We were so honored to sit with Lindsey and discuss her questions about dating after divorce. Lindsey is in her 40’s, has been divorced three years, and is the mother of two young kids (5 and 7). She shared with Dr. John and me that she feels like she sometimes feels like she compromises her boundaries in new relationships and tends to lead with her heart in relationships.
There were a few takeaways from this episode with Lindsey:
1. Trust is one of the most common ways people over accelerate a relationship
Dr. John and I define trust as a belief you have in someone based on what you think about what you know. When we get to know someone, we develop a mental picture of them in our mind that is based on our experience with them and also from different “databases” we have like: ideals, stereotypes, and associations. When we’re getting to know someone new we use a little factual knowledge based on experience and the rest of the picture is sketched from filling in the gaps from our databases.
This can easily lead to projecting a positive belief on someone we barely know and then feeling a strong sense of trust when it’s actually rather undeveloped.
2. An over-acceleration of trust can be a slippery slope
When we develop an over-accelerated trust picture we tend to interpret other people through that picture. If our picture is positive, we tend to give more chances, give the benefit of the doubt, and fill in “unknowns” with positive possibilities.
This is why boundaries around trust early on in a relationship is so important and powerful.
3. Knowing takes talk, time, and togetherness
Dr. John and I gave Lindsey a formula from Head Meets Heart for how to get to know someone. The formula is talk + time + togetherness. We discussed how one of these alone cannot make up for the other. And that concentrated amounts of time talking cannot make up for experiencing things together and observing the potential partner “in the wild”.
4. Create a dating game-plan before starting a new relationship
When you’re in the throes of a new relationship and feeling all the things it can be challenging to develop a plan for boundaries, deal breakers, and compromises. Dr. John and I encouraged Lindsey to develop her plan before entering a new relationship. Here are some of the suggestions we gave her:
- Gather new information. Like reading Dr. John’s book, How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk.
- Write down all the red flags you want to pay attention to in the next relationship. What are some you’ve missed before?
- Decide your boundaries around the sexual relationship before you’re in the heat of the moment.
- Decide your boundaries around trusting. Hint: listen to learn about the 90 day probation period.
- Write down your deal breakers and when you will actually enforce them.
- Learn to cut relationships off quicker if they are not as committed to finding love as you are. What is your cut-off? And standards?
All of this and more was discussed in the first ever episode of the Love Thinks Podcast. We hope you listen, subscribe, and review the podcast. If you want to apply to be a guest on the podcast, we’d love to hear from you.