After family and friends have exercised their power over your life and sufficiently destroyed your relationship, they are more willing and ready to accept whomever you bring to the next party, no matter who it is. You think that they are endorsing your next girlfriend. But really they couldn’t care less about her.
They have just gotten used to the idea that you are free and single and will be out in the world dating—or will be with women other than your ex. They are adjusting to your new status, and they no longer need to prove that they knew you first or longer or more intimately.
Now, once you have processed all of this material, and you think that you really did like that transitional woman a whole lot more than any woman who succeeded her, you may wish to go back and patch things up with HER, implementing this new wisdom and enlightenment.
That’s a tough call for many reasons. The damage is usually pretty profound and deep:
• She is probably a little hurt.
• Your family and friends may not be willing to accept any culpability.
• A 90-degree difference not 180 degrees from your past partner may be a better fit for you this time.
• Try not to allow your family, especially your children, to become intimately involved with your love life when you begin to date again. They mean well, but they often are living in the past, living vicariously, and frankly, they do not really know what is best for you. Only you do.
Also, some men who are still part of a tightly-knit extended family (their own and their ex-spouse’s) may feel a sense of betrayal to their ex-wife, her family or their daughter(s), or the established family unit of yesterday by bringing a new woman to a family function. Sometimes even an elderly mother will thwart her son’s efforts to bring a new woman (new blood) into the established family setting, thus changing the dynamics—often, I might add, for the better.
Some men, in order to keep peace, will actually acquiesce to these selfish and unreasonable demands, the no boundary zone, and sacrifice their new love for their old life. And then wonder why they’re not happy.
Caution: Many adult children do not like their parents to date. If you tolerate this behavior from your grown children, you are destined to spend the rest of your life alone and loveless. For various reasons—money (inheritance) tops the list. Children have been known to be very vocal in their selfish demands and disapproval, expecting their single mature parents to live alone, rather than to find love again. Children, especially your grown daughter(s) can destroy a very promising relationship. They can be very jealous and competitive. Daughters can behave poorly by being disrespectful and hurtful to the woman her father loves. Be mindful of this. If you allow your children to control your relationship, you will get what you deserve, the sound of the door slamming.
Barbara Kennedy, MPH, MSW, is a well-known relationship coach, prominent speaker, and public health educator with a private relationship coaching practice in Scottsdale, Arizona. Author of “BABY BOOMER MEN LOOKING FOR LOVE – The Last Dance” and soon to be released “BABY BOOMER WOMEN 1,001 FIRST DATES – Love-On-Line (L-O-L)” www.BabyBoomerMenLookingForLove.com