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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question
Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1206
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I recently started talking to a recently divorced woman. We

Customer Question

I recently started talking to a recently divorced woman. We went out with mutual friends on a non date atmosphere and then decided to do something alone. All was good until two days before and she canceled. Does that mean I should give up on her, or should I give her another chance?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 4 years ago.

jenhelant :

Hi, I would continue as things were. Something could have came up and it does not mean anything has changed between the two of you. I don't think you should give up on her. I think you should surely give her another chance. Continue as normal and see where things go from there rather than making a hasty decision based on her canceling. No relationship is perfect and the fact that she did cancel rather than not show up is good. I would not worry at this point. I wish you well and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Customer : The reason for her cancelation was she has to do someones nails as a second job. I know she is looking to buy a house, so maybe she really needs the money and was afraid that she would feel uncomfortable not being able to pay for herself, (which I wouldnt let her). I know she is a prideful woman. Whay do yo think, a legit cancelation?
Customer : What do yoj feel about my explanation of her cancelation?
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 4 years ago.

I'd like to add a note of caution to Jen's advice. If she's been divorced for less than a year or if you have reason to believe you'll be the first guy she goes out with after her marriage, then you could easily turn out to be her Healing Relationship, to help her heal from the wounds she has from her marriage. It appears from your screen name that you're a divorced dad--so if she's also your first potential partner after YOUR divorce then you'll be unconsciously healing each other.


One feature that the recently divorced look for (unconsciously usually) is a date who's more eager to be with them than they are vice-versa. That is, if she's perhaps only 6m out of her marriage and the marriage was at least 4 years long, then she'll want you to have stronger feelings for her than she does for you, even if she hasn't even gotten around to comparing her feelings with yours yet. The reason for that is that she doesn't want any more pain from a breakup, so, as Buddy Holly sang so eloquently: "When Cupid shot his dart, he hit you in the heart; so if we ever part, then I'LL leave you."


If you're a lot more recovered from your marriage than she is from hers, esp if you'd be her very first new dating partner, then she might REALLY like you right away (if your natural way of being naturally soothes significant hurts she has from her marriage), but she's likely to discover in 6m or less that she wasn't really aware of the totality of your personality (because she was SO rhapsodic about the ways you were SO good for her), and in fact wasn't really ready for a new permanent commitment yet.


There's a zig-zag scenario that may happen between two people who have both had previous "full-catastophe" love relationships: The one who's more ready to repartner LOVES and PURSUES more, and the less ready partner STICKS UP FOR HERSELF and DISTANCES (ie backs off) more.


If the pattern doesn't fit your situation, or if you're not afraid of getting hurt when you reach out for the woman (you initially) really want--then live, love and learn from whatever happens. If you're skittish after one very minor cancellation, then perhaps you were the one dumped in your own marriage and you don't want THAT to happen again. Whether or not--you could still text & ask her to set the day for your next date herself, so she can't distance THIS time if she does want to deepen your acquaintance.


It's very early now, and plenty of new relationships die in the first 2wks to 2months. But since you're very cautious, you could explore my advice above.