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How to do dating after split?

(20 Posts)
AuClairDeLune Mon 22-May-17 00:59:10

Married for 17 years, 2 teenage DCs and we have the divorce sorted. House is sold and moving out soon. There's no one else and we agree it's the end of the marriage & has been for some time.

However, I am very shy and inexperienced and generally not good at reading people. I am worried about men taking advantage. Does that make sense?

There's a younger colleague at work. Barely know him as I am often working in a different office and we don't work in the same department. One day when we got coffee from the machine, we chatted and he told me he was divorcing. It seemed ok and I shared my story. We chatted a bit in passing from then on but I hadn't seen him for months.

Emailed about a work thing the other day and he said he was really looking forward to seeing me ('you') in the meeting the next day, and it had been too long.

Did I do this right? I replied that it would be great to catch up. However at the last minute I was called away and missed the meeting.

Had to email him again about work stuff, and apologised in passing for non attendance at meeting. He said he had missed me, and suggested meeting over lunch or coffee, as (his words) it's difficult to talk in the office and to let him know if I fancy it sometime.

Please calm me down! It's only lunch. He doesn't necessarily want sex, right? Or a relationship?

I have enormous trust issues, had sex problems (boundaries) before husband and am worried about one thing leading to another, especially as he is very hunky!!! (but he might not be asking in that way, right?). He is really, really not my type - quite a bit younger (10-15 years) and very err easy on the eye, tall and athletic and quite the hipster type. Eek! I am an old housewife by comparison! What is it like, dating after leaving? How long is respectable? I haven't had sex for 3 years but although I miss sex, I am happy to not have a partner for now. Maybe he just likes big sisterly type chats, of course!

How do I tell him, if it comes up, that I don't know about having more partners? And sex? Or should I just not meet him? I can't ignore his email because I work in the same place. Help!

AuClairDeLune Mon 22-May-17 06:49:49

Sorry that got long!

Shayelle Mon 22-May-17 07:29:39

Wow!! Chill out and go have lunch with him. Enjoy yourself!!

Trills Mon 22-May-17 07:40:04

There's a good chance he doesn't want to date you.

If he's not your type then you don't want to date him anyway.

If you would like to meet up with him as "a colleague you'd like to have lunch with" then do.

If you wouldn't not like to meet up with him then don't.

Trills Mon 22-May-17 07:41:23

It's normal just after a breakup to be panicking and thinking that everything is about sex. Everything is not about sex. You'll calm down a bit in a while.

PaintingByNumbers Mon 22-May-17 07:48:20

hmmm are you sure a work colleague in the midst of a divorce is the best place to start? I'd steer clear tbh.

user1486956786 Mon 22-May-17 07:48:51

Relax :-) coffee/lunch is definitely not pre planning for sex.

Just go and enjoy yourself.

He may have just enjoyed chatting to someone who gets what he's going through. Or he may want to get to know you more. No harm in either of those :-)

Smeaton Mon 22-May-17 07:50:00

How long is respectable?

Who cares? You're single, it's booked business.
If the man likes you and you like him and it comes up in conversation then I'd say go for it.

If it's been a sexless and loveless marriage for a while I'd say you deserve some fun.

AuClairDeLune Mon 22-May-17 12:04:33

Thank you for your replies. I need to hear exactly what you have all told me.

Okay. Time to chill. I've suggested lunch next time I am there.

Paintingbynumbers I know his being divorced isn't ideal but his was finalised a few years ago and was a case of too much, too young with no DCs, pretty uncomplicated.

Yes, I have to keep telling myself that there is a good chance he doesn't want to date but wants to be 'friends who have lunch together' and this is not pre-planning for sex. Must hang onto that.

Thank you Trill for assurance that this panic is normal. I feel disloyal to my ex-h but even though our marriage ended a long time ago and it is likely that the boot will be on the other foot soon.

Have to remember that it is not all about sex and it is likely this guy is just hankering after someone to listen to him. I said in my reply that we should meet to swap notes on divorces and hope he is still doing okay. He's not a direct colleague. We are in different and far away departments and I am rarely in that office, but obviously, there is the consideration that I have to work with him. But he may not want sex, remember, he may not want sex....Small steps, small steps.

You have all made me feel better! It's hard to get a sense of perspective!

AuClairDeLune Thu 25-May-17 21:58:43

Update: we saw each other ever so briefly and he emailed me late that night to say how lovely it was to see me, and he invited me properly on a date - a concert. I can't make it, but we have swapped mobile numbers.

