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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been divorced for 2 ½ years. My XWW had been cheating on me for the last 2 years of our marriage. I joined one of the popular OLD sites 6 months after the D was final. I went on a few dates but I soon realized that I wasn't ready for dating and didn't renew my membership. I did not date for 2 years. Fast forward to 3 months ago, I joined OLD again.

I was taking a very passive role in the process. I took this approach because my confidence and self-esteem still suffered from XWW’s cheating…It was just emotionally safer for me. I wrote a very honest, complete profile and included many current pictures. However, I did not send many messages to women I was interested in. I instead just waited to see if anyone was interested in me by sending me a message. To my surprise, I was receiving several messages per day as well as “Likes” and “winks. I did go out on quite a few first dates but I just didn't seem to be physically attracted to any of them. Some of them had misrepresented themselves on their profiles, which I commented on in another thread, but some were honest. My first dates would usually last for hours, talking, laughing, losing track of time, but in the end…I felt nothing but friendship…no attraction.

Maybe the problem is me?

From the first time we met, I was wildly attracted to my XWW. I never stopped feeling that way for her even after 16 years of marriage. I still lusted after her, until I discovered her cheating. It’s not that she was some fitness goddess or a movie star but I was just super attracted to her. I guess she was my type, if that make any sense. Maybe the years and experiences we shared together and children kept my attraction to her strong...IDK. I’m starting to wonder if what I felt for her was a once in a life time thing, emotional and physical chemistry? Will it be possible to feel that kind of attraction to someone ever again? At my age, 51, I wonder if that kind of attraction is even possible or is it just something you experience when you are younger. Will I will have to settle for just companionship in the future?

Anyway, I still do seem to subconsciously compare every woman I meet to my XWW…in personality and physical appearance. I realize that this isn't fair but I can’t seem to get passed it. So here are my questions...

Am I normal?

Do you think I’m ready for dating yet?

Have any of you moved on from the destruction of your marriages to find a deep emotional and physical connection with someone new?

Is age a factor?

Do some people settle for just companionship?
 

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Kinda depends what you did for yourself those 2 years you did not date. I have only been divorced a little over a year. Had a relationship too quickly that ended and then backed off a bit, did things to help my confidence/self-esteem (gym, new clothes), read a lot about attraction (models by mark manson is the best) and LEARNED. Some of these things I had been doing towards the end of my marriage.

In any case-- I am on a site now too and went on some dates. all good people, but currently I have a great connection with someone I am very attracted to. I think even moreso than when my ex and I were first together. I am 44.

Id advise you to push yourself, get out of your comfort zone as much as possible, rather than being cautious. You might get hurt but better to do that and grow and learn than stay locked up from the world's experiences and possibly miss out on someone to grow old with.
 

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IMHO, dating is similar to job hunting.

Monster.com is a total bust. Less than 5% of people on Monster EVER get hired (it's true, the stats are in, check out Forbes or Business First articles.) Everyone who knows anything about job hunting realizes that it all comes down to networking, who you know, word of mouth. And CREDIBLE job postings. Not "paid" job listings on sites such as Monster because by law the companies HAVE to post all listings, even internal ones where they have NO interest in hiring outside the company.

Online dating has similar stats. Dismal end product, as in healthy relationships. It's all a game. People who "trump up" their stats, lie, conceal, hide... How could you possibly know if someone online is a psycho??? A liar? A cheater??

Do yourself a favor. Meet REAL people. At mixers, through friends, at family cookouts and gatherings, at lectures, at book-signings, at Meet-up groups -- similar interests such as hiking, biking, fundraising, charitable causes, rock-climbing, gardening, writing, poetry clubs, etc, at local charity 5K races, at pub-crawls, at free outdoor concerts, through volunteer work, at gallery hops, at wine-tastings... And the list goes on...

Just my 2 cents...
 

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OP, I would say that if you're still comparing women to your ex-wife, then you aren't ready to date again. There's nothing wrong with taking some time to grow as a person and heal, before you get back out there. It's not a race or a contest. Some people just need more time than others to be emotionally healthy enough for a new relationship. Do be aware, though, that it may take more than just time to get yourself healthy. If you feel stuck, seek out a therapist and/or do some reading.

Frankly, most of those of us who are on the dating scene would actually greatly prefer that people who aren't really ready just hold off for a while and do some personal work instead. It sucks - badly - to begin developing a relationship with someone you really like and who seems like a great match, only to have them flake out on you a few months in because they weren't actually ready. :(
 

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Am I normal?
Sounds like it.
Do you think I’m ready for dating yet?
doesn't sound like it.
Have any of you moved on from the destruction of your marriages to find a deep emotional and physical connection with someone new?
Someone else will have to handle that.
Is age a factor?
Don't know.
Do some people settle for just companionship?
Yes. Some people do. Doesn't mean you have too.
 

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I have been mulling over this subject myself over the past couple of weeks. Some of the advice given here I feel is just flat out wrong.

