In reality, you are usually not supposed to date until after the divorce is final. Yes, you heard me right. I didn’t know this was the case until my attorney brought it to my attention. I had just gone to court and acquired my legal separation. I thought once you were legally separated, you could also legally date. Needless to say, this was not the case. The judge required my then spouse to provide me funds to help cover my expenses until our divorce was final. My attorney sent me a detailed email explaining that the money I would receive was separate maintenance and that I could not go on dates to include lunches, dinners, movies, or trips with any men because I could lose it. I had to wait until after the divorce was final to begin dating. I initially thought to myself, “what am I going to do with all the condoms I brought on Amazon, and they were quite a few. In the end, I did what I was told because I didn’t want to lose what the judge had awarded me. On the bright side, this kept me from getting involved in any rebound relationships. My ex was dating the woman he was involved with during our marriage. Let me take that back. The woman he was allegedly involved with during our marriage. I learned to say the word allegedly from the Wendy Williams show. He didn’t have anything to lose financially, but I did. Now, he could have gotten in trouble if we had gone back to court. We ended up going through mediation instead to finalize our divorce. So, be mindful of this if you are thinking about separation or are already separated. Even if there is no temporary separate maintenance involved, one should generally not date until the divorce is final. I know this can be hard sometimes.
After my separation, I started walking in the mall. As the months rolled by, the store mannequins in the display windows started looking pretty good. This was especially true of the ones in the sporting goods stores. They had great legs, and I liked nice legs on a man. They also were in the best physical shape. I laugh when I think about that now after two years. Our divorce took approximately six months. After you are divorced, make a list of characteristics that you want in a man. Also, make a list of unacceptable characteristics. Stick to your unacceptable list, especially if it is not unreasonable. Do not ignore red flags! Generally, men who are near our age are set in their ways, so what you see is what you get. The probability of them changing is slim. They will usually try to change you. I remember going out on a date with a very successful and seemingly nice man. It only took 2 dates and several phone conversations to see he had the same unacceptable characteristics that my ex had. I immediately thought to myself, he’s got to go. Not only did I see red flags, but I also saw red flashing lights. To top things off, he told me I’d better hurry up and find someone since I was almost sixty. The things we as women have to deal with! I immediately blocked his number. I dated another guy who told me things had changed, and that it was ok for a woman to chase a man in today’s times. He initially seemed to be a good prospect. I thought to myself, my knees aren’t what they used to be, and I can’t run anymore. So, chasing him was out of the question. I said to myself, next. I always tell my daughter, “I can still drop it like it’s hot. I just have to get up like it’s lukewarm or like it’s chilled when my knees hurt.” So, ladies, stick to your list and do not ignore red flags!
By Emmerstine Mackie
Divorce Coach for the Seasoned Woman