Make no mistake — dating today is like jumping into the deep end with eyes closed, hoping you will find your way to the surface despite not really knowing how to swim. With all the dating “rules” changing faster than anyone can keep track, understanding how to interpret certain dating behavior has become an art. Avoiding trouble and protecting your heart, though always a priority, may seem impossible in this state. Look at Nancy’s situation as an example:
Nancy has had a few dates with Andy, a smart, attractive man who just moved to the area after splitting from his wife. When referring to his ex, he calls her “my wife,” and Nancy wonders whether he’s still legally married or emotionally attached to her. She doesn’t want to date a married man, even though she does like him. She really doesn’t want to get burned again.
When she finally asks if he’s married, he admits that he is and adds, “But I don’t feel married. We are separated.” When Nancy says that the difference is important to her and she wishes he would have mentioned it, he seems surprised that it bothers her since he’s almost divorced and it all seems the same to him.
Nancy is mad that he didn’t even bother to apologize for not mentioning his status and failing to respect her feelings. Even worse, now he makes it sound like it’s her problem to sort through. After some thought, Nancy tells him, “Sorry Andy. I don’t date married men.”
Honesty from the Outset
Many men assume that when they’re separated from their wives, they’re ready for dating. Not all of them will understand the importance of being honest with you about their marital status. Why should you care? Honesty is important from the beginning.
How many times have you heard of a relationship with a married man working out without a lot of drama? These men often still have significant emotional ties to their wives. And it isn’t unusual for them to return to their wives after a period of separation. And where does that leave you? Back on the market with a broken heart!
There is another important red flag that Nancy detected with Andy. Not only did he not feel the need to warn her about his marital status. So she could enter their relationship with her eyes wide open, he also didn’t understand or care about her concerns. He didn’t apologize. Nancy got mad. Her gut instinct was telling her that something was not right.
Not only did he not understand, but he wasn’t even trying to understand. This is a huge problem for Nancy since she is looking for a long-term partner. Women are more satisfied in their relationships when their partners try to understand their feelings, even if they don’t completely understand. Even more, most men try to put their best foot forward in the first few dates. If he doesn’t appear to be concerned with your feelings early on, imagine what it will be like later.
Your Opinions Matter
Nancy ultimately listened to her gut instinct and steered away from Andy. That little voice inside of her acted as her inner compass, like a GPS telling you when to turn away from danger. Don’t make excuses for him or tell yourself your feelings and opinions don’t matter — They always do. Taking these precautions now could save you from another broken heart.
If you want to develop your inner compass, get my book Be Your Own Brand of Sexy: A New Sexual Revolution for Women. It’s been called “a must have book for all women dating or looking to date.”