Divorced Woman Stigma???

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Divorced Woman Stigma???
11
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 11:34am

Hello,

First time poster here! I went through the big D last year, and I have been attempting to get back into the dating pool.  My ex and I have an amicable relationship and co-parent our one child together.  It just wasn't ever right between us and we married because I was pregnant.  Anyway, last year I started a new job and met a man who I had an immediate connection with. We never even kissed, but we had an intense emotional thing with long discussions of our feelings for each other.  In the end, he wasn't willing to go "there" because of the complications of my life at the time, which made sense because I was still finalizing everything with my ex.  

Throughout this process I started going to a local bar to hang with the girls. At first I had no interest in men, and made a point of telling everyone (including the barender) that I was unavailable and would not say yes to even a dance. Eventually I loosened up, and the bartender and I connected a little (essentially he liked it when I came because men spent lots of money buying drinks for me). After my previous "not" relationship ended, I went to this bar with a friend and commiserated with her and the bartenders. This was a couple of months ago.  Since then, the bartender and I have been super flirtatious. Lots of touching and hugging and free drinks (even when no one is buying anything for me). Anyway, he is also D, so he understands that complication. 

Last week I attempted to move it forward by staying past closing and attempting to kiss him when he walked me to my car. He backed away and said I "read too much" into things and that I was still in a vulnerable spot from my breakup and I had done a 180 and he didn't know why I was suddenly interested??  And that he was just trying to close things up and go home. There had been a bad altercation with a drunk guy previous to this, so I don't know if that was the cause of his change in character, or if he actually was never really interested.

It feels weird because for the second time in a few months I have had the weird situation of a man not wanting to be physical with me.  I'm not overly interested in a serious relationship. I can't really figure out why I keep getting rejected. I'm very attractive, fit and educated.  I don't have any problem with some random man wanting to take me home. But two men who seemed very interested in me have backed out when it came down to a simple kiss. I thought men were always interested in sex?

Is it because I'm divorced? Do they think I'm looking for a husband and daddy to my kid? Am I really that desperate? Am I reading everything wrong?  What is going on? 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 12:08pm

I think the bartender probably rejected your advances because you are a frequent customer and he didn't want things to get awkward.  He doesn't know what you want--suppose he took you home to have sex, didn't want a relationship and then things got bad.  Would you be angry at him?  Would you stop coming in?  Would you & your GFs start going to another place?  Better for him not to get involved.  And you also have to consider that it's part of his job to be friendly to customers to keep them coming back.  Maybe he does like you more than the other women.  But you have to be realistic.  Last night I went to a dance that I go to every month, so I have talked to the DJ a few times, nothing serious, but he's cute & I have danced with him.  So last night was a special night and they had performers there and we didn't dance.  When I was leaving, he came over to hug me and said "I owe you a dance and a kiss"--he only hugged me, he didn't kiss me even on the cheek so I don't even know what he meant by that.  But do I suddenly think that he likes me and we're going to date?  No, my first reaction is that I'm a customer and he has to be nice and charming to all the women to keep us coming back.  I think if the bartender liked you, he would actually ask you on a date.

Is it because I'm divorced? Do they think I'm looking for a husband and daddy to my kid? Am I really that desperate? Am I reading everything wrong?  What is going on? 

I don't think there is a stigma to being divorced--there are plenty of divorced men and the divored women I know haven't had any problems getting dates.  It depends on what kind of vibe you give off.  Do you seem desperate?  I think that making advances on guys who haven't even asked you for a date is kind of desperate.  I know it sounds old fashioned but men still like to make the first move.  I don't say that you should do nothing.  Flirting, asking a guy to go out, etc. should be acceptable, but what exactly do you want?  Do you want a relationship or  just sex?  If you make physical advances toward a guy you aren't even dating, that gives the guy the idea that you are just interested in sex?  Is this the message you are trying to send?  And all men aren't interested in just having sex with any random woman--that is a stereotype.  Decent men do not take advantage of women.  My ex used to say that even though he really liked sex, he would never have sex with a woman who was intoxicated or someone who seemed too vulnerable.  And he also has his own taste of women he is attracted to as does every man.  

Also if the bartender has been a party to your conversations with your GFs maybe you talked about your ex or the guy at work and he just thinks you are too vulnerable and not ready for a relationship.  Normally when you haven't started to date a guy yet, he doesn't know everything about you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 1:06pm

A lot of people have a personal rule about not getting involved with someone at work because it could be awkward or worse if it doesn't work out. That might be why your co-worker backed off. You don't work at the bar but the bartender does, and a lot of bartenders are flirtatious as part of their job (to make it more fun for customers) without it meaning they want to take it further. Think of it as a game, then decide if you want to play, but don't expect it to really mean anything.

You might be giving off a vibe of being wounded or desperate if you are talking to your girlfriends about your relationship problems (or lack of relationship) in front of men. Maybe confine those conversations to more private places. If you meet men at an activity that you both like (a Meetup hike, singles dance, etc) you can get to know each other based on things other than the history of your broken relationships.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 2:03pm

thanks for the replies. I appreciate the advice. first of all, i have not talked about my relationships to or in front ofhim. All i said was "i broke up with someone today. I need a drink." he asked for details but i didnt give them.He is always asking questions and remembering every detail of what ive said before. i have avoided anything other than facts. and when i say he flirts, im talking full on grping. hands under shirts. boob grabs. etc. if i wasnt interested  i would be disgusted. he is the only person i have let that sort of handsyness fly with. My friends notice his special attention and cant believe we havent sealed the deal. even patrons refer to me as "his girl". and the first guy and i went on many dates. we cuddled and held hands. so it didnt seem tgat far off base to kiss. his reason for not wasthat he wanted a relayionship, mit a hookup and i couldnt guarentee a future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 5:24pm

