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GotPlayed posted 2/7/2014 14:13 PM

So I had a first date after. Yes, too early, but I hardly dated before meeting WW and I haven't gone on a date with someone new in 18+ years. Something I felt I needed to do. I noted everyone's warnings and appreciate them, even if I decided not to take them (sorry!). Still, might as well tell you how it went though.

She is a BS whose D was final two years ago, married for the same amount of time I was, so she gets it (and I didn't tell her but yes, I checked court records. She is indeed divorced). It was our first meet in person.

Being a guy and highly visual can't help but think, she's less physically attractive than WW but has a prettier face. Also beautiful though, so I really have no reason to complain (how did I get so lucky with attractive girls in my life twice just by being myself, anyway? I'm a shy person!).

Of course it's what's inside that counts, and she's much better than WW in her heart so far. Of course I'll have to wait for her bad days after a steady time.

We drove to another town to avoid run-in unpleasantries. We had lunch together, were going to see a movie but completely missed it because we were talking, went wine tasting and then coffee. About 6 hours overall. It was slow enough that if it wasn't for the heightened tension of this being an "intentional date" it would have been all stuff I would have done with just a regular guy friend (maybe sans the wine tasting). Just walking, talking, doing activities. No pressure.

Ended with a hug, and we've been in contact since.

We're going to see each other again, and both are looking forward to it.

We're both nervous and all (me more than her, given how early this is for me), but we agreed that if this doesn't work out (and we acknowledge it may not) we at least are giving each other hope for the future, that good people really are out there, and it's worth moving forward and not settling for someone just like our WSs. Apparently I'm a "breath of fresh air" among men my age (don't tell the guys on the Menz threads! - jk)

I talked to my therapist about it the day after (I purposely set the appointment like that, I didn't know what to expect or if I was going to be a basket case afterwards). He is happy that I'm doing this and that I'm doing this slowly and deliberately. We talked about my worries, and particularly the boundary that I still keep out of 18+ years of being a faithful partner that makes it very hard for me to take that next step. I've shared an explanation of how I feel and how hard this is with new girl, too.

He looked at me intently and asked me, "is there anything in you that wants to get back to WW?" I said absolutely not. He said "good, because it is my professional opinion that if you did so, you'd be back here in under a year, because it's not you that has the problem, and she refuses to acknowledge hers. It's ok for you to move on".

So that's how it went.

kg201 posted 2/7/2014 15:09 PM

Hey GP, congrats on feeling good about it. I started dating 2 months after DDay as well, and was worried that it was too early as well. The first date I went on (also the first in 18 yeArs) was scary. I had to tell myself over and over that it would be ok. "Get in the car." "Turn the ignition." And so on. It was an ok date, but it didn't go anywhere. Since I am only separated, I didn't get much luck on OLD in terms of many replies from women. But the fourth women I went out with I have been together with since early November. She is also in the process of divorcing, and like in your situation we have been very clear about where we stand with everything. I basically told her that I will be going through hell in the coming year, in regArds to my STBX, so if she is ok in playing a supportive role through that, then I would love to have her along for the ride. She has been really good about being a support for me.

I guess the one question I keep asking myself, and I would ask you as well, "do you like being with this woman because of who she is, or because she is a life-raft in a stormy sea?"

thyme2go posted 2/7/2014 15:18 PM

I guess the one question I keep asking myself, and I would ask you as well, "do you like being with this woman because of who she is, or because she is a life-raft in a stormy sea?"

I will ask: do you guys feel you have your A game going and should you even have such a distraction while you go through a divorce? Not a favorable time to foster a new relationship. The funny thing about wisdom - we don't know what we don't know until we know it.

I tell everyone dating this early - "don't do it". But we will support you either way.


ajsmom posted 2/7/2014 15:49 PM

From your profile:

S, D filed 2/14 by WW, day before my own.

From your post:

I checked court records. She is indeed divorced

So if I'm reading it right, it's important for you that she's D'ed but you're not?

I find that interesting.


cmego posted 2/7/2014 15:58 PM

I know guys want to "jump right back on that horse", but no way would I want to date a guy 2 months post d-day.

