Dear Donna: February 20, 2023

Dear Donna,

How do you know when you are ready to start dating again? I waited for two years after my divorce to start dating.
I saw a therapist. I read numerous books to help me understand myself better and also the type of man who would be most compatible with me.

I met the men friends thought would be a good fit for me. I was open to the prospects around me. I tried online dating and took country and western dance classes.
I am worn out and I have not even gone on a second date yet.

The recurring theme is they are interested in me but I it is not mutual. Am I being too picky? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I not as ready to date as I think I am? Sara

Dear Sara,

It could be a combination of all of the above or it could be as simple as the fact that you are not meeting the right men.

Because the recurring theme is they are interested in you and you are not interested in them, you are most likely meeting men you are either not attracted to or you feel no chemistry towards them.

Physical attraction and chemistry are the ideal combination but you can have one without the other and still have a great relationship.

Look for the chemistry as much as the attraction and if you are on the fence, go on a second date, or call me and I will do all this work for you.

I can also help you determine if you are in the right frame of mind to start dating.

A general rule of thumb is it takes one month for every year you were married to be in the right place to begin a new relationship but the person who chooses to end the relationship usually has an easier time moving on.

Ask yourself “Would I want to meet someone who is in the same place emotionally as I am right now?”
If the answer is “no”, you are probably not ready.

However, sometimes there is a fine line between when you are ready and when meeting new men can help you move on.
I think you will find it easier when there is a mutual interest on both sides.

Dear Donna,

I have been widowed for three years after a very long term marriage and find myself in a familiar situation.

I am dating a lady I am attracted to, we get along great, I am excited to get to know her better and after the fourth or fifth date I find myself comparing her to my wife and feeling like backing off because I cannot see long term potential.

I keep hitting this brick wall where I know I don’t want to be alone but I cannot seem to make it work with some incredibly wonderful ladies. John

Dear John,

If you are trying to decide in four or five dates if someone has long term potential, you are putting way too much pressure on yourself and the lady you are dating.

Lighten up, relax, focus on having fun and making friends.
The next time you find yourself backing off stop and remind yourself this lady might just be a friend.

Wherever it goes, it starts with a friendship.