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When is too soon? Dating after separation

(17 Posts)
NOWImWorried Tue 06-Nov-12 11:07:01

Ive been separated a year. Halfway through a divorce.
Ex was a bit controlling, EA & a drinker. I had a tough time leaving but am much happier.

Anyway, I'm seeing a man who is lovely but lives over 100 miles away. I like this in some respects as it means I can't rush headlong into anything.

He's coming to visit soon and I've arranged childcare with ex, swapping a few days around so he has them one extra day mid week so the children won't be meeting new man.

Ex is aware of new man and isn't overly happy but is being ok.

My mum however is extremely disapproving of the whole thing.
I shouldn't be dating at all. She's worried new man is taking advantage of me while I'm vulnerable...

She thinks my ex is "giving me enough rope to hang myself" which I don't understand.

She's being so negative and judgemental. Usually we are pretty close, but I don't feel able to discuss this with her and she obviously feels the same as she only mentions it in texts.

So, is it too soon for me to be dating?
What COULD my ex possibly do? I think she's worried about him going for more access but not only is that impossible due to his work, but I think we're both quite happy with our arrangements..

Am I being naive?
I'm in a right tizz over his visit now as she's made me really anxious with her worrying!

Lovingfreedom Tue 06-Nov-12 11:22:46

It's nothing to do with your ex or your mum who you date or when you date them. I suppose that technically if you're not yet divorced then you will be committing adultery if you have sex with someone else. You're going through a divorce on some grounds already anyway. Even if your ex did start citing adultery as the grounds for divorce, my understanding (although someone in England verify this, I'm in Scotland) it won't affect either financial or childcare settlements. Think you're mum is probably being protective/over-cautious/possibly, dare I say, a little controlling. Try to get over feeling that your ex has a say in your life now... You're responsible for your own life and your own decisions now.

You might be vulnerable and you might benefit from working on your self esteem/getting used to the idea of taking control of your own life before you get into a serious relationship...but this is dating...and if you feel ready, it feels right to yourself to do what suits you at the moment. I'd say you could probably do with a bit of fun and light relief after a year of the stress of break up. Do take care of yourself...and have fun. I'd recommend 'why men love bitches' or one of those types of books for some tips on keeping your cool in relationships. These books are a bit silly, but can be useful for simple tips in starting to put yourself first for a change.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 06-Nov-12 11:23:24

It's not too soon if you feel OK with the arrangement and are enjoying yourself. What is 'dating' anyway except friendship+? You do have to be careful with controlling types, however, so I can understand your mum's remark. You say your divorce is only half way which presumably means the details are not settled. If your ex is the sort of man that will take a detail like a new boyfriend and twist it to suit his purposes than that has to be taken into consideration. Enjoy dating, therefore, but be more discreet about it. Get someone else to provide the child-care, for example.

itsallinmyhead Tue 06-Nov-12 11:25:24

It sounds like your mum loves you & is fretting and is overly concerned that you'll be hurt.

Bearing this in mind, without sounding glib, my advice is simple...Enjoy You deserve to have the chance to find a satisfying, happy relationship.

NOWImWorried Tue 06-Nov-12 11:35:53

Divorce is only part way through. Have the Nisi and the financial order is being dealt with now. I can't see how he could cause issues there though as my solicitor says I'm letting him off far too lightly. So if things kicked off and I let the solicitors do it their way... He'd be even worse off and he knows that.

The decree nisi was granted on his unreasonable behaviour.

Think you're right. My mum is worried. And yes, she can be a little controlling too!

I feel ready for this level of dating. I'm having a lot of fun with him. I care about him and he cares about me too. I just still get really anxious over silly things and my mum really set me off with her text this morning.

Thank you all smile

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 11:40:47

As everyone else has said it's no-one elses business but your own what you do. Especially your ex.

Do you tell your mum too much about your life?

