Match.com should know. They arrange meet-ups between Virginia men and Virginia women every day (or night?). Yet even they caution men to avoid certain types of women after divorce. They recommend against the woman crushing on you, the opposite of your ex-wife, and the biological clock watcher, among others. They call all these women unwelcome pit stops on the freeway of love1. So how do you meet women after your divorce?
The concept that divorce is a blemish on your permanent record still tinges life in Virginia. The Huffington Post mentions this, but reminds readers that many women prefer divorced men. You know what a long-term relationship is; you know how to work with a partner. You have experience catering to a woman’s needs.
So, perhaps, the first step toward meeting women is to shoo away the dark cloud you carry over your head, the one you conjured by thinking yourself unworthy of women.
Most men have very poor self-esteem and an unrealistic body image after divorce. You have been through an emotional roller coaster, after all, so your ego and body are bound to be a bit battered. An accurate self-assessment is a great start toward meeting women.
You may be desiring a 20-something swimsuit model, but is that realistic? If you are living in a 40-something body that could model for buffet restaurants and beer vendors, why face perpetual disappointment by going after women who will not look at you twice? Yes, we know that sounds harsh, but a down-to-earth self-evaluation can help you in the long run, and remember your clock is ticking, too.
Adopt sensible eating (and drinking) habits, visit a gym, go for walks and change yourself for the better. Take stock in the mirror with an eye toward improving the outside, but also tidy up inside your head.
What about a woman attracts you? Great body, powerful mind, quick wit, or fat wallet? Flexibility in scheduling, amazing maternal instincts, or great taste in wine? Cold and calculating as it sounds, you need to think about what you want in a relationship. Perhaps meeting your first wife was easy — college, bars, bumping into each other on Virginia Beach’s boardwalk — but your prospects are, admittedly, greatly diminished as an older man (older, not dead). Can you see yourself hanging out on a bar stool trying to look fetching to females? Can you rock a beach body worthy of second glances?
Cleanup on Aisle You
Part of that self-assessment needs to be a review of basic hygiene, grooming, and dress. What to wear on a date? The Huffington Post recommends an updated wardrobe that is designed for the body you have now. Other tips:
- Rid your closet of clothes you no longer should wear, to avoid temptation with a too-small tee shirt
- Choose age- and occasion-appropriate clothing
- Pick colors that flatter your skin tone
- Wear new or clean underwear
- Polish your shoes (dress shoes for the first couple of dates; save sneakers for casual, third dates)
Get your hair styled and learn to rid yourself of unwelcome ear and nose hair. As a married man you probably let your grooming habits slide a bit; women appreciate men who know how to dress themselves.
Location, Location, Location
Determining the kind of woman you want to meet helps you pick the places to meet her. Perhaps you really do want a cerebral, intelligent woman. Enroll in a college course. Hang out in your local library. Walk the aisles of bookstores.
Want to find artsy types? Sign up for a pottery class, visit a museum, or go to gallery openings.
Yearning for a compassionate, caring woman? Volunteer. Volunteering is not only a great way to give back to your community, you can also meet some dynamic, wonderful women willing to work hard on their world and their relationships.
Of course, bars are still on the list, but add some 21st century twists, with online dating and Tinder among them. They also include the centuries-old standby, being set up by friends. Hey, it couldn’t hurt!
It’s Not Baggage
Everyone has baggage. Yours might include some hang-ups about your ex-wife, but hers might be hang-ups about restless or flighty men. Acknowledge that no adult Virginian gets to a certain age without … nuances, shall we say. Weight, drinking, odd views about sex, religious fervor, or (yup, we’re saying it) kids.
Your children are not baggage. They are your future, and part of you. Get past the notion that somehow you have to hide them in closets and store them in boxes when “she” comes over. Do you really want to meet a woman who is so shallow she will turn and walk out when you let her know you have children? Do you want that for your kids?
Be proud of your kids, but carefully pick the time and place for that meeting between your two worlds. Divorcemag.com suggests you not introduce kids to casual dates. Save the grand introduction for the woman who matters (hint: a bar is not a likely place to meet such a woman).
You meet women after divorce just as you did before marriage: by living an interesting, full life that women find attractive. Stand up, brush yourself off, and start circulating. Join groups; visit places you have never seen. Explore new interests, and along the way, you will find the right woman.
Before, during and after divorce, please call The Firm For Men at 757-383-9184, or contact us online. We’re not a dating service, but we have learned a lot about the many ways divorce affects Virginia’s men.