I know the feeling all too well. I wake up when I want, go to bed when I want, watch what TV I want. At no point in my day or night do I have to compromise or discuss my plans. As a divorcee, I’ve had the fun and freedom that comes with playing the field. But after some time, feelings change.
The signals that I couldn’t live this lifestyle forever were both in my mind and surrounding my daily routine, and the bachelor mentality in me started to fade. From both knowledge and personal experience, I give you the top signs that it might be time to stop playing the field and consider a committed relationship.
At the end of a committed relationship gone bad, it’s easy to conjure-up negative thoughts. When in this state of mind, men sometimes make statements that they don’t even realize are coping mechanisms for dealing with the pain.
“I’m never getting married.”
“I’m playing the field forever.”
“Women. Are. EVIL.”
There’s a sense of resentment that comes with ending a relationship or getting divorced. But you’ve probably noticed that after living the single life for a while, those feelings start to subside.
When you begin to treat a woman with a new level of respect and courtship that was absent since your break-up or divorce, you might realize that the single life is not for you.
Sure, you still love the freedom of being single. But at the end of the day, you feel a sense of loneliness. It’s not that you’re bored, but that you may be longing for someone to end a tough day with and make conversation.
Companionship is one of the greatest benefits of a relationship. As you get older, and friends become more engrossed in their own lives and families, having someone you trust to share your thoughts with can increase your happiness.
The way we look at women when we’re single changes when thinking about commitment. As a single man on the prowl for dates, you most likely think things like, “She looks hot.”, or “What a great body!”
But if you’ve been thinking “She’s so exciting to talk to.”, or “I really like her interests.”, then you might consider something a little more serious than one night stand or a two date fling.
Don’t panic. Commitment doesn’t necessarily mean marriage, and it comes with benefits that might outweigh those of a single man.
You probably already know that online dating is a great way to meet women. If you have above average social skills, good manners, and are in the least bit attractive, you can actually dominate the Internet dating arena. Check out my Match.com review and eHarmony review if you’re just getting started.
But online dating can quickly become overwhelming, especially if you’re trying to juggle dating multiple women with a career, kids, etc. Once you’ve established a connection with a woman, and gone out on several dates, it’s never a bad idea to disable your online dating accounts and see where the relationship leads.
This will allow you to stop the influx of new candidates for your romantic attention, focus on the woman in front of you, and determine if commitment is an option with your new love interest.
Remember the weeks and months right after your divorce or long-term relationship, when you experienced no real emotion towards any of the women that walked into or out of your life? If you’ve been expressed favoritism or experienced an increased level attachment towards one woman in particular, it may be time to pause playing the field.
Once you’ve reached that level with a woman, you’re much less likely to pursue dates with women that possess lesser qualities. So unless you’re content with trying to perpetually trade-up for better partners, commitment might be an option to consider.
Remember, not only is the grass always greener on the other side, but we all have a ceiling when it comes to the caliber of woman we can attract. If you already feel that you’re dating an incredible woman, why risk losing her when it’s very possible that you’ve already hit your ceiling?
Back when I was in college, me and my friends had a way of determining if one of us had a real girlfriend or not:
Would you take her to the mall with you?
Back then, the decision to be seen with a girl in public was enough for others to assume that she was off limits. Now that we’re adults, the scale is different but the principle is the same. If you’re putting a woman above or on the same level as your friends, it’s probably a sign that you’ve taken a step toward commitment.
Imagine as a new bachelor you’ve decided to head out for a weekend getaway. Your first thought is probably to grab a bunch of your closest male friends and plan a weekend filled with booze and women.
Now that you’ve had a chance to sow your wild oats, you might have considered getting out of town with a woman you’ve been seeing. If you’ve crossed this threshold, it’s pretty clear that change are afoot.
Granted, you’ll probably have a great time either way, but if the preference of company leans towards a woman, you may not be a single man for long.
Admiring other families is probably one of the strongest signs that you’re interested in or ready for commitment. You might see another man your age with a wife and a child and marvel at how they act around each other.
When you begin to imagine what it would be like to grow old with a woman in your life, or ponder raising another (or your first) child, it’s an extremely strong sign that commitment may be in your future- or you’re questioning how much longer you can wait.
No matter how bad your previous commitments may have turned out, getting into another relationship one should be done with optimism. But don’t rush into it either.
If you’ve decided a committed relationship is right for you, spend a little more time finding the right one for you. Most importantly, don’t project any leftover bad blood on your new relationship, as men often do.
You’ll know how to choose the right one, especially from what you’ve already learned, so there’s only reason to look forward rather than reflect on previous decisions.
Brad is a divorced father of two who is navigating the brave new world of dating after divorce. A software developer by trade, he experiments with the latest dating applications and tools so that you don’t have to. Brad writes online dating reviews along with other actionable content for men to improve their quality of life after divorce.
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