Thursday, July 31, 2008

Divorced With a Kid: Can She Really Find Love?

Hello Terry,

I met a guy online two weeks ago.

We went out on our first meeting and hit off really well. We had a lot to drink, and we were hammered. We ended up lying in bed; we didn't have sex the first night.

He has been messaging every morning, lunch, dinner time and before he goes to bed. We've met each other for dinner about three times since our first meeting two weeks ago, and we communicate via IMs throughout the day.

He has even suggested coinciding his work travel schedule with mine, so that we can be in the same city for a few days.

He is an incredibly eligible single bachelor with a great job, while I have high flying career and by most standards a very attractive woman. I am recently divorced with a 4 year old daughter.

I am skeptical that a guy like him could possibly fall for someone like me, with a scarred life and baggage.

The chemistry feels right, and I have not felt so terribly happy since my separation with my ex-husband and the many unstable relationships over the years.

Somehow I feel this is too good to be happening to a girl like me. I question if he is genuinely interested in me or could I be an easy target since I am divorced and perhaps lonely.

I want to know what he thinks, but I feel that it is too soon to ask or even talk about a relationship. It might really scare him off.

How can I really know? Are there subtle ways to find out?


Dear Wondering,

While I happen to enjoy a good beer (or several), getting hammered on a first date raises a yellow flag. Do you have to drink to have a good time? Does he? Do all your dates involve alcohol?

If so, it could signal a problem.

This comment of yours also concerns me:

"Somehow I feel this is too good to be happening to a girl like me. I question if he is genuinely interested in me or could I be an easy target since I am divorced and perhaps lonely."

Now, why is inconceivable that a good thing could happen to a girl like you? So, you're divorced with a kid. So are a lot of people. You're attractive and have a great job. A lot of people aren't and don't, and they still manage to attract men who will stand on their heads to be with them.

The guy seems to want to spend time with you. That's great! Okay, there's no shortage of jerks who will use women for their own purposes, but there's also no shortage of great guys who want to fall in love and spend their life with one special woman.

How do you figure out which category this new man falls into?

You take your time. You continue to focus on your job and your child and your friends and the books you like to read. You do not allow this new relationship to drag you out to sea. You make yourself available to get to know this man better, but you don't break plans with other people or let go of other responsibilities to do so.

You maintain a wait-and-see attitude. You tell yourself, "Maybe this is the right guy for me, and maybe he isn't." You let him show you. You listen to him when he speaks. You watch his eyes. You make sure that his words match up with his actions.

You're always kind, considerate, and charming, but at no point do you ask yourself, "What do I do to prove to this guy that I'm the right woman for him?"

Above all, always keep in mind that you are an attractive woman with plenty to offer. Make a list of your very best qualities and remind yourself that a man would be lucky to have you.

If you happen to possess any qualities that cause you to devalue yourself, today is the day to decide to replace them with better ones. Again, use a pen and paper and put your lesser qualities on paper. How can you turn them around?

In the meantime, if you find all the IMing distracting, limit it to once or twice a day. It's flattering to be contacted constantly by an attractive man, but it's not going to help you keep things in perspective.

This guy may turn out to be the man of your dreams, or he may not. Either way, know that you're an attractive, sought-after woman. The fact that you're divorced and have a child doesn't change that. Be open to the possibility that a man can and will love you just as you are.

You deserve that much.