I am panicking so much. I know he may not want sex, but I am worried he might think I am leading him on.

Is it too weird to say, if he tries anything 'romantic' on, to say it's too soon? How do I know if he does this?

I have to keep it as mates - maybe just pals who are sharing the same experiences. Build up some trust. I really don't want a relationship again, ever. But that's a different story.

(One of my friends said it could come in handy at some stage for no-strings sex. OMG! Kind of true. But arghhhhh).

Is it normal to feel like this?

Smeaton Thu 25-May-17 22:27:02

Firstly There is no normal so forget that.

Nextly. < a great word I just invented, stop worrying so much. smile go with the flow a little. If he tries to take thins to where you do t want to go then just say so, slow him down, etc.

If you like him and he likes you, I would really suggest just rolling with it, enjoy it, take it at your pace and enjoy it. If he wants to go too quick, slow him down, a decent man will go at our pace. Try not too worry grin

AuClairDeLune Thu 25-May-17 22:51:48

Smeaton, thank you for your kind words!

Can you tell I am feeling kind of vulnerable? I'm worried about all the millions of things

- whether I trust myself to not sleep with him
- whether I can carry on working with him, even though we barely do
- the approx 10 year age gap grin
- my having kids and his not
- what if he accuses me of leading him on?
- I want to enjoy time by myself for a few years, with no relationship(s)
- the ink is barely dry on my divorce petition

Yes, ok. I need to remember to just go with the flow. I don't need to play any part, I can just enjoy it for what it is.

I will remember your wise words smile

God, secretly I am amazed at how different my life is turning. I have been with an 'old man' [not that there is anything wrong with that, just this particular old man] and now being asked out by hot younger bloke. Sheeeat. How did my life get like this, so quickly? What if I don't know how to slow down?! Maybe I should shy away...rapidly!

(Oh but he is so delicious to look at!)

(did I just write that? shock blush)

Smeaton Thu 25-May-17 22:57:00

You now what though?
All them worries don't matter.

Think about the here and now.
Don't worry about what math happen, what could happen, what the man is feeling, what the man is thinking etc etc etc.

Basically, don't worry about the calories whilst you're eating the cake. Does that make sense?
Just enjoy cake whilst you're eating it.

(Also. Stop worrying about age. Ten years is a blink. He obviously enjoys your company or he wouldn't pursue it. Why wouldn't he enjoy the company of a woman who has a life to tell, experience to share and a warmth and light to give?)

outabout Thu 25-May-17 23:03:35

Surely you would be telling your DCs with the prospect of a date to 'calm down and stay away from sex'. Sex isn't obligatory!

AuClairDeLune Thu 25-May-17 23:04:23

Smeaton, you are a wonderful listener (even though it's online!). Thank you for this post.

You're right. I keep battling, tormenting myself with what-ifs...about everything. In the here-and-now, things are safe, and life experiences are to be cherished.

OK. Will try to enjoy more and ruminate less. I love your last sentence. flowers

(Will report back!)

AuClairDeLune Thu 25-May-17 23:05:59

outabout Tbh I don't know what I would tell my DCs. My mind is pretty warped with the divorce. I would tell them - "have sex and don't think you need to marry him".

Sex isn't obligatory, but I have a history of being...what's the word.. I am easy to manipulate and in a delicate position.

Smeaton Thu 25-May-17 23:26:30

I'd say that nothing is obligatory. There is only what you want to happen.

But I can't get cake out of my head. Is 11.30pm too late to have a big bit of Victoria sponge? wink

Changedname3456 Fri 26-May-17 00:25:22

I think he'll make it pretty clear what his intentions are after the concert. He'll either suggest another obvious "date" activity or it'll go back to being lunch.

Clearly he likes spending time with you and if he fancies you too then so what? Do as much or as little with him as you're comfortable with. If you decide you don't want sex / a relationship then just say you're flattered but it's too soon for you and that you'd like to stick with friendship.

outabout Fri 26-May-17 08:50:46

Hope you get on your date and feel OK to say 'no' whenever you get to your 'boundaries', or as you are feeling delicate, maybe a step 'before' the boundary.You say you are moving out soon (from previous relationship) I think go on this date and then play cool until you are actually moved out. Changedname has said it all really.

TreeTop7 Sat 27-May-17 20:03:33

Enjoy yourself! He's obviously keen.

Ten years is not a significant gap. The only issue could be his wanting children and your being unable/unwilling to have more, but that's a conversation for further down the line. Have fun for now, he sounds super.

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