Book Review: Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dating
Dating after Divorce: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dating after Divorce
Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a world-renowned clinical psychologist, sex therapist and TV personality, put together a book called “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dating,” published by Alpha Books. The book gives tips to anyone who is trying to establish some good habits while dating. Wevorce.com interviewed Dr. Kuriansky in an effort to learn more.
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: I had been on the radio for many years answering so many thousands of questions from people about how to find the mister/miss right. This was way before many other books had come out. So it seemed like the natural to put them on paper “ a lot of the advice I had been giving. Many of the questions people had had “ not only answer them but show people they would not be the only one.
The other reason “ it seemed extremely important to give people very concrete and easy to understand guidance about the entire dating issues. Many books who covered dating only covered one aspect. So the complete idiots guide seemed perfect because the chapters covered absolutely evertying, from attraction to the first date, second date etc”¦ how to keep it going and how to get over it. It was an opportunity to put it all into one place.
Q: How can a dating guide help someone coming out of a divorce newly single?
A: That actually is, one of the major aspects of the idiot’s guide to dating. There is a chapter specifically about getting back into the game. All of the advice really applies and is highly relevant, with only a few extra additions. It really deals with life issues and meeting people, things such as children and complicated careers that add to some of the challenges. But the basic point and the basic steps are similar.
Q: What tips would you offer a divorcee about to begin dating again?
A: I would say “ a few things. Number one is to face your fears about getting back into dating and overcome them. Number two would be to recognize the disappointments and ghosts of the past that you have had from the prior relationship(s). Remind yourself that they don’t have to be repeated. Third would be to be prepared for some of the emotional challenges that will occur. Including, lack of confidence and disappointments and notice them when they arise “ say to yourself, this is just my fear, or I have a lack of confidence. Instead, do an action that will put you back into meeting people and feeling better about yourself. Number 4 would be to tell yourself about your friends about some of your hesitations so they can help you, along with that “ getting support from friends “ ask them to help you meet people. Number 5 would be to be practical about how some of the issues you may face will effect your new dating. Particularly, for example, if you live in an area where there are not as many singles and you may have to decide to check the internet because you’re surrounded by married couple. Along with that is to make arrangements with your children. Don’t use them as an excuse. Make arrangements to take care of them. If you have kids who are older, teenagers “ be aware of how your divorce and dating may affect them. They may not be too happy about it “ but recognize that you have to live your life.
Q: What are some unique challenges in the dating world for divorcees?
A:The unique challenges would be, the fears that there aren’t any people out there for you. The comparisons you might make to people who are not divorced “ thinking that they are more eligible than you are. The complications that you have that are from your own history and memories and your fears. The responsibilities that you might have because of having an ex compared to single people. Some of the financial constraints “ which is a big one because of children or even how much money you have or don’t have due to the arrangements of the divorce.After the collapse of a marriage, it may be hard to become social again.
Q: What advice can you offer for a new single to shed their shyness?
A: Shyness comes from an inside fear of really being who you are. My advice about that is to appreciate who you are and treat yourself, speak to yourself in a positive way about all of the good qualities that you have. You should also practice to be more outgoing, either to the mirror in the morning as if it were a strange, or by having a reserve of confident things that you might say in a conversation, so you’re prepared such as something that has interested you in the news or a hobby you have. A fourth thing would be to practice with a friend the kinds of conversations that you might have with a new person you may meet so you’re really exercising your dating skills, just like you might do physical exercise. The fifth thing might be, if you see someone who you’re interested in may be to admit that you’re shy, that alone may be helpful. It’s called self-disclosure. The last thing is usually that you have something in your mind that you would like to say “ if you were not shy. Realize that. Say to yourself, I would like to say”¦” and then take a deep breath and say it anyway.
Q: Why is it important to be able to identify personality types when dating?
A: Because, you want to protect yourself from falling into a relationship that would be painful for you and not right for you or a relationship where you may be blindsided by someone’s actions or statements. It also prevents you from blaming yourself, by recognizing that it may be someone else’s personality or problems that have prevented them from getting close to you. For example “ a Narcissistic person is only interested in him/her self. So if you feel like you’re not getting enough attention “ it’s absolutely the truth. It has nothing to do with you. A withdrawn person would be frightened to become close “ so if you notice them not calling or breaking dates — it’s not because they don’t like you “ it’s because they have their own fear of intimacy.
Q: What are some dating dilemmas and how should they be handled?
A: It’s hard to build a new relationship, especially after a divorce.
Q: How can a divorcee shake off commitment phobias and cold feet”?
A: Cold feet comes usually from a serious commitment and fear of closeness and the fear of repetition of the past. Particularly when people are divorced, they are haunted by the pains and hurts and the mistakes that they feel happened in the last relationship. So getting back in the saddle after a divorce really means resolving that what happened in the past doesn’t have to repeat itself. It also means learning from what went wrong in the last marriage and pointing out what, perhaps your ex’s responsibilities and acknowledging your own contribution to it not working out. Then thinking to yourself about how you can not repeat those patterns and start fresh. One way to think of this is really to review the story of your past marriage as if it were a movie and then reprogram that and start fresh.