Maybe I'm really old here or just old fashioned but I don't consider grabbing your breasts "flirting" I consider it sexual harrassment.  Why would you allow a man to do that when you aren't dating him?  I'm not really a prude--I've been in relationships where we ended up having sex on the 3rd date, but the point is that we were actually dating.  Do you think that this is the way to get a guy to like you?  I think you should look for someone more like the first guy who at least respected you enough not to have sex with you if you couldn't provide a relationship, which is what he was looking for.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 7:15pm

If the first guy broke up because he wanted a commited relationship and you didn't, then there was no "divorcee stigma" there. As for the bartender, that doesn't sound like he has a problem with you being divorced either. That's weird that he would say that you misunderstood his intentions after he had been fondling you--its reasonable to think that his intentions were to get more physical. Maybe he needs to be the one in control or he's just a tease.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2014
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 9:14pm

Thanks again for the replies. I really am not currently looking for a "relationship". I just want casual and yes, sex. I m not old-fashioned, and that is exactly what I go to bars looking for.  Unfortunately, I also am super picky and find myself repulsed by most of the men I meet.  It is rare for one to actually come off as attractive to me, and it isn't always someone who is the obvious choice. So why would I let him fondle? Because that is how these things start. I don't want a date. I don't want to be wined and dined. I don't want anyone asking to meet my kid or trying to work his way into my weekend. I do however have the desire for physical intimacy.  So the two men I have actually had interest in have turned me down. It is not something I really understand because I've never experienced that. Usually they go for it. 

So, that is why I asked. Both men have commented on my "bad place", and I don't understand why they would think this. Yes, I did get divorced last year, but I'm emotionally fine. I wasn't heartbroken over anything more than splitting up my child's family, and now that we have adjusted to a new routine, I feel like I can have the freedom to have a little fun on the side.

I don't get wasted. A little tipsy yes, but never wasted. So I know he knows I am not drunk. Also, if he just thinks of me as a customer, why does he never make me pay? I seriously never pay for anything when I am there. If someone isn't buying me a drink, the bartender is giving me one on the house. And I don't drink cheap beer either. I only order top shelf liquor. So...yes, here I go overthinking it, but only because it seemed so simple beforehand, before he said I read everything wrong. 

Anyway, I guess this is my first time back in the saddle with dating, so it feels weird to have two people accuse me of not knowing what I want. I just didn't know if women in general are vulnerable after  divorce, or if it is me specifically that they are picking up a vibe on. 

Am I just attaching myself to men with the world's largest dose of self-control?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 03-16-2014 - 11:31pm

There's no stigma to being divorced, but there might be if you seem too desperate, and from what you've said, you seem desperate.  After a divorce, a woman can feel bad, feel like she failed, and she needs to prove to herself that she's desireable......and she gets carried away with her behavior.  That's one thing.  Another thing.......bartenders are paid to be nice to women, as you said, they bring in business, and the same goes for DJs, waiters, etc.  I've been there and done what you're doing, BUT, one of my best friends was a bartender in a very nice hotel, and he happens to also be gay.  He's told me how women in bars mistake his friendliness for more than it is, and then get all bent out of shape when he tells them he's not interested.  You need to "curb your enthusiasm" and not expect men to fall all over you just because they say things like "you owe me a hug and a kiss".  That meant nothing more than "be nice to the women, they bring in business".  Most younger women, even with children, do remarry, if that's what they want.  They don't look for men in bars usually.......at least not any kind of real relationships.  You need to go to places that men go to...NOT bars.  Like Community Colleges, like special interest clubs, like gyms, where you can meet men, and develop relationships.  And it's not going to happen overnight.  You're a single woman now, enjoy your freedom, do things on your bucket list, and eventually, you'll meet men with like interests, that won't care if you're divorced.  Stay away from men that you work with.  When it doesn't work out, you still have to see them......and it's awkward.  I think your problem isn't that you're divorced, it's that you're too eager! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Mon, 03-17-2014 - 1:03am

Maybe you need to be blunt and tell the bartender that you just want a hook-up or FWB. Maybe he assumes that you want another relationship. Or maybe he's afraid that if he gets involved with you that you will end up getting emotionally attached and then it will be messy to break it off.

Are you going to pick-up/meat market types of bars? If you are looking for a one night stand then that might be the type of place to look. Or try online dating. If you read the Singles boards here there are plenty of stories about lots of men on OLD just want a booty call. You would have to spend some time on meeting them for coffee or a drink, to make sure that they fit your tastes, but once that is established they might be good for hook-ups at your convenience.

Probably you should ask your girl friends that you go out with, why these men would say that you are vulnerable or in a bad place. The girls see you "in action" at the bar and should be able to tell how you're coming off to other people.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Mon, 03-17-2014 - 8:50am

"He's just not into you."  So, you can ponder all day long about why he doesn't want the hook up, but, unless he is truly willling to telll you why not, all of our opinions may be wrong.  You can't make assumptions.  Perhaps he is already seeing someone, and he just likes to flirt.  Or perhaps he doesn't want to get involved with someone who lets other men grab their boobs at bars.  He doesn't know you well enough to know whether or not you frequent other bars and flirt with other men.  Each man is an individual.  But, in general, men like to flirt, but they want "someone they can take home to mom" to seriously date.  Some men don't want just a hook-up.

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Fri, 03-21-2014 - 12:12am

  I can give another reason.  You are in a different place the the men you are meeting.  You have compartementilized what you want.  That can be confusing to men who have not experienced it.  People who are working are not good prey.  If the men who frequent that bar are not your type then a different hunting ground is needed. 

   In other words you are hunting tigers in in housecat bars.  Go to where the alphas roam.tiger

chaika

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