There is a delicate balance to be maintained between the need to process the trauma of divorce (to recuperate, heal, and recover) and the need to maintain the interpersonal skills essential to dating and, later, to bonding and pair-formation (pairing). The main problem may be the temporary suspension of the ability to trust, to open up, to render oneself emotionally vulnerable, and to reciprocate. The pain of divorce is so enormous and so all-consuming that narcissistic defenses kick in and the new divorcee is often unable to empathize and selflessly interact with potential partners. My advice is: listen to your inner voice. You know best. Do not let yourself be coerced, cajoled, and pushed into dating prematurely. You will know when you are ready.
2. What can divorcees do to “ready” themselves for dating again?
A. The most important thing is to learn to develop trust despite the recent harrowing experience of divorce and its often ugly aftermath.
You have to know WHO to trust, you have to learn HOW to trust and you have to know HOW to CONFIRM the existence of mutual, functional trust.
People often disappoint and are not worthy of trust. Some people act arbitrarily, treacherously and viciously, or, worse, offhandedly. You have to select the targets of your trust carefully. He who has the most common interests with you, who is invested in you for the long haul, who is incapable of breaching trust (“a good person”), who doesn’t have much to gain from betraying you – is not likely to mislead you. These people you can trust.
You should not trust indiscriminately. No one is completely trustworthy in all fields. Most often our disappointments stem from our inability to separate one area of life from another. A person could be sexually loyal – but utterly dangerous when it comes to money (for instance, a gambler). Or a good, reliable father – but a womaniser.
You can trust someone to carry out some types of activities – but not others, because they are more complicated, more boring, or do not conform to his values. We should not trust with reservations – this is the kind of “trust” that is common in business and among criminals and its source is rational. Game Theory in mathematics deals with questions of calculated trust. We should trust wholeheartedly but know who to entrust with what. Then we will be rarely disappointed.
As opposed to popular opinion, trust must be put to the test, lest it goes stale and staid. We are all somewhat paranoid. The world around us is so complex, so inexplicable, so overwhelming – that we find refuge in the invention of superior forces. Some forces are benign (God) – some arbitrarily conspiratorial in nature. There must be an explanation, we feel, to all these amazing coincidences, to our existence, to events around us. health and social care