Q: Why is it important for singles to clarify their expectations with sex?
A: Sex is a very important part of intimacy and commitment and it should be. So one point that is important for divorcees is that if sex was a problem in the past relationship you need to really reinforce yourself that you can have a good sexual relationship now. The second one is to decide very realistically when sex is appropriate in your next dating experiences. Sex should be kept very special and the desire for closeness. Going into sex too early should be avoided so as to not confuse the relationship or to use sex as a method of feeling better about yourself and getting into a relationship that may be wrong for you. So my advice would be to be very cautious when you begin having sex with any new partners. Be very clear with that person about being very respectful with you and knowing what your needs are.
Q: Why is it important and what are the benefits of taking a break or some down-time” from dating?
A: The importance of that is to really be able to sort out your emotions and your lifestyle and your goals and what you want from your future. I am certainly not against people dating, even soon after their divorced, for company and for enjoyment and for having a revived sense of self-esteem. I suggest about making a major commitment because it is true that those can be rebound relationships and you might not have totally resolved your past and decided what you want in the future.
Q: What advice can you give about flirting to a newly single divorcee?
A: I’d say go for it! Flirting is a wonderful way to feel good about yourself and that’s exactly what you want to do. The only caution would be to not give the wrong signals to the other person about your intentions and if you want to take things to a serious stage. Flirting includes things like flattery, interest, being interesting, talking in an enthusiastic way. All of these give you positive feelings about yourself and reassure you that your life can go on and that you can find love again.The chance of rejection is present in any relationship.
Q: What are some methods of handling rejection and recovering?
A: One is, to recognize in life there are going to be people who may not fit or match with you from their point of view. That’s being realistic. Number two is to realize that people have their own reasons for not continuing a relationship with you and not to take it personally. To resist saying I’m not good enough.” Or I’m not loveable.” Certainly to resist the generalization that this will never work out and there is nobody for me.” The fourth point is to see rejection in personal relationships as they are in business and sales. In sales people have to realize that there are more No’s than Yes’s and that every no is a possibility to lead to the next yes. Just move on and be happy to get a No and move on to the next possibility without dwelling or getting yourself in a downward spiral. Another point would be to see a possible ending of a relationship as a positive thing. Welcome it. Welcome that ending as an opportunity to find something better for you. Respect your feelings, any rejection will bring along some sadness and anger, just such as in a divorce, any feelings like that will retrigger feelings of your past failures in marriage or in relationships and you should notice those and not let them get out of control. Another point would be to see if there are any patterns between the past marriage and these new relationships. If they’re patterns you don’t like “ try to stop repeating them and focus on the good things. The other thing is that some failed relationships after a divorce might be a signal that there is Unfinished business” from the failed marriage so that you are picking someone who is similar to your ex as a way to finish something that is unresolved from the marriage.
Q: Self-esteem and confidence are critical in dating. What are some ways to build yourself up and gain a positive self-image?
A: One is to use the mirror exercise”. Every time you look in the mirror make it a point to see the positive things about yourself. Avoid the negative aspects and focus on your positive features. Another method is to create the experience of the inner smile and allow that to become an outer smile. An inner smile is having that feeling that feeling of glow” and allowing that to reflect through you. Another method is having positive feelings about yourself. Another one would be to stop comparing yourself to other people either about their looks or finances. You could also have friends remind you about your positive qualities. Building your confidence also means forgiving yourself for anything you might have done, especially with anything that didn’t work out in your past relationship. Another would be to do something that makes you feel good every day, whatever that might be. Maybe giving yourself a gift or present like someone else would. Another way might be to take yourself out on a date, instead of waiting for someone else, may just dress up and take yourself out. Wear your best clothes and feel good about yourself. You could also do something healthy for your body, whether that means eating well or exercising; it will help you develop body confidence. Another method of developing confidence could be giving yourself affirmations about the things you ARE and not the things you ARE NOT.The last thing I would say would be to appreciate your individuality and the fact that nobody else is like you. You are special for who you are.
Q: What five things would you like readers to take away from your book?
A: One would be to be positive and enjoy the dating process, instead of focusing on the outcome of finding that perfect person. Realize that dating can be fun and enjoyable “ it could be stimulating for you. The second is to totally appreciate yourself for who you are. You are special and what you have to say is special. Nobody is like you. You are a gift to someone, don’t focus on the fears of finding someone or the disappointments that someone has rejected you. Realize that you are a gift to anyone who would be lucky enough to have you. The fourth thing would be to recognize a lot of the feelings and fears that you have from your past marriage and to review what happened with your responsibility and contributions and the other person’s responsibility and contributions. Put that in the past and have a clean slate. The fifth thing is to make practical arrangements, you need to recognize those and resolve them. Make arrangements for them and move on “ whether it has to do with your finances or your children, and then move on to the next stage of your life with hopefulness and optimism.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dating can be found at
Amazon.com or at bookstores everywhere.