Lesbianing with AE! How to Tell Her You’re Divorced

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Am I doing something wrong? I’m a 40-year-old lesbian and I’m going through a divorce from my wife of five years. The decision to end things was mutual. I’m trying to get back in the dating market again and I’m having a rough go of it. The last two women I went out with freaked out at the mention of the D-word, and now I’m feeling gun shy about going out with.anyone. Help 🙁

-Single Lady

Here’s one obvious solution for you, Single Lady: Polyamory.

Any lesbian who isn’t interested in having an exclusive, monogamous relationship (with you or anyone else) won’t freak out when you disclose your situation. If you’re looking for someone you can have fun with — in the bedroom, yes, but also on fun and casual dates — this might fit the bill.

But you might not want an open relationship, so if that’s the case ….

Be proactive and put it out there on your online dating profile. Don’t lead with it in a message to a cute girl, but describe yourself as someone who just go out of a long-term relationship, or is recently separated, or is going through a divorce. Whatever feels authentic to you. This can weed out some women who aren’t looking for that.

If you’re on a date and you feel sparks, you’ll need to disclose. I like to feel things out over a few dates because sometimes the first date can have fireworks and then the second date doesn’t live up to the potential. So if you’re feeling things after three dates or if things are moving quickly, tell her.

Since past dates have overreacted, I’d come up with a brief explanation then roll it out, not like it’s a terminal diagnosis but it’s something important to know about you before you hop in bed together. Like you’re a top and you don’t date tops. Like you’re allergic to lube. Like, just another thing she should know.

 Come up with a brief explanation then roll it out, not like it’s a terminal diagnosis but it’s something important to know about you before you hop in bed together. Like you’re a top and you don’t date tops. Like you’re allergic to lube. Like, just another thing she should know.

So you say, for example. “I’m having fun getting to know you. Just so you know, I’m recently separated from my wife and we’re getting a divorce. Right now, I’m enjoying being on my own and I’m taking things slow/looking forward to finding the right one/enjoying meeting new people.”

The main message to convey here is that you were married, you’re now separated or divorced, and you have moved on emotionally.

If things ended amicably, you can add that. It shows maturity.

If things ended in a bitter pet custody battle and you tear up at the thought of your ex snuggling with Mr. Piddles while your bed is cold and empty, don’t unload on your date. Tell her things ended poorly, and leave it at that. If you start badmouthing your ex-wife’s specific actions, you’re essentially telling your date that you’ll dump on her the same way if things don’t work out.

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It’s super tempting to tell a white lie here and say you’re already divorced, but don’t do this. You don’t want to start a new relationship based on lies, and you really never know when you could run into someone who knows the truth and outs you.

If she’s never dated anyone who’s been married before, she might have questions about the process, where you’re at, or what it means for her. She might want to think about it. She might want to back away. She might have a jealous freakout, like some of the other women you’ve dated.

You can answer her questions now if you’re ready for that. It’s also totally fine to say that right now you want to keep the focus on getting to know one another, and you are more than happy to tackle all her question about the separation at a future date.

It’s also totally fine to say that right now you want to keep the focus on getting to know one another, and you are more than happy to tackle all her question about the separation at a future date.

If she overreacts, it’s a sign that she’s not the right woman for you right now. You went through something life-changing, and someone who makes your major life experience all about her is selfish.

Do you have a question for Lindsey? Email the editor at memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line.

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