Dating Before The Divorce is Final. Enjoying the domestic side of life--briefly
By Tom P Blake
As often happens, one person's story in this newsletter strikes a chord with someone else who has had a similar experience. Such was the case with Rich's story of two weeks ago. He dated a widow, she professed her love, he fell in love, it was a storybook romance--and then unknown to him, she went on Match.com to date other men.
Jane, not her true name, wrote, "About five months ago, I started seeing a guy who has been separated for two years from his wife of 22 yrs. We got into that dating before the divorce is final gray area.
"I met him online, and then on our first date, we had a great time, hours flew by, great conversation and connecting. He e-mailed me to say what a great time he had and wanted to do more because our interests were the same.
"I wrote him back expressing some concerns, one being that he's from Canada and his family lives six hours away, and what if he got homesick for them and wanted to move back there to live? Also, his marital status, what was really going on here?
"He assured me that he's here to stay, his family is in full support of his being here and that his divorce was pending because he owed his attorney money and that was all that was needed to get the ball rolling."
While Jane intended to proceed slowly with him, she rationalized that she too was once in the same position as Rich: separated, heart ready to move on, but a legal system that can take a long time to finalize a divorce. "I have seen his divorce papers so I know that he's working on the final stuff and he was being truthful with me. I gave him a chance because I too had someone take a chance on me while I was waiting for my divorce to be final," she said.
"We've had a wonderful, awesome, four months together. He helped me do some remodeling to my townhouse, met my family, we spent a weekend away exploring galleries, hiking and having great downtime together after work, making dinner with each other, enjoying the domestic side of life.
"Then all of a sudden, the rug was pulled out from under my feet. Now he's telling me that his 'head says one thing but his heart says another, that there is a wall up.'"
Jane said he e-mailed her about how he fell madly in love when he was 17, with this 'heart- pounding, cold-sweats, can't-think-of-nothing-but love' feeling, but the relationship didn't happen. Apparently, that experience set the standard for him on how a relationship should be (although his marriage wasn't like that, Jane said his wife was abusive).
Jane continued, "When his company transferred him to the states, he met someone at work, fell madly in love with the same feelings he felt at age 17. She turned him away. It took him 1 1/2 yrs to get over that and then he meets me! So very much compatible, but he isn't apparently getting the 'heart-pounding, cold-sweats' feeling. He thinks if you have to work at it, then it's not the real thing.
"He is bewildered and confused by his feelings, due in part to a lack of dating experience. This guy hasn't 'found' himself yet."
Jane explained that the newsletter two weeks ago helped her realize what she's been experiencing the last three years while waiting for a divorce to be final. She dated a confirmed bachelor and feels she dated him because he wouldn't commit and therefore she was safe from getting involved. "I was answering my 'call of the wild,' she said.
"As for my relationship with this Canadian, I just have to let time take care of things, I care for him, but only he can find himself.
"He feels badly that he has hurt me and thinks I'm angry with him. My anger dissolved quickly; I let him know I'm here to talk if he wants. It could take him a year or more to figure things out and I'm not going to sit around and collect dust. His being in my life has been a positive thing; I have experienced how wonderful it was to have someone REALLY treat me like a woman, something I haven't experienced in a very, very long time!"
Perhaps that's true, but he didn't treat her like a woman for long.