As you start to date again you’ll need good communications with your kids.

How will you tell your kids you’re starting to date again?___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When another woman comes into your life, be sure your child does not feel they’ll be replaced somehow. This is emotional, not rational, but how much of a separation/divorce is rational? So don’t try to make sense of what a child is feeling. They are afraid they’ll be abandoned. If one parent can abandon the other, why can’t they abandon me?

Friends are still the best way to meet women, but you can try out internet dating, if only to say you’ve done it since it is a fact of 21st century life. I know a few who met a soul mate that way, but a lot who have met a crazy. And stay away from the free sites. You get what you pay for.

So here’s advice you’ll think is just for women. It isn’t. Personally, I could write a book of bad, that is crazy, blind dates. Meet in a public place and keep your expectations low….very low. That may be a twenty year old photo she’s posted, or she may not have bothered to mention she has put on thirty pounds. She will be the first woman to complain men are only interested in the outside. But funny how she’ll want you to be in good shape and look good. It is not quite so dangerous to give your phone as it used to be with several good apps for smart phones to block unwanted calls.

When you get out on the dating scene, beware of your own extreme thinking: 1) She’s anotherbitch’ like my ex. Or the trap of, 2) She’ll make it up to me.

Guys are tempted to go back to their loves from high school. So have you grown any since high school? If the answer is yes, what are the chances she has grown in the same direction or ways you have? Pretty slim.

TIP: During a major crisis in life, such as divorce or death, is not a good time to make an important decision. The year my mother died, an older and wiser friend said to me: Don’t make any important personal and business decisions in the following year. But of course, being young and knowing everything, I ignored that and made a poor business decision which cost me dearly.

I have known four guys who were married or remarried the year their mother died. None of those marriages made it. The transition of that year involves deep psychological and spiritual processes which are impossible to describe, but ultimately on the other side you will be more mature, even though most of us will always miss her. I’ve found over the years many times I would like to tell her things. I was thinking the other day while watching my twelve year old niece Skype on her I-phone – that would take a little explaining to mom.  When you divorce is not all that different from the year your mother dies.

DIY (Do It Yourself) sex won’t kill you for a while. I am not suggesting this as a replacement for intercoursehowever, as a temporary strategy for keeping your dependencies under control, figuring yourself out, and not chasing the wrong women. Actually you could learn to be a little less dependent on women with a little time off.

Soon we hope, you’ll be ready to be happy (basic emotion: joy) again. Actually those silly Cialis bathtub ads, what a great thing that you no longer have to worry if you’re over 55 or nervous about getting back in the saddle. Cialis is the drug men have been waiting for 50,000 years. If you need a little help below the belt, don’t be macho and pretend you don’t. Let me repeat myself, that is 50,000 YEARS.

A hard man is good to find. Mae West

Check with your doctor to be sure you can take Cialis. If not try for the less potent one, Viagra or Levitra, a similar one.

I use to date Viagra, but now I see Alice.

          From one of my buddies too shy to have his name in this book.

So what’s the End of This Whole Process, and Why Does It Take So Long to Figure Out?

I know this comment will make you angry, but maybe it takes long enough. There’s plenty I wish I’d known earlier.

If I’d been ready or able to know something earlier, I’d already know it. But plenty of times I think that reality sucks too. You can curse me now.

You’ve already given up on this relationship. What’s going to be different about the next one? Make an honest list of traits you are looking for which are different from those of your estranged spouse. Of course some will be the same, but if you can’t come up with new ones, you may be setting yourself up for another broken relationship. So this is why it is imperative you work on yourself now. If you wait till you’re in a new relationship, it will probably be too late.

WARNING!! The first time I saw my ex with another man, I left the party and went running out into the street with tears running down my face. I had no idea it would hurt like that.

How will the next one be different?  (Yes, it really helps to write this down, and stick by what you wrote>) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now make a list of what YOU  will do in the same way and do differently.

Same:________________________________________________________________

Different:______________________________________________________________

I had to learn a new identity. Even though I cheated, I had defined myself as a faithful family man. The whole dating thing felt awkward to begin with.

Dating Is OK for just separateds. Although I often suggest they date other recently separateds, since nobody is ready for a real relationship early on – a mistake, but such transitional dating is actually important so the separated person can feel attractive again. Just keep in mind:

TRANSITION IS JUST THAT – TRANSITION, not the real world of dating. If I had a quarter for every guy who’s ignored this advice, I’d be quite wealthy.

Blended families can work, with a lot of just that: WORK. Or they may not be worth trying to blend. I have seen second marriages disintegrate over kids who couldn’t get along or accept the new step-parent. And it is toughest with teenagers.

Maybe you were attracted to a woman in part because you have kids in common. Or maybe you even met at Parents Without Partners.

TRAP: Trying to be a kid’s father who already has one close by. But you can teach a boy some of the important things boys need to know when his dad’s not available, or carefully where you see his dad leaving a big gap.

Have a man to man talk with the child’s dad where you make it very clear you aren’t trying to replace him. That should put him more at ease. Of course, the dad may have written off the kids with the marriage. Are you sure you want to take that on? Such a transition into step-parenting can be especially tricky.  Children from such situations can be very angry.

50-plus and starting again. By now things are usually a bit more complicated. Things like support payments from previous marriages, children still in school. Some financial consultants suggest reviewing previous divorce agreements, sharing credit reports. What if you’ve pledged half your pension to a previous spouse. This is all the grown up stuff.

A later in life marriage can complicate your estate planning. Will money that was to have gone to your adult children now move over to your new spouse? You better get all that worked out with your kids since it could drive a wedge between you and them later. These are all good reasons for a pre-nuptial agreement. There should be less balking at a pre-nuptial agreement at this point since you should no longer be in the throes of first love, I love you, I love you blind infatuation.

You may want to decide how much to combine. It is not an unreasonable strategy, and can remove potential conflict, to have your own bank accounts and open one for the house. Many choose to pay for kids in college separately.

RESOURCES:

Divorced Guys LLC, “Surviving the Holidays: Four Ways to Deal with Ex Wife Run-Ins,”

http://www.yourtango.com/experts/divorced-guys-llc/surviving-holidays-four-ways-

This one has several good links available through the website:

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/effects-divorces-mutual-friendships-14139.html