For one, I want the guy focused on ME, not on the ex. How would you possibly be able to "woo" a new woman when your thoughts are clearly taken up by your ex?

I'm not sure what healed woman would think this is a good idea?? I would only give a guy a shot if he was 9 months or more out, and even then, I haven't found one that was ready. Casual date, yes…have sex…yes…but truly be in a relationship? Few and far between.

Just proceed with caution and honesty.

GotPlayed posted 2/7/2014 16:18 PM


As long as everyone understands we're not at our A game, it should work itself out ok. I have mentioned this to her. Something along the lines of "I'm glad you like me now knowing everything that I'm going through. Now imagine me relaxed, stable and with no problems!"

@kg201 - As for the question, which is a great question, btw.

I guess the one question I keep asking myself, and I would ask you as well, "do you like being with this woman because of who she is, or because she is a life-raft in a stormy sea?"

I say both. 40%-60% (and when I met her originally it was probably 30-70). 50-50 and beyond I can see coming (if percents weren't moving I wouldn't continue pursuing it). The more I learn about her life the more I like her. We both act careful around possible triggers and have discussed them with each other (yes, she still occasionally triggers too, and I was so proud when she brought it up when it happened!). Weird, but it makes us really appreciate each other and be patient with one another. Granted, not a good place to stay, but a good place to start (better than "met at a bar", I'd say).

She's done a lot of personal growth since and I'm in that process, and we talk less and less about our problems and more and more about us and the present.

Regarding the A game, I hate sports analogies, but I'm going to say it anyway - you don't win the game with the team you wish you had, but with the team you have. Sure, you improve, but how are you going to improve if you don't know what the pain points are?

So maybe I shouldn't be in the game in the first place, but this was serendipity to find someone with this close a situation, so I'm pursuing it. If it doesn't work I don't plan on reactivating the OLD profile. I'll just take a break.

As far as the distraction, I think in my case it helps a lot she is a BS and gets it (and since she has her own kids to care for and protect it's not like it's taking a lot of my free time - yet, we understand we're both busy single parents).

Knowing I have a woman to confide in and who will help me parse what is fair (to women in general) versus what is giving in to an unremorseful WW has really already paid off in a) me being more fair throughout this process, b) me being more focused on the kids versus my pain and c) being emotionally detached enough that I can deal with WW in a polite manner with less ill feelings. After all, I can perfectly and politely co-parent if I know I have my own life to go back to.

I'm also finding that I'm not obsessing over D as much. I have a fantastic case and a good L who can handle it, I can continue to quietly document the crazy for my L without getting bitter or angry, etc. WW's antics are now like watching a little kid's tantrums. You take care of it, sure, but quietly and with a smile on your face. Emotional detachment. Because life isn't over for me, romantically or otherwise.

@ajsmom - It's important that filing was done on both sides and that it was truly over, no double standard here. I'm pursuing D until the end because of WW's FOO issues - she knows exactly where I am in the process so there's no surprises for her (and I've been fully up front about everything).

I verified (caring mostly that it had been filed when she said and there was movement on the case) because I didn't want to become a OM (after reading a few posts here), and I would have gone through if it wasn't final as well (you know how some spouses can drag stuff) depending on circumstances. I have no doubt she's checked me out too. I could go legalistic and say that a stamp must be put on a state of CA paper on both sides, but we're choosing not to. We know each other's circumstances fully.

Ah, typo on profile - I'll fix. WW filed 1/14, not 2/14 (check my post history, I discussed it at length at the time). S started 12/13, I left the house 12/26 when she refused to go back to MC (third and final chance I offered). WW still sees OM on and off, and will continue until she goes to therapy and realizes she's with an old abuser repeating childhood patterns. Either way I've known it's over since before 12/13.

Gomphus posted 2/7/2014 17:12 PM

I dated early, too. I'm now over 3 years post S, 2 years post D, 4 years post Dday (which I didn't even realize passed year until a month after!). I was always up front and it was helpful and nice, but the relationships never went anywhere.

