Ever meet a guy or girl you fell really hard for who didn't turn out to be the Prince or Princess Charming you imagined? No need for eye rolling. It's happened to all of us!
Someone once told me that if I didn't want to be disappointed in a man, I should lower my expectations. What?! No way! I hate that suggestion!
Here's my advice. If you don't want to be disappointed, TALK to your guy (or girl.) Telling someone what you want and need instead of saying nothing and feeling disappointed -- or perhaps sad, angry, bitter or resentful -- is really smart and honest, and lots of times you end up being shocked that the person really had no clue.
So, I know it's a bit unfair, but since I'm a woman, I came up with some things that I think women want when it comes to dating after divorce.
1. No matter how long we've been in the relationship, we want to be asked out on dates. Everything from a romantic dinner to a casual stay at home movie night! Ask us ahead of time and be specific!
2. Foreplay. We want to be romanced and kissed and we want to know you love us before we sleep with you. Make us feel beautiful and adored. Turn on the charm!
3. We want you to hold our hand in public. Not all the time, just sometimes. In other words, we want to be touched (not just in bed.) Scratch our back, put your arm around us. Show affection from time to time.
4. We want you to notice our new sandals or handbag, or our haircut or pedicure, or our smile. We want you to tell us we look nice when we make the effort.
5. We want you to be interested in our careers. Ask about our job. Tell us you are proud when we get recognition or do something commendable.
6. Cry in front of us if you need to. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable in our arms. We want to be there for you during the times you really, really, really need us. We know it's hard for you, but we want you to trust us. A good person doesn't run from a man who cries, she wipes his tears and listens.
7. We love when you cook us dinner. I don't care if it's spaghetti and jar sauce. The thought counts.
8. Listen to us. Listen to our stupid stories and topics that you don't particularly care that much about. Listen to things that are important to us and remember things.
9. Be honest with us. If you want a night out with your friends, just say it. (Any woman who gets upset by that needs to get a clue.) If something is bothering you about us, just say it. Don't hold it in and then harbor resentment; just tell us so we can say sorry if we owe you an apology and so we won't do it again if it was hurtful.
10. Laugh. Be funny. Be silly. Lighten the mood when things get entirely too serious. Girls love funny guys!
11. Love us. Just love us. We are divorced women who are fragile. We have baggage. We are vulnerable and we are insecure sometimes. Make us feel loved. Reassure us that you care for us and that you are committed. Love us physically and emotionally.
Girls, I'm not saying that if you ask for these things your guy will do them and that you will live happily ever after, but you have less of a chance of being disappointed because you've communicated what you want. Now you know the guy is aware of it. What he decides to do is then up to him. That is something you don't have control over.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of her new divorce novel with the same name, as well as her other divorce novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. Oh, and she's divorced!