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We had a chat with Mandeep. One of our members who got divorced a few years ago, but doesn’t let it get in the way of her dating and her happiness. Here’s what she said.
1. Is being divorced causing any issues for you in dating? (Or has it in the past?)
When I first got divorced, I was paranoid that no one would want me. But it was my own behaviour that was the problem. Within a few minutes of a first date I would blurt out about my divorce, and then I would ask if they were still interested.
There was a turning point though. As time went on I realised I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and stop behaving like I have a huge dark secret. It was my own thoughts about divorce that were the problem.
I realised that firstly, divorce is not a bad thing and I only need tell people once I feel comfortable enough to tell them intimate details about my life. Secondly, first dates are supposed to be fun! And thirdly, I realised I need to stop feeling like I’m waiting to be “picked”. I have a choice too. And have to see if that person is right for me first, before I start disclosing my life to them. This was the point where I started valuing and respecting myself a lot more.
2. Do you hesitate to tell someone you’re dating about it?
No, not anymore, the way I see it is if they like me enough it won’t matter. If it matters that much, then they are not right for me and chances are I won’t like their mind-set.
3. How do people normally react when you tell them?
So now I only tell people after we’ve had a couple of dates, when I feel like I can trust them and I’m comfortable with them.
When I have told guys about my divorce, I’m surprised by the lack of interest. The reaction I get is, “oh really, oh ok what happened?” But it’s generally not a big deal. And definitely not as big as I had thought before.
I used to get the worst reaction when I would to tell every guy on a first date (that’s a great way to kill the mood btw!). That was the worst thing I could have done, as they didn’t know me well enough and even I hadn’t decided if I liked them.
4. What good or great things have come from your divorce?
It’s given me the confidence and courage to get on my own two feet and find out who I am as a person, make my own decisions, decide what makes me happy, what I enjoy doing in life, and what qualities, values or chemistry are important to me in a partner.
I would also say freedom. Freedom to discover myself and decide properly who is right for me.
5. And how do they have an impact on your dating life?
Confidence. I always look forward to dates, I’m generally confident, happy and chatty on dates. And now I know what I’m looking for. I know what questions to ask to and what things to look out for in that person. Also, now that I have more hobbies and do more things, I have lots more to talk about and share on dates.
6. How has being divorced changed the way you date?
Before I got married, I didn’t go on many dates at all (looking back I think this was a huge mistake), so I had no idea whom or what was ‘my type’. Now I try to go on lots of dates so I can decide properly what kind of person I’m after and what kind of a person I click with. I also try to avoid restaurant dates. I try to think of something quirky where you can really see a person’s personality.
7. How has it changed the way you think, act, live your life in general?
It’s changed me as a person completely. I discovered who I really was. I found out what was really important to me, and what I wanted from life. It made me a happier person because I didn’t stay stuck in a situation that didn’t made me happy. It’s given me the courage to know that you need to change something if it doesn’t feel right or if it doesn’t make you happy. That change will be scary but it will be ok.
And now, if there’s anything I want to do, I make sure I do it. I make sure I live my life, and find happiness in the little things.
8. Do you have any advice for other people who’ve gone through a divorce and are now dating?
You need to have a positive outlook. No one who is divorced ever wanted to be in that place. But things happen, and the key is how you then deal with it. I admit I didn’t feel like this initially, but I became positive and confident in time.
Also there will be many people close to you that will give you bad advice, or make insensitive comments. I had people say things like “Only other divorced people will want to date you now.” Or “Divorcées are second hand people”. At the time I was outraged, but looking back I now laugh at the stupidity of those comments.
If you have anyone say anything like this to you, remember: you decide who you’re going to be. You decide your own value not anyone else. What you think will become your reality. So stop feeling sorry for yourself if you are going through a divorce. Who wants to stay in a relationship that wasn’t meant to be? Go out and don’t deprive people of the awesome sexy person you are.
Date. Meet people. Do some cool stuff. And remember there is nothing wrong with being a divorcée. It shows courage for not staying in a bad situation. Anyone that says anything else is stupid and their opinion doesn’t matter.
There’s a great quote from Rocky that fits well for anyone in this situation: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Thanks for sharing Mandeep! This is so unbelievably inspiring, not just for someone who’s divorced – but everyone! Know your worth. Put your own happiness first. Go for what you want. I love it. #MakeLoveYours