First off, OP, you were severely injured by what happened to you, as are most people who suffer thru a divorce. Most of us had lived our lives on the basis of wanting to be married, specifically to the person we were married to. Whether that was right or wrong no one else has a right to say. It is just a fact.

You are scarred. You will be for the rest of your life. But you have the rest of your life to live, so live!

Having said that, the person you were married to, the person you loved, you loved because they fit your template of what you were looking for. At least if you were a thinking person.

I think that that is some thing to keep in mind. It is not so much that you are comparing potential partners to your ex, as much as you are comparing future partners to the template that your ex just happened to have compared favorably to themselves.

As far as being ready? Who is ever truly ready for anything that life throws at us? You will never grow, never learn, never find your true self by hiding behind "I am not ready". Not being ready is where you find your true self. It is where you have the opportunity to grow and thrive - go out and live your life!

And finally the idea of others being some how put off by you not being ready? Well that is really more a statement about them, than it is about you. Be honest in your endeavors and efforts, both to yourself and to others. Be true to the your principles and convictions. You are not responsible for some one else's happiness or contentment with the dating process.

So go out, date, explore relationships, find out who you are. You will never find what you want unless you look for it.
 

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It took me over 2 years to date after my divorce (married 8 years), by choice. I had one 7-year friendship that i attempted to turn romantic (failed), one 2-month relationship that progressed on his end SCARILY fast ("I can already see you as my wife"), then one 8-month healthy relationship that didn't work due to simple incompatibility of needs.

Then after about 3 months out of that one, my present SO found me on OKC and I couldn't be happier.

The process may differ for everyone, but my only thought for you is that by dwelling on your ex, you are willfully closing your mind to other possibilities. You are pre-comparing and that's quite unfair.

I've tried hard to never compare any men I've been with. They are each unique and deserve to be recognized as individuals and what they brought (both beneficial and non) to my life.
 
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I should add, that hopefully you will add, amend, modify or otherwise alter your template based on your prior experience. But that certainly does not imply shucking the whole thing and starting over from scratch. Take what worked and build on it.

Test your template, see if it produces the results you like. Maybe you need to highlight companionship and tone down the sex. Or maybe you need to turn up the stability and turn down the looks.

Only you know, and only you will find the right mix for you. Play with it, make it yours and don't live to anyone else's standards.

The person you are interested in is probably doing the same thing and if they aren't I personally wouldn't be interested. They are just settling.
 

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And finally the idea of others being some how put off by you not being ready? Well that is really more a statement about them, than it is about you. Be honest in your endeavors and efforts, both to yourself and to others. Be true to the your principles and convictions. You are not responsible for some one else's happiness or contentment with the dating process.
I never meant to imply that the OP was responsible for anyone else's happiness with the dating process. Only that it's not okay to put yourself out there as being ready for a new relationship when you know you're not. His post seemed to indicate that he's dated some but hasn't felt a real connection to any of the women he's met, which I (perhaps incorrectly) assumed meant he was looking for more than just casual dating.

If the OP just wants to do some casual dating, that's great! However, it's really not fair to prospective dates to claim to be looking for a relationship - or worse, get into a relationship with someone - if all he really want is just friends or to have a little fun. Whatever anyone is looking for from the dating experience is entirely acceptable - as long as they are honest about it with the people they see. If the OP wants another relationship, he needs to wait until he's ready for another relationship. If he wants to date casually, he needs to wait until he's ready to date casually then have at it. In either case, he needs to make his intentions clear and not lead anyone else on.
 
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Decimated, I share SOME of the same feelings you have. My D is just happened and I've been separated for just about a year. I am 50.

The idea of OLD, terrifies me. I have not signed up and currently have no plans to. I think it would be very difficult to meet someone through that means. I think my views could change in time, but I'll need to get over the mental image of how that process works.

Back to your larger point, though. While I was still separated, a friend introduced me to his sister. I thought it would be a very long time before I was ready to date anyone. After meeting her and spending a lot of time on the phone and texting, I find myself wanting to date her. That said I find the attraction different. 27 years ago, the attraction to the XW was, what? Something new? Fresh? Exciting? We were both very young. It was physical, but there was a lot of talk our futures and spending them together. With the new woman, the attraction is physical, but different.... less exploring and more enjoying..... how about this, as a young man I drank to get drunk, now I drink for flavors in the wine. There is also an attraction to fill the emotional gaps from the failed marriage. What this woman wants to give seems to fit with my needs and vice versa. I don't think the younger version of me really knew what those needs were.
 

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Seeing YNOT post here reminds me of something I learned by following his journey. You must know what you are looking for before you'll ever find it. For me, I need to remind myself that, much like YNOT, the validation that I seek must come from me. It can't come from anyone else.

My wife walked away from me while in the middle of her mid-life crisis. This crushed me and destroyed my confidence. I thought I was a great guy, husband, and father. For someone to walk away from a guy like I thought I was must mean that my perception of me was all wrong. Makes sense, right? I thought I had to really be a piece of crap. I've since realized that the issue was and is hers. I don't need anyone else to validate my opinoin of ME.