My only advice, which I got from my ID, is to bond over the things about yourselves that make you happy, be careful about bonding over shared infidelity or bad relationship experiences. I made that mistake a few times - finding solace in women who could commiserate and/or relate. That didn't work for either party eventually. Take it with a grain of salt.

thyme2go posted 2/7/2014 18:14 PM

GotPlayed - you don't have to convince me/us here on SI about if it is a good idea or not. My answer will always be the same to anyone in your situation. OTOH - you are the one that gets to live with the decision(s) you guys make. Post marriage break ups are crushing as you guys will possibly develop a very emotional but unstable bond that could fracture at any moment. Imagine adding that emotional tsunami to those of your current divorce... I have seen it happen many times in my years on SI and, IRL.


[This message edited by thyme2go at 6:15 PM, February 7th (Friday)]

mandan66 posted 2/7/2014 18:53 PM

I'll chime in with (t2g): tread lightly my brother. There really just is a big difference between separation and divorce. Its hard to explain, until its finally done.
I dated before I divorced; we had been separated 6 months. Did not end well. Have just now really begun to date, and feel okay about it, and am 6 months past the divorce. And there is NO way I would ever date someone that was currently just separated. Huge difference between the two.
But, that being said, its not like there are rules about this stuff; it could work out great for you. Its just that after 18 years of marriage, its easy to forget, or get lost, in who you really are. Just be careful dude.

kg201 posted 2/8/2014 07:34 AM

She's done a lot of personal growth since and I'm in that process, and we talk less and less about our problems and more and more about us and the present.

This is good.

I hear everyone's warnings about it being too early and second guess it, but I feel like in my situation (and it sound like in yours as well GP) I have been lucky to find someone who is also in the process of getting divorced, so we are able to be mutual supports for each other. And maybe it is that mutual need that is making it work, since the mutual need was not being met in my marriage.

Right before I decided to be exclusive with my gf I had dated another woman briefly that I liked, but I realized when I met my gf that I was not going to be able to continue dating both wasn't in me. I decided not to continue with the other woman because she was not open with me about herself. It didn't feel equal in our exchanges and I felt that it would be a disaster if I continued with her. So part of it is a gut feeling of what feels right.

Good luck to you GP. I hope that you are successful in building this relationship in a healthy way.

InnerLight posted 2/8/2014 11:25 AM

It does seem so early after Dday but I'm glad you had a nice date. Go super slow. Most relationships end in a break up (sad truth!) and a break up after a separation when you still have the hurdle of divorce ahead is really hard on the psyche. So take good care of yourself.

lieshurt posted 2/8/2014 17:30 PM

She's done a lot of personal growth since and I'm in that process, and we talk less and less about our problems and more and more about us and the present.

She hasn't done enough personal growth yet if she doesn't recognize that you are using her to fill a void and make yourself feel better. Dating is your ego stroke right now. Being "honest" about your status is just your way out of bearing responsibility when things crash and burn. I've seen a lot of men who jumped immediately into the dating world use the "I warned you" defense when they ended up dumping the woman they so magically connected with. If you really liked this woman then you'd heal before involving her in your mess. Otherwise, you are just being selfish.

GotPlayed posted 2/9/2014 15:50 PM


It's funny how you see your perceived selfishness on me, but not on her, even though you say she hasn't obviously done enough personal growth as she's ok pursuing something with me. And you think I'm using her (your words) to fill a personal void and she's not. Do I detect a double standard here?

On her end, she was completely disappointed with the men she kept meeting once she decided to start dating again, and she thought I was a breath of fresh air. So we pursued it, both of us knowing I wasn't completely ready, and fully knowing that the one more hurt would be me should this go somewhere then fizzle.

Honesty is paramount. If you think I'm using honesty so that I can turn around and break the relationship you're simply mistaken, maybe colored by your own experiences. I'm being honest because honest is all I know to be. And when this happened the very first thing I resolved to do was to not let it change who I am at the core. And at the core I am a straightforward, honest person.

As part of that honesty I told her that I was ready for her, but not for anybody else, and to please don't wait for me to be ready if she felt she had to move on...

.. which she did. She called today to say she's found someone she's going to date. So she called to say goodbye. I stuck to my promise (because I do that) and wished her the best, congratulated her and told her she's been a wonderful reminder that life is beautiful, and will continue no matter what. That she deserves a great guy and that I hope the guy approaching her sees that.

