What are the five most common things women rediscover about themselves when they begin to fly solo again after so many years as half of a pair (albeit half of a dysfunctional pair)?
- You can refill the propane tank on your gas grill without blowing up your house and car.
- You look hotter in a pair of Diesel stretch jeans than in your ex-husband's Zeta Psi sweats, size XXL.
- Once you have sex with a guy -- if it's good -- your perspective will fly out the window. He could be Hannibal Lecter, and you'd dreamily tell your friends, "He's a keeper."
- You can enjoy your own company. On a Saturday night, you're content to pour yourself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, order in Mu Shu Chicken, and read any book that's not titled What Men Want.
- Sex can actually be fun.
If you were to chart the trajectory of a woman's sense of self-esteem before, during and after divorce, what would it look like?
It would look like a check mark. During your marriage, your self-esteem is high, but it's very much tied up with being a wife and mother. Without even realizing it, you define yourself as one-half of a couple. When the marriage crashes, your self-esteem plummets: you feel like a loser who couldn't hold on to her man. Every woman you see is wearing a wedding band. She may weigh 350 pounds; she may shuffle behind a walker; she may even have a mustache. Regardless, she has a husband, and you don't.
After you've recovered from the divorce and rebuilt your life, your self-esteem soars, and this time it's based on something you can always count on: yourself. You can take care of yourself. You can be happy with or without a man. You can survive anything. And most important, you're still hot!
What's your best advice for women who are beginning to date again after a 15-20 year hiatus? What are some 'must-dos' and some 'avoid-at-all-costs'?
DO take the time to get to know yourself as a single person -- and build a life that's filled with friends, family, and satisfying interests -- before diving head-first into your next relationship. Otherwise, you'll turn off Mr. Right with your neediness, and you'll fall prey to Mr. Wrong because you're desperate.
On a lighter note, here are a few essential First Date DON'Ts for the new divorcee from our book, Still Hot: The Uncensored Guide to Divorce, Dating, Sex, Spite, and Happily Ever After.
DON'T boast to your date about your legal strategy to snag 80 percent of the marital assets.
DON'T badger him with questions like, "So why did your marriage end? You were shtupping the babysitter, right? Right?"
DON'T warn him that if you start weeping over the guacamole, it's only because you forgot to refill your Zoloft prescription.
DON'T mention that you're looking for a long-term, committed, monogamous relationship. Or for a friend.
DON'T complain about how your ex used to stink up the bathroom.
DON'T get totally bombed. Or barf on his shoe.
I'm contemplating a business venture - T-shirts/nightshirts for divorced women with slogans like, "I'm Not With Stupid Anymore." Are you willing to invest?
We'd prefer to invest in shirts that say "Still Hot" or "You Wish." These slogans take the woman's focus to where it belongs: off the ex-husband and onto herself.