DATING RADAR AFTER DIVORCE

A majority of people who get divorced will remarry. Yet a majority of second (and third) marriages end in divorce. According to www.divorcestatistics.info: “The marriage breakup rate in America for first marriage is 41% to 50%; the rate after second marriage is from 60% to 67% and the rate in America for 3rd marriage are from 73% to 74%.” With this in mind, when we wrote our book Dating Radar, we wanted to help people returning to the dating game, as well as those who have never been married before. 

One of the three main areas of difficulty in spotting high-conflict partners is blind spots. In our book, Dating Radar, we identified 3 Types of blind spots: 1) loneliness or grieving a loss (such as the end of a prior marriage); 2) low self-esteem (such as doubting your value in finding a new partner); and 3) naïve beliefs. 

With the first two in mind, we strongly encourage people to get a few months of counseling after a divorce. This can help for several reasons:

- to re-build your self-esteem;
- to help you understand why your prior relationship ended: what was your part, what was your partner's part;
- to examine whether there were warning signs that you missed or overlooked before; and
- to help you become aware of whether your blind spots are interfering in new dating experiences.

The third blind spot we identified was "naive beliefs," such as "time and love will change my partner" or "I can change my partner." We find that after people get divorced they are MORE aware that these are naive beliefs and less likely to fall for them in the future. This awareness should help your self-esteem and confidence. The "wisdom" of experience.

In short, save yourself from becoming another divorce statistic. Take your time to gain confidence in yourself and heal the loss of your prior marriage. And learn what to look out for (high-conflict partners) and how to overcome their “jamming” of your radar, and how to overcome your own blind spots. Now is the perfect time to build on your wisdom from the divorce and avoid the problems of the past with enough distance to get a clear perspective.

Rachel Brown