Dealing with divorce tales

By admin
19 August 2013

Our dating blogger Erla Diedericks, who is looking for love online, is exhausted after three dates filled with bitter tales of divorce and woe.

Dates with strangers is a bit like opening presents on Christmas day. Especially when you’ve asked for something you know full well your parents can’t afford. But you’re hoping for the best any way. And with every gift you open, you say a little prayer: “Please, please, please let it be what I’ve asked for.” And each time you cover up your disappointment with a smile, but you’re thinking: “Damn you, Father Christmas. Damn you, Love. That’s it, I won’t be believing in you anymore.”

This past week I went on no fewer than three dates. Of course it was hopelessly too many because I now feel exhausted, worn out and listened out to men’s sad stories. If most divorced men are to be believed:

a) All divorces are the woman’s fault

b) Women are ruthless creatures who strip men bare in divorce

c) All men are angels who really only want to give women coffee in bed but they don’t appreciate it

d All women are loveless souls with libidos on par with snail poison.

These ostensibly innocent characters forget that I’ve been through a divorce (actually two) and know very well that:

a)  It takes two people to marry and two to mess up

b)  Men will strip any and every woman after a divorce (and I’m not talking about money here)

c)  With every full moon or commemorative day many men will make a cup of coffee, do the braai or buy flowers, and then they’ll act as if they’ve just won the Nobel Peace Prize.

d)  That women would not even think of snail poison if they had more romance in their lives.

Personally I think it’s in bad taste to say the following on a first date: that your wife was a heartless cow, that you’d actually still like to sleep with your wife, that you’re hoping she’ll die in a car crash (while you’re laughing manically), that you love your kitchen knives more than her and have now even given them names (I promise he said that) and that you’d rather date young women because you can impress them so easily by taking them to adult restaurants without play areas (another guy’s wisecrack).

Sad tales about the ex are as plentiful as exes. But generally they fall into a few main categories:

Category one: She cheated on me with my best friend and I didn’t see it coming at all.

Category two: She’s a lesbian, but it doesn’t worry me in the least – I’m just still talking about it 15 years later.

Category three: She’s an alcoholic/depressive/drug addict, but I thought it would get better.

Category four: We’re still friends. But we’ve outgrown each other.

So if you ever wanted to know why marriages fall apart, there you have it a nutshell: infidelity, divergent sexual orientations, addictions and the fact that life often causes people to grow apart.

Personally I think the dating websites should also have love cemeteries. Such a cemetery website could then be filled with tombstones each containing a divorce or grief tale of sorts. You click on the tombstones and write up your own unhappy experience with divorce or loss, or you can click on another’s and read all about their misery. This way you get all the gloom out of system, plus if someone really wants to know why you’re divorced they can read about it there – and not drag it into your date.

It was in this bitter frame of mind that I was standing in line at the Engen garage quick shop yesterday morning to buy coffee when the most gorgeous guy I’ve seen in ages came bounding in like a playful Easter Bunny, all smiles and energy. Tall and lean. Shirt unbuttoned just enough so I could take a peek at his smooth chest. Teasing eyes. Beautiful smile. About 24 years old. Our eyes meet. He glances at my arm. Then his hand rests warm on my skin.

“Wow,” he says. “You have a lovely tattoo on your hand.” Together we admire – he the birds, and I him.

He doesn’t let go of my hand.

I also don’t.

“I’m so excited at the moment!” he says.

Oh me too . . . I think.

“I’m getting married next week and my girlfriend and I decided after our honeymoon we’re both going to get tattoos. On our arms! All the way. From top to bottom.

“Really . . .” I say. The shock in my voice I try to bury among the bread rolls on the shelf in front of us.

“You probably won’t be tattooing each other’s names . . .”

“Of course we will!” He’s as upbeat and spirited, confident in his young love. “We’re going to depict our life together so far on our arms! Our names, the name of the restaurant where we met, each other’s faces . . . after all, we’ll be together forever!”

Forever . . .

His hand is still in mine. I give it a squeeze.

“Good luck with your wedding. I wish you all the best . . .”

Then I walk out. On my own.

- -- Erla-Mari Diedericks

Erla-Mari Diedericks is the author of the book Sin, Sushi & Survival and her latest novel, Still Standing, is now available in shops countrywide as well as at

Read Erla's previous blogs:

Finding love online

Ready to date a younger man

Party all night long

Find Love!