I avoid dating separated men like the plague. Call it discrimination if you want. I call it smart. Cause yeah, I’ve met and/or dated a bunch of them since I got separated. And without fail, they’ve fallen into one of the following five following ‘wounded’ categories.
1: The Over-Compensator. This injured man is perhaps the easiest to fall for and subsequently, the most dangerous. Energetic and outgoing, he acts like he has it all figured out and well under control. In reference to his divorce you’ll hear comments like, Oh, it’s no big deal, life is great, and shit happens. He may even talk-the-talk of someone who has processed his big life change, saying things like: “People come together to for awhile to live and learn and grow but have to move on…” How to identify him: Keep asking questions. And use your common sense. Don’t be surprised if he says he’s only been separated for three weeks.
2. The Brooder. Easy to identify. He’ll sing a song of woe. He’s a victim, emotionally, financially, and in every other respect. You’ll soon feel the heaviness of his company – that’s his luggage. He hasn’t even begun to sort through it.
3. The Blamer. A hybrid of The Brooder, this bleeding man will come across more on the offence regarding his divorce. Biting remarks, looks of distaste, maybe even flashes of anger in his eyes and body language. Whether his ex should be blamed or not is NOT the issue – the matter of his ability to let go IS.
4. The Acting-Up Player. Similar to the younger male Player, he is a grown up version with a few more grey hairs and a shinier car. He’s a bed-hopper, beguiling with his charm and desire to have fun. Not only is he seeking out thrills to mask his pain, he’s trying to prove to himself, and the world, that he still has ‘it.’ Processing his divorce has not yet arrived on his radar.
5. Mr. Needy. Pull in those heart strings ladies. He may seem like all he wants to do is ‘love and be loved’ but really he’s just lost without a partner and desperately looking for a replacement. He’ll try to move fast, see you every night if possible, and quickly talk about meeting his/your kids. Won’t be long before most of your energy goes into ‘taking care of him’ verses spending time together. Do you want a partner, or another child?
I’m not writing any of this to chew up separated men maliciously. I’m saying this because I can see my former Separated Woman Self in all these categories too.
No matter which road a separated person takes, the one that leads to recovery requires some tough self-love and TIME – time to adjust, heal and grow. I just don’t want to see YOU in the situation where someone else is working out their shit with your valuable time and with your heart.