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Blog

On this date in history...

Matt Baetz

Why am I trying to date so soon?

I don't know how long you're supposed to wait after a divorce. The Wall Street Journal, known for financial and political news, feels you should wait "a good two years." The two years begins the moment you have a divorce decree in hand.  Which, btw, if you've never been handed a divorce decree I highly recommend it. The mere handing over of such a powerful document is enough to make you weak in the knees and not in the good way. I sat on the curb outside the King's County Courthouse in Brooklyn for a good 30 minutes after a short sleeve button up wearing dude wished me congratulations before rifling through my paperwork and saying, "Congratulations... you're divorced." Apparently this guy is handing out feel good advice on the reg. 

I bring it up because it's been over a year since I moved out. It's been almost 9 months since my divorce was finalized but only 6 months since the heart-warming moment at the courthouse where I was officially handed a document with a stamp. He said it with such gusto too. I was certain balloons and a naval band would appear playing, "Anchors Aweigh!"

So I started dating almost immediately and the race was on to discover what are my deal breakers. So when you initially fill out that Tinder bio. Or that Bumble profile. When you drop the coin on eHarmony or park your tractor long enough to peruse the cowboys on Farmer's Only the objective is clearly in front of you. The only problem I found was identifying what the objective was?

Did I want to find the other one? If she was the one and she didn't work out then where was the other one? Is the Other One out there? More importantly am I trying to find The Other One right now? A Harris interactive survey from 2012, because I'm a lazy researcher suggested that 14% of married couples met somewhere between high school and college!

The majority of married couples met after college. Great! We're in the majority. Another random Google search revealed that 64% of divorced men remarried again while only 52% for women. Take into account that this other survey says 23% of men never marry and 17% of women never marry. 

Now what does all this mean? Not a goddamn thing. It doesn't fucking matter. What matters is, what is my goal with dating after divorce? Do I want to get married again? What are the chances after I start dating that my second wife will be someone I meet within the first two years after my divorce.

The point is, why rush? Well one argument for rushing is the sheer sadness dating creates. There is nothing quite like sitting alone on New Years Eve and thinking about all of the mistakes you made over the course of the previous year. She worked too much. She chewed with her mouth open. She smoked in bed. She was a control freak. She didn't like oral, giving or receiving. Fill in your deal break here. They come in all shapes and sizes. 

So why date so soon? Obviously the one answer is the added pressure you feel from making the previous mistake. Ever see a QB in a football game throw a pick six and then immediately his team gets set to return the kick and the return man fumbles the ball away. It's a result of pressing. Rushing. Trying to do too much too soon. They tell athletes to let them game come to them.

So let's say you master the Zen approach to releasing the wheel and allowing chance to enter the fray once again? What result will that provide? Now you're chill, you're relaxed and one night in DC a beautiful woman, 10 years younger, with a law degree comes sauntering up to you and for once in your life you manage to deliver a casual line that makes her and her friend laugh. It's easy going, it's not forced, you allow yourself to speak the words without the pretense or pressure and viola! She laughs and the next thing you know you're making out in her car. 

It's probably best to just enjoy the moment. Live in the now as Garth Algar once said. Now maybe that doesn't work out because afterall a 24 year old has sudden reserves of energy that your 37 year old body doesn't. Furthermore you're shits to give have to declined over the years so standing in line at some club to be seen is less important so you two drift apart. Lets say this happens a few times. Maybe 25 times over the course of a year. More or less. And each time you realize there is something wrong with the person sitting across from you. 

At what point do you stop and say, maybe I need to fix me first before I fix some other people to fit me?

I'm 15 months removed from the day I packed my car and left. The pain is still very real. It's amazing how our ego makes sex out to be more than it is. You picture your ex with someone else laughing and loving one another but thats not the reality. Sure I've had sex with other people in the last 15 months. But it hasn't brought me any closer to finding The Other One. In fact in many respects I'm further away.