In the aftermath that precedes a painful breakup or divorce; most women are not really giving a thought to the possibility of engaging in another relationship. In fact, even the concept of being on a date will sound as exciting to them as a court-mandated trash pickup session by the highway. While you might recognize yourself in this situation, let’s not forget that statistics indicate a staggering 50% of women will marry again in less than 5 years after the divorce, whereas 75% will do so in less than 10 years. How is that possible?
Well, first of all, clear judgment is not the forte of a person who is still struggling with the repercussions of the breakup. Secondly, truth be told, there is an immense difference between what we theoretically want in a partner – kindness, honesty, active listening skills, compassion, maturity, responsibility, etc. – and the features that we find attractive in practice. That is why a great percentage of women will make the same mistake over and over again: the inability to evaluate a potential partner based on reason. This does not go to say that women don’t have social intelligence – actually they tend to know men much better than vice versa – but that things are quite a bit more difficult in the wake of a divorce.
Let’s find out why!
1. Timing is everything in this case
The divorce constitutes a major turning point in the life of everyone who has to go through it and it will make you very emotionally vulnerable. As of such, chances are that your feelings will get the best of you and you cannot, in all honesty, be absolutely sure that the decision of hooking up with a person is sensible. That is probably the main reason why most relationships that start out in the aftermath of the divorce are prone to failure. Think of it this way: the wounds are still fresh and you cannot help but rethink – and probably mention – your ex-husband or remember bits of your marriage on every single waking moment. This is a major red flag for your “newfound love” and few people are willing to invest the energy in such a relationship.
2. Sexual attraction is often confused with affection
Your hormones are running wild and all you can think about is how great last night was, so it can be easy to mistake the sexual rush for genuine love. Fortunately – or not – once the initial “honeymoon” stage passes, you will start to discover all the flaws and incompatibilities, up to the point where you start wondering what on earth blinded you to them in the first place. Remember, great sex doesn’t necessarily have to be associated with emotional compatibility.
3. Obsessing over a potential partner
Obsessions are dangerous because we often value them for more than they actually are, namely the suppressed anxiety bursting out through the cracks in our divorce-scarred psyche. Much like the sexually-related infatuation, we tend to confuse the passion of the encounter with love. Therefore, our ability to rationally discern between partners is substantially impaired.
4. Idealizing emphasizes the strengths and nullifies the weaknesses
Sometimes women are so convinced, or rather they do their best to convince themselves, that the aptitudes possessed by a certain person automatically make him perfect. In general, the kind of abilities that end up idealized comprised of the ones we don’t possess ourselves. For instance, a rich knowledge of an ancient civilization, mastering several foreign languages, a perfect memory, etc. constitute the grounds for this costly mistake. Therefore, we automatically believe he is superior to us in every way and place him on a pedestal while continuously undermining our position, forgetting that every person is actually the sum of both the positive traits and the shortcomings.
5. Taking the history of your family’s relationships for granted
There are thousands of examples of families where the female side tends to go for a certain type of partner, generation after generation. None of the family members who engaged in relationships based only on the family tradition ends up happy, but that subconscious belief that lingers in the nether regions of your mind keeps whispering that you will be the one to break the circle and turn the pattern into a success. Unfortunately, time tested evidence suggests otherwise.
6. The exact opposite… going against your family’s relationship patterns
Yes, the reverse of the medal is also a mistake. If you are trying your best to find a relationship that is the exact antipodal of your family’s pattern and you utilize this as the single selection criteria, you are voluntarily overlooking other potential faults that can – and eventually will – drive you crazy in a partner. To put it simply, it’s best to avoid making any decision based on your family’s history, especially immediately after the divorce.
7. Sheer desperation
One of the widespread misconceptions that persist from immemorial times is that a woman cannot be happy unless she is married. Unfortunately, this error of judgment is so deeply imbedded in our minds that we often cannot escape it. That is why we actually end up believing that even a bad relationship is better than no relationship at all.
8. Not focusing enough on ourselves
The lack of direction in one’s life is an unavoidable consequence of the divorce, but more often than not women forget that you do not need another person to provide it for you. Naturally, at first it is more convenient to hand over the reins to someone else, but that won’t really last. Rather than hop on another train to nowhere, take a step back and reconsider your own plans and goals.
9. Low self esteem
There is no denying the fact that being dumped is a strong blow to our self esteem and we tend to feel useless and unwanted when it happens. However, you can only get over the damage by rationalizing what happened with a clear mind and attributing the cause and effect correctly.
10. The dread of ending up alone for the rest of your life
This fear grows stronger with age, particularly in a society that places an excessive emphasis on looks and age. On the other hand, you still have to remember that being alone is not nearly as bad as being in an unsatisfying or abusive marriage. Moreover, if you take the time to reevaluate your goals and determine what would actually make you happy, then you will definitely be able to find a compatible partner rather than get stuck in another relationship with high odds of failure.