How to Discuss Divorce and Exes when Dating
Stories about how awful your ex-partners are will eventually bore even your loved ones, just trust me. So what exactly should you say to your new crush? Let’s discuss how actually to talk to your new match about your divorce and why it is important.
The sooner the better
There's one thing all modern psychologists agree on: the sooner you talk about your family status, the better. According to Kelly Campbell, a UCLA psychology professor, the sooner people start talking about their divorce, the sooner they'll find things in common and the more likely they are to have a strong relationship. It all makes sense. A breakup raises many questions; it's an opportunity to talk about the relationship in general: what's important to you and what can trigger you.
There will probably be more than one conversation
A topic like that won't just take one conversation. Any relationship will raise the question, "How did it go in your previous relationship?" It's okay; just be patient. Do not blow up, and do not blame your partner for not allowing you to forget the past. As we've mentioned, you'll find common ground faster if you're both in the process of figuring out what you're comfortable with and what you're not.
Prepare for the conversation
Preparing a few responses to common questions will be useful. Practice in private with yourself or with a psychologist so that you can speak without being emotional, which is always good for a productive dialogue. Do not drill down too deeply or overexplain — you have every right to your own opinion.
On the subject
- People spend 60% of their time talking about themselves, according to recent studies.
- We frequently fail to fully finish a conversation on time because we overestimate the amount of time the other person would like to spend with us.
- University of Michigan researchers discovered that people who talk to themselves better cope with stress.
- Small talk is not pointless; it's proven to bring people closer together and strengthens friendships.
Control your desire to discuss negativity
We feel alone after a breakup and crave love and understanding. Just don't take your pain and resentment out on your match without first making sure he can handle it. The person who has just entered your life would wanna help you, but it is your responsibility to help yourself. There's no reason to go around telling horror stories and pouring out your emotions to others. Even if he genuinely likes you, he isn't a fairy godmother who can transform your misery into a beautiful friendship between ex-lovers like Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt.
Don't use past patterns
It takes time to learn the new rules of the game after leaving a long-term relationship. Some of the old tricks and habits will no longer work. If in a relationship with your ex you were allowed to complain about any issue, the new partner might be turned off. Examine his/her reactions to important to you topics to learn how to behave on a date after a divorce.