The practical application of these commandments is to post them in your home, car and office and reinforce them to yourself EVERY day. Optimal relationship behavior is often learned and many divorcées are out of the loop when it comes to new relationship behavior because we have become accustomed to the same habits of our ex. Often, the things we have become accustomed to are not healthy which is why many get divorced in the first place. These 10 commandments have helped me and the people I have consulted post-divorce. When applied to your new dating life, you will see that it can lead to a relationship that is healthy and sexually satisfying.
Commandment #1 Thou Shalt Not Let Anything Fester
Easier said than done but absolutely critical. Often the festering of the problem becomes a bigger problem than the original. Festering causes anger and resentment to build and must be nipped in the bud. Part of this commandment is my very strong recommendation for couples to go a couple's counselor as soon as they become exclusive before any problems arise to establish a foundation and trust with their counselor. A counselor is inevitably needed for issues that arise where you need an unbiased third party for perspective. It's great for a counselor to see you as a couple at your highest point before they see you at a low point.
Commandment #2 Thou Shalt Not Date For At Least 6 Months After Your Separation (ideally 1-2 years)
Rather controversial but the learning and personal growth that must happen post-divorce in order to have healthier, better relationships must not have the distraction of a new relationship. Most people feel they are ready way too soon. Dating too early will only delay your personal growth and hurt your new dates when you realize you aren't ready.
Commandment #3 Thou Shalt Always Be Safe and Honest With Disease and Pregnancy Issues
Few would argue with this but it takes some real discipline in certain situations to adhere to! It may be out of the norm to practice safe sex since there wasn't a need to while married, but for the sake of your health and sanity don't get so swept up into passion that you throw safety out the door.
Commandment #4 Thou Shalt Have a Specific Dating Plan
Be conscious about how and who you want to date and be proactive about creating it. Whether it be through friends, online, dating services or matchmakers, have a plan. Have a plan for your first few dates about what you want to find out and what you need to know.
Commandment #5 Thou Shalt Commit to Brutal Honesty, Openness and Direct Communication
So tough to do, so imperative to strive for and when we inevitably fail, essential to rededicate to. Honesty and openness are the fuel for trust, the lifeblood of any relationship.
Commandment #6 Thou Shalt Not Go To Sleep Angry With Each Other
A corollary to commandment #1 but worth separate mention. Be the bigger person and break the silence, communication is the key to success in ANY relationship.
Commandment #7 Men Shalt Always Be Gentlemen and Women Shalt Welcome It
It is nice for both people when the man opens the doors, gets up from the table, helps her with her coat, helps her out of the taxi, pushes the revolving door for her, helps her with her overhead luggage in the plane, etc. A bit old school, but nice to do and usually so well received. Ladies, if a man does this, welcome it with appreciation.
Commandment #8 Thou Shalt Be Giving During Sex
If it doesn't come naturally, learn to love giving as much if not more than receiving. Find out what your partner really loves and wants and give it to him/her a lot.
Commandment #9 Thou Shalt Not Take It Personally If He Falls Asleep After Sex
It is hormonally driven to fall asleep after sex for men and after a short snooze he will not only be happy to cuddle and chat but might also be ready for another round!
Commandment #10 Thou Shalt Not Fake Orgasms
This is never good for any potentially real relationship. More women fake them than do men (yes men do sometimes when wearing a condom!) but whoever is doing so is undermining the openness and trust in a relationship.
These commandments are what I have found to be a solid group of rules when jumping back in the saddle. Do they all apply to everyone? Probably not, but if you use at least five of these, I promise that your new life in the dating scene will be open, honest and easier.
For more information and advice from Ian Oliver visit his website at http://2ndchanceatromance.com .
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