Life After Divorce . . . We Are Not in High School Anymore

By Lindy Earl

Remember those days, maybe in high school, maybe even Junior High, when notes were passed about crushes and who liked whom?  It was a giggly and fun time, for girls anyway.  I can’t speak for teenage boys, but I’m guessing it was the same excitement.  You thought about your crush instead of concentrating on homework, and fell asleep thinking about them.  What a lovely, simple time that was!

Now we’re adults. Some of us with one, or more, marriages behind us. So, it’s not like that anymore.  Or is it?

At the moment, I know a girl who is crazy about a guy.  Sadly, he isn’t interested in her, but has expressed his love for another woman.  Sadly, that woman is not interested in him, but is crazy about another gentleman, who is not interested in her.  Another guy, however, is interested in this woman but she’s not interested in him.

Now, please refer to the name of this column: We are not in high school anymore.  Doesn’t this sound like teenage years?  I’m so done with this.  I don’t need the drama!

So, how do we stop this silliness?

Of course I’m going to start with communication.  The first gentleman in this scenario needs to gently but firmly tell the woman who is crazy about him that he does not, and will not, return her affection.  It’s that simple.  He doesn’t see her as a match.

The second step is just as important.  She needs to listen and accept the truth of his statement.  In fact, since I know all the players, I can tell you that he has told her.  Now, I can’t tell you how firm he was.  I know he is a gentle man, so maybe he was too gentle.

Holding out hope can only hurt her!  I felt sorry for her for a long time, as I saw how she looked at him.  However, knowing she’s been told the truth, and she knows he is dating other women, I lost some of my sympathy.  At this point, she’s hurting herself.

As for the girl who he likes – is she not returning his affection because she’s holding out hope for the guy she likes? Then shame on her.  First, if she’s made her feelings clear to the guy, and he remains uninterested, then she’s in the same boat as the first girl.  If, however, she never made her interest clear, then shame on her!

Love is not supposed to be a game, but that’s exactly what it becomes when you hear stories like this.  I am convinced that this is only one small example of similar stories.  It’s possible that the guy who likes the second girl has someone chasing him.  The first girl could be dreamed about every night by some silent admirer.

Let’s stop this high school nonsense of “Somebody likes you.  Do you like him back?”  Today’s notes are being replaced by social media or text messages.

Just put yourself out there!  Grow up and admit your interest.  You will make somebody’s day because being liked is a huge compliment.  Being a girl, I have been asked out more than I have asked guys out, but I have done both. I’ve only asked a guy out when I knew that I would receive a positive response, but I’m sure that isn’t always how it happens.

When asked, since we are not in high school, we cannot giggle and tell our friends what happened.  As adults, we thank them for their kindness and interest and gently share our regrets at not accepting their invitation.  A reason is not necessary but might be appreciated.  For instance, if you’re simply out of town, then you can say so. If, however, you’re out of town but wouldn’t go out with them anyway, then don’t make it sound like that’s the reason for your answer, or you’ll find yourself being asked out again, and they’ll be rejected again.  Not cool!

When you are interested in someone, then suggest meeting for a cup of coffee.  If they don’t return your interest, you have still done the right thing by declaring yourself.  It was a mature decision.  You can sleep better, maybe after a night of kicking yourself or crying. Now you can move on.

We are adults, albeit a little (or a lot) battered and bruised.  Let’s act like adults, not like teenagers.

That’s Life After Divorce.

                Lindy is a Speaker, Columnist, Author, and Consultant.  Contact her at or ask a question for her Ask Lindy column at Please look for her Face Book support group, Single Again . . . From Devastation to Dating.