Thursday, May 8, 2014

5 Post-divorce Dating Tips from a Professional Matchmaker

How much would you pay to end up with Mr. Right, especially knowing how much it cost you to get rid of Mr. Wrong? For some people, paying thousands to a professional match-making service is a bargain, especially if they have delved into the mainstream online dating pool (e.g., and eHarmony) and found it lacking in prospects. One such company, Selective Search, will help you find "the love of your life" for fees upwards of $25,000. Hoping to gain some dating insight for divorcees, I spoke to Monica Mandell, a senior director at the company.

Plenty of Fish (POF) is free, is about $30/month and eHarmony can cost you $60/month, but even when you shell out cash, you cannot be sure of the person behind the profile. Many people lie, and almost everybody embellishes more than they did on their first resume. For those with the financial means, paying to avoid the massive amount of muck can be well worth it. That is where Monica's firm comes in. The price may be high, but she promises success. While you will have to decide about the value, here is something free from Monica: her tips on dating for divorcees. 
  1. Do not date prematurely. Many people hate to be alone after being married for a long period and, as a result, they are in a big hurry to find a new partner. But, she notes, it is important to do the proper introspection to examine what went wrong in your marriage and why. This is all part of the healing process and a vital step necessary before heading into your next relationship. Both parties have to be committed to developing a healthy, new connection for it to work. "If you are not ready, then you are wasting your time trying to meet someone new," says Mandell. "You don't want to lose a great opportunity because you are still troubled by your last relationship." 

  2. Adjust your expectations. When you are marrying for the first time, you are more focused on finding a mate with whom you want to have children, but when pursuing a new relationship for the second time around, people are usually seeking a different kind of companion. Chances are, you are not as interested in having kids in your second marriage (although that may still be open to question). In most cases, men and women are looking for a person who brings something to the table, such as intellect, interesting work and sparkling conversation. "Brains trumps boobs," Mandell added. "The old days of men pursuing a woman of leisure are over. While you do not need to be super successful, you must be well read or well-traveled. You must offer something of value." 

  3. Be open to someone new. For the second time around, people are often looking for the opposite of what they married the first time. They are attracted to a different type of personality from their original mate. If you opted for the bad boy initially, then you may find that someone who is sweet and kind is more appealing now. If the nerdy and serious type was more up your alley before, you might pursue a more fun loving and congenial type of guy this time (see this previous post). 

  4. Find your soul mate. In the past, your connection may have been about your kids and building a family, but now you are looking for a person with whom you really enjoy spending time. It is a pleasure to share interests and a passion with your new significant other, and it can be challenging if you do not have much in common. If your kids are close in age and you are in the same life phase, that often brings you closer as well, although that is not a necessity. It is most important that you really like to do things together. 

  5. Do not rush into a major commitment. Many people who are recently divorced and have children from their first union should not feel rushed to marry a second time. According to Psychology Today, in the United States, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 73% of third marriages end in divorce. A significant number of people may enter a second marriage "on the rebound" from a painful divorce. Since they have not taken enough time to recover, they are vulnerable because they do not sort out their priorities before taking the plunge a second time. They also have not reflected enough about their break up and so have not internalized the lessons learned from their past experiences. As a result, they are likely to repeat mistakes and are susceptible to the deep-seated conflict that cost them their first marriage.