).  Everyone, no matter how much he's let himself go can clean up for a date.  But many of these guys confuse "being me" and "accepting me for who I am" for not trying.  They feel no imperative to put a best foot forward, but then feel disappointed when a woman doesn't feel like an end-of-date hug or second date (let alone the sex within 3-5 dates that most men are upfront about on OKCupid).

Ladies, if you've been dating post-divorce, you've had some of these dates already.  I'm so tempted to give you little profiles of the guys I've met on recent coffee dates (but I won't):  Every one of them a smart, very-well-educated guy who had consciously lit a match and blown up his life, career, and often his marriage in some creatively obtuse way.  And were pretty proud of it.

Bear with me, I do have a point here.

There's a difference between the ways that men and women are socialized and it really shows up with this "older men still attractive"/"older women the kiss of death" dichotomy.  And hang in there with me, because there's a new insight at the end of this.

We're #2.  We try harder.
Conventional wisdom and popular culture tell women, in every moment of the day, that we should be trying harder, we're not quite good enough yet, our prospects are entirely tied into our looks (not to mention that our middle-aged dates are also concerned with how much money we have).  We're conditioned, from every direction at once, that we should be reducing our expectations and be happy that there's any man our age at all interested in us.

But society hasn't done these clueless old geezers any favors, either.  These poor old gents (actually, I wish they behaved like gents) have been told their whole lives that they are it.  They're used to being served by women, coddled by women, having their egos boosted by women.  The expectations of how we should be serving them (emotionally, practically, sexually) are unspoken and endless.

Show me what you got
This is fueled by all of the images they've spent a lifetime assimilating:  From sit-com moms to the porn that, if my men friends' admissions are any indication, is a bigger part of most men's lives than we ladies would like to know.  Check out the hard-core porn available for free viewing online.  Or check out a lovely magazine like Hustler, to see what kinds of images men are enjoying.

If this is the reality, in their minds, about what they hope to receive from their relationships with us, and many of them are still so upset at how their ex-wives or former girlfriends fell short, it's no wonder that they're waiting for us to prove ourselves to them before they turn on the charm.

Or, they just don't see why they should have to bother at this age.

Okay, here's the insight:  It doesn't have to be this way unless we let it.

Stockholm syndrome
If society tells us an untruth long enough, we start to believe it.  And, we've been hearing this untruth about older men holding their dating-marketplace value (or, even increasing in value) for a very long time.

You've probably already read some research like this, The Case for An Older Woman.  This particular link is all about how guys in their 30s and 40s should open their minds to consider dating someone their own age (or even a little older).  The arguments:  An older woman will be more adventurous in bed; if she's still single, she takes better care of herself and is more attractive than her married counterparts; and other arguments tinged with "and she'll be so grateful."

A woman who believes this stuff may settle for a sub-par guy (or a series of them), and convince herself that this is the best she can do.  It seems a form of Stockholm syndrome -- in which hostages express empathy, sympathy, and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.

If we wake up and smell the coffee, on balance, we can say with certainty that men do not become more attractive with age any more than women usually do.  It's just that we've been told this lie for so long that we've started to believe it.

The ridiculous level of bravado that so many older men exude has everything to do with how men have lived their lives, contrasted against how women have lived.

Self-Love = Power
Because many men have spent a lifetime on gratifying themselves, and therefore increasing their personal power, it's easy for them to grossly overvalue themselves.  No matter how paunchy, flabby, and unattractive a guy is, you may notice that he still has no trouble finding dates.  His self-belief is all that matters. (And, of course, that's bolstered by our society's messages -- and it's a chicken/egg debate as to which came first.)

As women, we've been taught to give our personal power away (defined as being loving, caring, and self-sacrificing) rather than to serve our own best interests, gratify ourselves, and thereby increase our personal attractiveness and magnetism.

So, let's tell ourselves a better story and believe that instead.  Because, if anyone is becoming more attractive with age, it's women who know what they want, surround themselves with loyal and loving friends, create their personal style and surroundings in a way that please them, and make a primary decision-making question, "Will this make me happy?"

The most attractive woman?  It's you, when you decide to be the heroine of your own life story, not just a bit player in your own life.

"Will this make me happy?"
Start acting from your own truth that you are god's gift to men.  Because, if you're a loving, giving, caring woman, you are god's gift to men.  You've been giving for a lifetime already.  You can now be god's gift to men in terms of teaching them how to treat an incredible, irresistible mature woman who is radiating self-love and charisma.

Those who are unworthy of you or unable to appreciate you will fall away immediately, as they should.  And you'll still run into a few mistakes on coffee dates who got past your dating site messaging radar.

But, all it takes to start a revolution in perception is for all of us to make choices from our highest and most beautiful selves, build ourselves up through our every thought, and every book, article, film, and video we choose to consume and start on a total diet of self-love and appreciation.

Want to know exactly how to do that?  I would love to take you through my signature 5-hour virtual VIP Day, "Prepare to Be Loved."  The program prepares you to be loved by another, yes, but more importantly it prepares you to love yourself, which is the key to absolutely everything: excitement, financial freedom, happy relationships, love . . . exactly everything that's important to a happy life.

The Dynamic Divorcee

I'm excited to announce the birth of a new venture:  The Dynamic Divorcee!  It's time for me to start sharing all I have learned as I recovered from my post-divorce odyssey, which has taken me on a journey that I could never have expected.

But it was not until much later that I found so many midlife women shared the same tedious and time-consuming trajectory.  Without quite knowing it, this journey often involved getting themselves back to where they were before marriage:  That place where they were at full power, full flower, and in charge of their destinies.

The Dynamic Divorcee is dedicated to shortening the wandering-in-the-wilderness process and giving you easy, concrete tools to put your emotional life back on track so that you have the desire and ability to take the next steps on your unique path.

Want to know my story?  It's here.

Want to know how you can receive more information about The Dynamic Divorcee:  my e-zine, and invitations to free workshops?  Here you go.

New Year's Eve with the not-quite-right guy

Here I am on New Year's Eve 2012, on -- what? -- a date.

Although I've meant to write about my experiences with online dating, every time I started a post that veered in that direction, I got so bored that I gave it up by sentence number two.

So, when my long-distance-relationship Mister Wrong of the past five years emerged yet again to darken my door -- and kept coming back during the holidays as a good-faith gesture, I figured that a night out rather than a night at home alone seemed more fun for New Year's Eve.

And it was.

I've found that when it comes to my Mister Wrong, he makes a perfectly fine-for-now companion as long as I keep my boundaries clear, don't let him get physical with me, and keep my head on straight.

I'm fine as long as I don't believe any of his hinted-at-promises (which, at this point, he almost believes himself).  I keep reminding myself something that I've only learned since my divorce:  Yes, some men can retain their trademark teflon properties all the way up to death's door (and perhaps beyond).  Nothing you can possibly do will make more than a passing impression.

No, ladies, don't take the bait that if you only changed about three dozen additional things about yourself that -- aha! -- then, he'll be willing to come through for you.

More from me later on this, no doubt : ) .  But, in the meanwhile, don't take anyone too seriously unless he shows you he's serious.  The right one will have no trouble letting you know.  In the meantime, let's learn from our merry middle-aged bachelor friends -- and have fun.