If I can help my ex be happy, then that's better for our kids.
Photo by Thought Catalog.
I know it might sound strange that I give my ex-husband dating advice. Many exes can't stand the sight of each other, especially after they've divorced. A couple ends their marriage. Why should they continue to speak? If that's the norm, consider the idea of giving your ex-spouse dating advice.
That sounds, well, bizarre. And yet, this is exactly what I do.
My ex and I have not only remained friends post-divorce but we've stayed so close that we even discuss the new people we're dating.
This means I sometimes give him dating advice. Hear me out on this one. I have an ulterior motive.
Why I help my ex with dating.
I know it sounds weird that I'm the one who's helping my ex-husband. I'm the woman he used to be married to. Let me explain my ulterior motive.
I have several reasons for coming to my ex-husband's aid with his dating life. I believe he'll be happier when he's finally in a stable relationship again. If he's happy, then that's best for our kids.
Photo by Alex Green.
When we first split up, my ex was going through a rough patch. This is expected, but his depression was so intense that I didn't trust him to be safe with our children. Not only was I worried about our sons, but this meant more work for me as I had to assume the full-time duty of caring for them.
Of course, as a human being, I want my ex-husband to be happy. But the fact is, as co-parents with joint custody, we both need to be able to pitch in with the childcare. My ex can't help in the way he needs to if he's depressed all the time.
I believe that finding a new girlfriend will help with his depression. Our relationship didn't work out. That doesn't mean I don't want him to be happy with someone new.
I help him with his dating profile.
I recently helped my ex do a make-over of his dating profile. First, we started with his photos. For a while, he was using photos from ten years earlier. Women would complain when a much older man showed up on the date.
I can empathize with them as this happened to me on one of my dates. I arrived at the meeting place and an old man was waiting for me. Huh? That's when I realized this was the man I'd thought was young as I chatted with him online.
Photo by Lisa Fotios.
My ex did this to women, too. They kept showing their disappointment when he showed up at their date, a much older man.
Instead, my ex started posting selfies he'd taken of himself. But the lighting was all off. His angles were terrible. His face looked puffy and wrinkled. Worse, his face filled up the entire frame. He had no idea how to take a selfie that might be flattering and attractive to women.
I took him outside my house at the magic hour and snapped some shots of him. The photos I took were much better. I can attest that my ex is now getting a much better response to his profile, thanks to the photos I took of him.
What kind of dating advice I give my ex.
I've been helping my ex-husband quite a lot lately in an attempt to understand the reaction he's getting online from women. I hate to admit but he's a bit in the dark when it comes to females. He gets especially confused when they tell him there just isn't "chemistry."
"What do they mean by that?" he asks me.
My ex has a lot of trouble understanding why some women aren't into him. Okay, so we're not together anymore and you might think I'd be able to tell him what the problem is. We did divorce, after all!
But that's the thing with split-ups in general. Just because I'm not into my ex-partner anymore doesn't mean someone else won't be.
But still, my former husband keeps going out on dates with women who don't want to see him again. Or these women don't even want to meet after a few days of chatting over text.
"They say there's no chemistry," my ex complains. "I don't understand!"
One issue is he's exceedingly logical. "You should be able to create chemistry," he tells me.
Ha! Says a man.
He has an engineering background. He believes you can architect chemistry. But you can't. This is what I have to explain to him. Women are different.
What is chemistry? Chemistry is how people connect on a level that's intangible. It's something you can't put your finger on. Either you have a connection or you don't. There's no way to force it.
You won't click with everyone. That's impossible. Sometimes you have to respect that the spark just isn't there.
This is what I tell my ex. My advice to him is to respect these women's wishes, just go his own way and work on trying to find someone new.
How I tell him to deal with women who are ghosting him.
My ex also doesn't know how to handle it when the woman he's been chatting with for a week or two suddenly drops the ball. She never gets back to him. Or he'll go out with one of these women once and when he texts or calls her the following day, she never returns the phone call.
Photo by Negative Space.
She ghosts him. At least with the women who are honest that there isn't any chemistry, my ex has an answer as to why they'll never see each other again. Even though he doesn't really understand what they mean, at least he has a reason.
In the case of these other women who ghost him, they dump him without telling him why.
Again, I tell him that all he can do is to go on his merry way. If a woman isn't interested, there's nothing he can do about it.
If she was interested, she'd still be contacting him. It's a hard pill to swallow but it's a fact of dating these days.
How I tell him to deal with women who just aren't interested in chatting much.
Yet another issue my ex keeps encountering is women who give him only a tepid response during their texting. When you meet someone new, your job is to flirt and build the momentum so that you two ultimately end up meeting up.
But what about women who text back one-word answers to questions, or who take an entire day to respond to just one text?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio.
"What's up with these women?" my ex asks me. "How do I get these women to like me?"
Again, I explain that this isn't something that can be forced. People like each other or they don't. Women are fickle. Don't I know?
I certainly am.
But yeah, I get that it may seem weird to many that I'm in this position with my ex-husband. I still remember setting eyes on him for the first time. I remember how cute I thought he was. It was love at first sight! To think that I'm now the one helping him take photos so he can try to make another woman feel the same way about him? Yes, it's bizarre.
But after divorcing him, the least I can do is try to help him meet the right woman so he can also be happy.
I've already moved on. I have a great boyfriend. I'm trying to help my ex do the same.
Some people will still think I'm nuts. But remember, the real reason I'm doing this is for our kids.
I hope my advice pays off and my ex-husband can meet a new awesome woman. I need him to be happy for our sons.