If you haven’t seen any of the MAD TV clips with “Lowered Expectations,” I highly recommend you search for some on YouTube and have Kleenex available, because some of them will make you cry with laughter! Of course, truly good humor takes a source of pain and just pokes fun at it. That is the genius behind good comedy, and I am begging you to keep this in mind when you start dating again.
Dating is the one thing my clients will struggle with the most in their post-divorce lives, and that is precisely why I blog about it so much. Most of us are able to quickly resume our focus on work, especially because we are now the sole providers for our households. With this added pressure, I’ve actually seen many of my clients soar professionally while at the same time they are able to find a way to rebuild their new home life and figure out the whole co-parenting thing. The majority can actually manage all these things rather quickly, often before the final seal of approval is received from the court on the divorce documents, but dating, well that is a whole other story…
Some of my clients completely shut themselves off from dating, and I agree that if they are not ready, they should not try to tackle this beast right away. Others, however, launch right into it, often without taking any time to even process what they’ve just been through, and I’m not so sure that is the best approach. I’m all for being open to the possibilities that life offers you and testing the waters– gradually. If you have been out of the game for a while, let’s face it, you will not be able to start juggling 5 people at a time– this is an acquired skill, and the Masters have it down to a science. If you aspire to gain this skill set, then find yourself a master– fast!
Fortunately, when I got divorced eight years ago, I still had a lot of single friends. They taught me well, and now the demographics have certainly changed a lot over the years, such that most of my peers are now married with kids, but I’ve managed to retain a few in the singles scene to keep me entertained. Hands down the one thing they will all say is that you have to go in with lowered expectations for first dates– you will have to sort through a lot of crap to find a decent one worth upgrading to flavor of the month status. Even then, there is a reason Baskin Robbins has so many flavors– we don’t all like the same things. I say you should try as many flavors as you want– how else will you be able to make an informed decision?
The fact is dating is great material for funny stories, and your friends will love you for the laughter you bring into their lives– especially those that are now “settled down.” But be careful– while you should lower your expectations of what to expect from a date, when you are thinking of upgrading someone’s status you need to abandon that lowered expectations motto because that is a recipe for DISASTER. The fact is someone is either going to rock your world, or they won’t. They either step up their game and wow you, or you need to keep the the search alive. Whoever said, “if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you are with” is an idiot. If you are fantazing about someone else, or trying to find ways to justify why you should stay with someone, that is just b.s. — especially if you are a passionate person.
Those of us that are driven by passion (you know who you are because people will often point this out about you) are simply not going to be able to settle. If you are the type that is always raising the bar for yourself, how can you possibly be expected to lower the bar for anything– let alone love? It just isn’t going to work. So for a short shelf-life situation that can provide momentary laughs, I say go for it- lower your expectations in the dating scene, but make sure you don’t transfer that into something long-term. If you are going to make a serious commitment to anyone, it has to be with someone that exceeds all expectations. Hold out for that– I believe you deserve all that, and then some. In the meantime, have fun with the MAD tv clips, like this one:
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.