Back to your original point, connecting those dots changed my opinion of when and who I need to date.
 

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Just because you sign up for a website does not mean that you have to put all your eggs in that basket. People take that stuff WAY too seriously. Regardless of where or how you meet someone, there should be NO expectations, or thoughts of some sort of endgame (such as "I can already see you as my wife"). It's all about meeting people and enjoying them-- having FUN-- even if they are not the perfect one for you.

Avoid the victim role. It is pretty common around here and will prevent you from letting things go-- and wasting your precious days here on earth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you so much for the great responses.

I think that that is some thing to keep in mind. It is not so much that you are comparing potential partners to your ex, as much as you are comparing future partners to the template that your ex just happened to have compared favorably to themselves.
Ynot, this is a great observation. I have been comparing them to the things about my X that did work for me. The Template from her contains all the good and attractive qualities that she possessed during the first 13 years of our marriage…pre mid-life crisis/affair. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for more in a wife/partner. It is possible that this template was formed subconsciously before I ever met her and that she just happened to fit within it. So, in a sense, I’m not comparing anyone new to X, but to the template.

The process may differ for everyone, but my only thought for you is that by dwelling on your ex, you are willfully closing your mind to other possibilities. You are pre-comparing and that's quite unfair.
Satya, this is interesting. I wouldn't say that I was still dwelling on my X. I think I’m very open to other possibilities. I do recognize their uniqueness and maybe this is part of the problem for me. Because I was married for 16 years, maybe I’m so used to the familiarity of my X that the uniqueness of something new still seems foreign to me. Maybe given more time the foreignness will turn into attraction.

If the OP just wants to do some casual dating, that's great! However, it's really not fair to prospective dates to claim to be looking for a relationship - or worse, get into a relationship with someone - if all he really want is just friends or to have a little fun. Whatever anyone is looking for from the dating experience is entirely acceptable - as long as they are honest about it with the people they see. If the OP wants another relationship, he needs to wait until he's ready for another relationship. If he wants to date casually, he needs to wait until he's ready to date casually then have at it. In either case, he needs to make his intentions clear and not lead anyone else on
Rowan, this is another good point. Because I was in a 16 year marriage, I naturally thought that I needed to be in a relationship. Maybe part of the problem is that I don’t know how to casual date. The idea of casual dating/friendship is new to me. All the dates I've been on fall into the casual/friendship category. In my OLD profile I did state that I’m looking for a friendship first. The hope is that if I meet the right woman, it could evolve into more. But with the women I've met so far, I haven’t felt any spark. The spark is what i'm looking for.

Back to your larger point, though. While I was still separated, a friend introduced me to his sister. I thought it would be a very long time before I was ready to date anyone. After meeting her and spending a lot of time on the phone and texting, I find myself wanting to date her. That said I find the attraction different. 27 years ago, the attraction to the XW was, what? Something new? Fresh? Exciting? We were both very young. It was physical, but there was a lot of talk our futures and spending them together. With the new woman, the attraction is physical, but different.... less exploring and more enjoying..... how about this, as a young man I drank to get drunk, now I drink for flavors in the wine. There is also an attraction to fill the emotional gaps from the failed marriage. What this woman wants to give seems to fit with my needs and vice versa. I don't think the younger version of me really knew what those needs were.
Boyscout, Maybe this is part of my problem. The last time I dated was over 20 years ago. I was looking for new, fresh, physical and exciting as well. I suppose that naturally I have gravitated towards looking for the same things now. It seems that I should consider amending my expectations as far as what I’m looking for. I just don’t know if I want to live without “new, fresh, physical and exciting”. To me, that equals passion. I sometimes think that if passion was not an option, I would just stay single.

My wife walked away from me while in the middle of her mid-life crisis. This crushed me and destroyed my confidence. I thought I was a great guy, husband, and father. For someone to walk away from a guy like I thought I was must mean that my perception of me was all wrong. Makes sense, right? I thought I had to really be a piece of crap. I've since realized that the issue was and is hers. I don't need anyone else to validate my opinion of ME
I'm sorry Boyscout. This is what happened to me as well, thus my name. I did think that I was a good husband and father, despite her fog filled efforts to blame me for her choices. I spent over two years trying to fix the damage and get myself to a better place. I do think that I still have some work to do.
 

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Decimated, you will ALWAYS be working on you. Each of us bears the scars of our past. No matter who you are, if you have a brain, you are effected. The best we can do is make accomodations for our scars and recognize that we have to live with them for the rest of our lives. You may be slower to trust, you may be slower to love, you may be more wary or more sensitive to slights. These are normal issues that anyone who has gone thru divorce or rejection deals with.
Whatever you do, don't allow how you feel about your past to impact how you live the rest of your life.
You deserve to be happy, now go out and find your happiness!
 

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Stay busy while you're dating. When my SO found me, I was casually dating 3 other guys that same week, I was working 60 hour weeks, was taking a Summer masters class, and went out to live music with my girlfriends just about every weekend.

May not work for all, but the idea is to not put all your eggs into one basket, as another poster said. Keep in action.
 
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