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  Topic Originator Date Posted  
When is someone ready?
By: reirizt3
Female, 
Age: 57, 
Charlotte
North Carolina
9/25/2011 2:26:06 PM

 A man I like very much is showing a great deal of interest in me, but he has just ended a 20-year marriage. (his choice)  It was a very amicable split, but he is still struggling with it.  He is legally divorced for a few months and she moved out about a month ago.  He fluctuates between extreme interest in me and going into periods of time where I don't hear from him for a week or more, while he laments over the marriage ending.  How do I know when he is emotionally ready to start dating?  Up till now, we have just been talking for several months.  I don't want to start a relationship that might crash and burn because he was not ready.  He has joined a men's group through church and is doing a lot of reading on dealing with relationship breaks.  He recognizes that he needs time to heal, but I just don't know how we will know when the time is right.  I had a 7 year relationship that ended over a year and a half ago, and it still hurts sometimes when I think about my ex.  I don't know that anybody is ever 100% emotinally healthy, but I just want to try to do this thing right.

Reply Posted By: Linda Nusbaum, MFT - Female, Long BeachCalifornia

Date Posted:
9/25/2011 2:58:52 PM


Linda Nusbaum, MFT

Dear When Is Someone Ready,

Very good question.  How do we know when someone is emotionally ready to explore feelings with another person when they have just ended a marriage?  There is no timetable available because we are all very different as individuals.  What may be difficult for you may not be difficult for another.  With that said there are ways to tell if your potential mate is ready. 

You already have a clue.  At times he is not.  He cuts off from you and you don''t know where he is emotionally until he comes back ready to be with you.  This tells me he is not able to show all his feelings to you, especially the difficult ones. That could take some time.

And while he may not be ready to dive into another close relationship or marriage, he is probably in great need of understanding.  It sounds as if you have that in abundance.

 

Reply Posted By: Nancy Taylor-Johnson, MSW LCSW - Female, San AntonioTexas

Date Posted:
10/16/2011 12:41:08 PM


Nancy Taylor-Johnson, MSW LCSW

Dear When is Someone Ready..I think you have asked an important and relevant question.  

It is my opinion that many/most men need time.  My guess is about a year or a year in a half is about the average time they need..

The reason for this is they like and NEED to explore their freedom..to discover again who they are.

I have known men who rush into another relationship quickly..sometimes out of need. This can turn out ok if the woman is willing to accept some of his baggage re-surfacing often too much and too many times. If you can accept this without starting a rift about it...for example  if he were to call you by his ex''s name, if she tries to contact him, etc..I think your only best way to handle this is with acceptance and understanding. I know these types of things can deeply hurt and I will be glad to work with you along the way if you begin feeling  these pains.

 

Good luck with whichever way you decide to move ahead. In summary..I think the more time he takes the better it will be for the woman he chooses for his next relationship.

Reply Posted By: reirizt3 - Female, Age: 57, CharlotteNorth Carolina

Date Posted:
10/16/2011 6:47:46 PM


reirizt3

 Thanks Linda and Nancy!  I feel you are both right.  I know he needs time, but I just don''t really know where that leaves me.  Do I just offer to be his platonic friend and see if it grows into more?  I know they say you SHOULD be friends first anyway, so maybe that is the way to go.  What do you think?

Reply Posted By: Nancy Taylor-Johnson, MSW LCSW - Female, San AntonioTexas

Date Posted:
10/17/2011 1:37:38 PM


Nancy Taylor-Johnson, MSW LCSW

Beautiful Woman..it''s hard to know what your best/next step is.  My thoughts are to just be your natural self. IMO he is high risk, being so new out of his marriage.  So again, be yourself with him, you are #1 and he is in the category of "high risk". Nothing is carved in stone though..so just keep your antenna up and give him as much time as he seems to need.  Good Luck and Take care.  Nancy

 

 

 
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