Dating after divorce can be exhausting! The ups, the downs, the games, the lies, not hearing from someone, hearing too much from someone, the fighting, the breakups, the getting back together, the cheating, the indecision, the baggage, and the worst one, the DISHONESTY!
Wouldn't it be nice if instead of someone saying, "I just don't know what I want right now," they would say what they really mean? -- "I really like you but I want to see if there is someone else I might like better."
It's really hard to be honest, not only with someone else, but with yourself. Isn't it comfortable and convenient to stay in a relationship that in your heart you just know isn't right? And isn't it easier to tell someone you have a boyfriend than to just say, "I'm not interested in you?"
The downside to not being truthful is that you are holding yourself back, and you are holding back the other person, who in this example might say to himself, "I'll just wait until she breaks up with the guy and then try again."
Here are 16 things people say in the world of dating after divorce, and what I wish the person would say instead.
1. I don't want a girlfriend right now.
Honest version: I don't want you to be my girlfriend. Ever.
2. I'm sort of seeing someone right now.
Honest version: You're not worth me risking what I have right now with my current girlfriend, even though I'm not sure she's the one.
3. It's not you, it's me.
Honest version: It's you.
4. I want to date other people.
Honest version: I want to see if I can meet someone I like better because I'm not sure about this relationship, but I don't want to risk losing you.
5. I just want to have fun.
Honest version: I don't want to be exclusive.
6. This really isn't working out.
Honest version: I'm breaking up with you.
7. You're a great guy. I don't deserve you.
Honest version: I don't want you.
8. What are you doing right now?
Honest version: Want me to come over and have sex with you?
9. What are you doing Saturday night?
Honest version: I really like you a lot and I want to take you out for a really nice date so you know that.
10. You're going to make some guy really, really happy.
Honest version: You're not making me happy.
11. I don't want to fight anymore.
Honest version: I wish we could go back to the first six months of our relationship when we were on our best behavior, because we both know this is going downhill fast.
12. Sorry I haven't called. I've been so busy with work.
Honest version: I met someone else and dated her for a couple weeks and it just ended. OR, I wasn't really into you and then I changed my mind.
13. I'm just happy with the way things are.
Honest version: I don't want to marry you.
14. I'm going out of town, so I'll call you when I get back.
Honest version: I'm not into you.
15. I don't have time for a relationship.
Honest version: I don't want to be in a relationship with you.
16. I just can't see you right now, I don't know what I want.
Honest version: I want to go out with my friends and talk to guys and figure out if I want to date you still.
These things don't translate like this in every case. Relationships are complicated. Dating is complicated. People do get confused and say things, and things do end up working out. I'm just saying that if someone feels a certain way, he or she should buck up and just be honest.
These things might be brutal to hear, and they might be hurtful and upsetting, and they might even make us cry. But, in the long run, hearing the truth saves so much time, so much aggravation, and it forces us to move on much quicker!
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of her new divorce novel with the same name, as well as her other divorce novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. Oh, and she's divorced!