Dear Donna: May 10, 2021

Dear Donna,

I am 42, divorced twice and just ended a five year relationship with the lady I started dating after my second marriage ended.

Ten years ago when I was looking to be married and start a family I would not date someone who was divorced, never mind someone who was divorced twice.
Now I am that person and only 42. I also have a child from each of my marriages which means there are two ex-wives in the picture.

I have everything else going for me but I feel like a failure when it comes to my relationship history.
Maybe I am not relationship material and I should just focus on my kids but I feel am too young to consider the concept of being alone for the rest of my life.

Right now I am 0 and 3 and don’t want to make another mistake.
What do you suggest? Carl

Dear Carl,

I suggest you do the Ben Franklin exercise.

Get yourself a pen, paper and do this is the right frame of mind.
Make sure you are relaxed, no distractions and sit down with the intent that you are going to focus on the type of lady you would like to meet, before you meet her.

Write down all the positive aspects of the three ladies you mentioned and what you liked about them.
Write down all the negatives things about those ladies that did not work for you and turn those negatives into positives.

Take a long, hard look at those two lists and write an essay about what an ideal relationship would look like for you.
This is something I ask my clients do and many of them tell me how hard it is.
Good, it makes you think.

Also, please know you are not alone as for as two divorces. It is very common these days.
The relationships you have with your children’s mothers will make it much easier for you to move on if they are positive relationships.

My guess is, as with most of my clients, the only thing wrong is that you have not yet met the right lady.

You should date, have fun and explore your options before you settle into a new relationship.
Put yourself in her place and basically do unto her as you would have her do unto you.