Did it hurt my ego? Sure, a little bit. But a) nothing like what I went through in the last few months, and b) I learned that I can have an adult, honest, meaningful relationship with a woman after what I went through, pretty much as soon as I decide to pursue one. Now I can believe my dad when he said "don't worry, you'll do great, you're just entering your sophisticated phase".

And now head on high, more good than harm done on both sides, I can continue dealing with my personal life knowing that I'm going to be ok; that I am going to find somebody (if I was able to find someone this fast, it's one less problem to check off the list). And I'm extra glad that I was taking it super slow.

So call it I told you so, call it whatever you will, but I call it a learning experience that moved both of us forward, and a bit further away from the aggressor-victim expectation mentality that percolates so many of our post-D exchanges. If doing the work necessary for not thinking that in the future every person from the opposite sex is out to betray us and hurt us is selfish, then so be it.

cayc posted 2/9/2014 15:54 PM

T/j OMG am I ever stealing your dad's phrase. I am in my sophisticated phase!!!

Glad you're hanging in there GP.

kg201 posted 2/9/2014 17:21 PM

GP , sorry that it didn't wok out. Hang in there. Congratulations on being able to move on with your head held high. Good luck as you move forward in the dating world.

lieshurt posted 2/9/2014 19:24 PM

It's funny how you see your perceived selfishness on me, but not on her, even though you say she hasn't obviously done enough personal growth as she's ok pursuing something with me. And you think I'm using her (your words) to fill a personal void and she's not. Do I detect a double standard here?

No double standard. She may well be selfish, but I can't say without knowing more about her.

If you think I'm using honesty so that I can turn around and break the relationship you're simply mistaken, maybe colored by your own experiences.

Actually, I base it on what I've seen posted here time and time again. What you stated is no different than what many women in NB have been told since I joined.

BAB61 posted 2/9/2014 23:20 PM

I'm glad you're doing so well GP ... keep going slow and focus on you first ... ((GP))

GotPlayed posted 2/10/2014 00:40 AM

@kg201 - Thank you. I'm going to be off the dating world for a little while though.

@BAB61 & @cayc - You're some of my favorite people here. Thank you. Go ahead and steal that phrase. I think it's awesome.

@lieshurt - No different than what many women have been told, maybe, but how many women have dated without being ready, and what do they tell men? Are they equally honest, or hurt them without saying anything and then feel bad? Still cuts both ways. Disagree, sure. I don't think she was selfish and neither was I. Eyes open, she found someone more ready (I don't think she's selfish, but she's a lot less healed than she pretends to be, as she triggered here and there while talking to me - and that's ok). I'm still happy. Not that it matters, but since I'm a people pleaser, I put the backstory below. Agree or disagree, it is what it is and I'm happy with it.

I think I mentioned the backstory of this before, but I believe in serendipity, and she contacted me a couple of days after my birthday, right after I had finished getting the OLD profile I built for myself as a birthday present to window shop after D was a future fact. Afterwards I realized I wasn't ready and stopped using it, but she had already contacted me because we were very compatible (even though there was no picture, she made a rare exception as well) so I decided serendipity was telling me something and continued talking to her. We phoned and emailed *a lot* before meeting.

So, as I told her and I tell you, "I was ready for her, but not for anybody else". Because we became fast friends. And it was worth trying it out. And we did, and we didn't work because she's more ready than I am even though chemistry seemed to be there (granted, we didn't test it far enough). And it's ok. I actually love the fact that she cut it clean, didn't ask to remain friends, because it would be inappropriate given her new relationship. She did everything right, right until the end.

So like people, there are a million stories with a million reasons behind them, and a million ways people cope. And this one has a happy ending for both of us, even if it is still an ending. I have no shortage of things to do, and with this happy memory I now have the energy to do them. And I gave her the impetus to keep trying and raise her own standards, through which she reached out again and found happiness, it seems. I call that a success any way I look at it. Lucky? Maybe. But then again, I believe in serendipity.

Now I get to focus on me, my kids, my work, and my growth again. With my head on high and a smile on my face. Not only can I do this alone, there is also someone for me out there.

This is just a temporary plot twist.

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