We’re often scared (even if nothing has actually happened yet with a particular person) that we may be letting our last chance or even best chance saloon slip away.
We can take the period of time since the breakup into account but we also need to note whether actions matching words are amounting to somebody who is available for a mutual, consistent, balanced (no pedestals / controlling), progressing relationship that can blossom into increasing intimacy and commitment. It’s very easy to look at a person’s age, background, what they earn, their relationship history, their appearance, their divorce, and whatever else we’re focusing on, and rule them in or out on this basis, but in the end, regardless of any of these things, we still have to assess our own boundaries and do the due diligence. If you typically struggle with the uncertainty that comes with being with somebody who still has their previous relationship to resolve, or you know based on experience that you’ve had your fingers burned by being involved with separated or recently broken up people, don’t go there.In the end, it’s about because a person can have gone through a number of dubious relationship experiences and then gone through a period of personal growth and their current and future behaviour reflects their healthier habits of thinking and behaviour.These will be self-evident – you won’t need to pull out your magnifying glass, start making things up or coming up with rationalisations. I still totally wanted to date her, but I could make jokes about it, talk to my friends about my feelings, and I wasn’t obsessing over it in my head. This story does not end in ‘turns out she was gay and we are in love now” at all. I didn’t tell her for a while that I was into her because I was afraid it would make things weird or uncomfortable or she would think I was an idiot or whatever. Once I finally told her and she was like ‘I’m not gay, tho’ things were a lot easier.Each situation is different but what you can say with a high degree of certainty is that someone who’s just fallen out of their marriage, who’s still in reconciliation negotiations, who’s still very influenced by their spouse, and who has been separated for a long time ‘just because’, is going to bring pain into your life.Same goes for someone who’s not over their divorce and has beliefs that affect their ability to be committed. It was already weird and uncomfortable because I FELT WEIRD AND UNCOMFORTABLE.Also, what happens if she has feelings for you, too? Bottled up love-feelings make you act in ridiculously strange ways, make you feel more and more distant from your friendship, and just turn your brain-head into general, all-around mush. There was one night where I almost did roll over and make out with you.” SHE KNEW ALL ALONG. You don’t have to pull a Dannielle and ask her to date you everyday (tho, you can and it works pretty well if you’re of a similar personality type).It would be handy if we could avoid the vulnerability that comes with doing the due diligence and taking appropriate action where needed.What we forget is that even if a person hasn’t just exited a relationship, aside from knowing our own boundaries (which can rule out certain things that we’ve already made a decision on in advance of), we cannot get all of the answers upfront or have someone tell us what ‘the ending’ will be.