Are you practically moving heaven and earth to see this new man?

mcmooncup Tue 06-Nov-12 11:46:43

Practically I see no problem with dating again.

Emotionally, I hope you have worked out how you ended up with a controlling ex, and that you are super clued up on the Red Flags to look out for in a new boyfriend. Tread with extreme caution if not.

NOWImWorried Tue 06-Nov-12 11:49:25

I wouldn't say I tell her too much. But she lives very close by and helps me with childcare a day or two each week while I work.
I don't want to lie to her about where I am. But all I've said is "I'm seeing Y this weekend"
When I've been to see him I get told I'm "chasing him and putting too much running in"
But when he comes here i feel the implication is I shouldn't be swapping days to avoid him meeting the kids. Because its upsetting their routine.
I can't win. I try to let it wash over me and just respond with "I know you're worried, but I'm fine"
But it is wearing me down.

I wouldn't say I'm moving heaven & earth.
He'll be up for 3 nights. 1 of which ex always has them. Ex is having them an extra night & we've swapped one. I'll still be collecting them from school and doing their homework while new man makes himself scarce for a few hours.

Is that normal for single parent dating? I just don't know.
New man is happy to take meeting children at my pace. He's divorced with children too... So he knows what it's like.

itsallinmyhead Tue 06-Nov-12 11:55:05

Swapping their routine is not massive.

I worked shifts when my DD was little & as a result she never had set days with her dad. It never made a difference to her, she spent time with both parents, that was as complicated as it got for her.

Again, I'm going to just say enjoy.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 11:57:13

Why 3 nights? It does seem like you're having to do a lot of juggling for this to be honest.

How many times have you seen him?

Couldn't you find someone closer to home? Long distance is a pain when you have kids.

mcmooncup Tue 06-Nov-12 11:58:56

Hmm, only because of your past in choosing a shit head of a man, I would urge you to look critically at what your mum is saying with "chasing him too much etc."

I think it may also be ringing alarm bells for you because it is worrying you.

It is true that when you come out of an abusive relationship, you must acknowledge that your self esteem is often battered, you may have skewed expectations of relationships, and I'm afraid 'running around after someone' is a sign of this. If you don't think you are, be confident and carry on with doing things at your pace smile

NOWImWorried Tue 06-Nov-12 12:05:17

Sorry. I should clarify. She said "running around after him" because I'd driven to see him. That was it!
It's 3 nights as he lives such a distance away. Not really feasible to just see him for one night when it's a 4 hour drive each way.

I really like him and I've seen no red flags with him so far.
I feel really confident about myself when I'm with/speaking to him which is novel for me..
I'm using the app so apologies if I'm missing out on responses.

Dahlen Tue 06-Nov-12 12:10:36

If you're sure new man is a decent bloke, are taking steps to protect yourself in case it turns out he isn't, and childcare arrangements are in place, don't waste any more time thinking about it.

It's worth bearing in mind that although this is a viewpoint now fading, some people honestly believe that no one should date until the divorce if finalised. This tends to more prevalent among older people and isn't really about your circumstances personally.

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 12:11:21

So you've see him once and he's coming to stay for 3 nights? Have I got that right?

NOWImWorried Tue 06-Nov-12 12:28:04

Thanks itasallinmyhead

No clippedphoenix, I've seen him quite a few times. We've met up when he's been up this way with work, I've been to his a few times & we had a city break over the summer.
Sorry, not meaning to dripfeed. I was only asking about whether it was too soon as my mum has made me panic with her worrying. I feel fine about the relationship as it is.

NOWImWorried Tue 06-Nov-12 12:30:16

Thanks dahlen, that makes sense, she made a vague comment about if her friend found out... So this could be more about the idea of me dating when not totally divorced as far as she is concerned

ClippedPhoenix Tue 06-Nov-12 12:31:13

Well if that's the case then and there are no red flags etc. just tell your mum that you appreciate her concern but to back off in the nicest possible way.

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