Divorce Does NOT Define You in Dating

divorce does not define me

Jordan Moss and her opinion on Divorced Dating…


—guest post—



You CAN’T write a post about dating, divorce and Mormons and expect me not to say anything… so here’s my two cents. For one thing, I was suuuuper scared about the stigma of being “divorced.” I never thought that would be a word I would use to define myself and it was a really hard adjustment. (Sidenote- I’ve also learned that ‘divorced’ isn’t something that defines me. It’s not who I am, just something I’ve been through!)


I’ve said it a hundred times, but I felt like every time I met someone new it would be all “Hi, I’mJordanI’mdivorcedandIhaveakid. Still want to talk? No? Ok.” Basically I felt like I had a giant label on my forehead, buuuut, the more time passed and the more positive reactions I got the easier it became. I know who I am and I’m confident in the choices I made that got me here, and I’m not embarrassed to talk about it with someone who understandably has questions. I wish I had been less apprehensive about it from the get-go, but it was a learning experience for sure. And, I was pleasantly surprised that everyone has been super cool about it, including guys.

Which brings me to my second thought. Before I was divorced with a kid I honestly don’t know if I would have given a divorced father a chance. I’ll admit that the ‘father’ part is still hard- as hypocritical as it might sound, that now means blending a family for me which is a whole other ball game and I still just don’t feel like that’s the ideal for me. But who knows? The point is, I try to be much more open-minded, and I also totally get it if a guy isn’t down to date me because of it. I’m (we’re) a lot of responsibility, which isn’t the “cool” thing in Provo these days 😉 but seriously I know it will take a certain kind of person to be willing and happy to take that on and I completely get that. Maybe sometimes relationships fizzle because of it, but it all boils back down to that ‘certain kind of person’ and so in the end it doesn’t really matter why, nor does it reflect on my self-worth.
If I was giving someone else advice it would be that despite what you might think/feel, you are NOT the only young LDS divorced person to ever exist. It might feel like nobody has been through it before you, but it’s surprising how many people you’ll meet that have, and it’s sort of like an exclusive club that nobody wants to join but then we all sort of agree to be friends and it’s kind of cool in the end. 🙂

The 7 D’s of Dating Direction Despite Divorce

dating after divorce


“Hey, so I don’t mean for this to be awkward, but can I ask you a personal question?”


I had found out the night that we met that she had been married, but in talking with a mutual friend, I wasn’t sure if she was actually divorced yet. What added to the slight awkwardness of this phone call was that I was supposed to pick her up for our date…in an hour.


“Sure!” She bounced back.


“So are you actually divorced or just separated?”


“Oh…[stammer]…well I called the court today and the papers are in the mail. [silence] So as of this morning I’m divorced!




I googled it. There is no website for what to do on a date with a girl that was hours divorced.


So we went to a restaurant…


Where she cried about her ex. (understandably)


I recommended some great therapists.


Our second date was postponed…indefinitely.


I am getting to the stage in life where if someone my age hasn’t been divorced–or at least a broken engagement–it is almost a red flag. *ALMOST* (I can already see the angry commenters for that one.)


But how do you get back into dating after a divorce, or just even a serious breakup? How do you actually put yourself out there again after going through one of the most awful experiences of your life?


Granted, I’ve never been divorced, so I had one of my good friends who is a divorced single mom help me out with this list.


  1. Don’t Rush. Time is base on heart, not calendar. Don’t say that you will date in 2 months or 2 years…just pray every day to be ready to date and then give yourself the time you need.
  2. Dress Well! Work from the outside in. The first thing she did was go out shopping with one of the straight gay best friends and got all new clothes. She had been reduced to “mom jeans” (in her words) and that just did not show of her curvy personality well enough. Don’t go all true religion on your closet, but still try.
  3. Date with ZERO Expectations. You just had your heart broken, give yourself a breath and don’t try to think if this is your new baby’s daddy. Just enjoy the ride.
  4. Don’t Disqualify. Beware the ‘I hate guys/girls’-syndrome. Know that not everyone is your ex. Give people a chance and realize the dangers in dating those not of your faith if you are looking to have an LDS-centric life.
  5. Deserve Love. Be CONFIDENT! You are beautiful, handsome and wonderful and deserve to fall in love…yes, even again.
  6. Destroy Discouragement. Realize it ain’t easy! It’s okay to be hurt and know that things aren’t going to always work out, but in the end they will.
  7. Date! Yeah…actually do it. Get your kids a babysitter, stop making excuses and date. Ladies, flirt. Gentlemen, ask.


But what do you think?


If you have been divorced, what advice would you give? And what advice would you have to people trying to date you?


If you have dated someone that is divorced, what is the best way you’ve found to approach the topic?


Don’t forget to sign up for book updates!


GUEST POST: A Woman’s Perspective on “Hanging out”–NO!

no hanging out

[Zack’s notes: Okay, so this is what happens when an ex gets ahold of a post and is upset about it. And while I was NOT saying REPLACE hanging out with dating, but rather, make sure you are doing a healthy dose of both–I think Holly has some great points here! So, with a spoonful of my salt, here is her guest post:] 

no hanging out

Why are the Women you want to date fed-up with the hang-ups of hanging out? We’ll tell you why!


This post is written by Holly Lyons with co-author Lily Carlson, for much added validity.


First, a necessary confession/concession: One of my best relationships blossomed after 2 years of friendship. We kissed one time while casually watching a movie—we were (gasp) hanging out.


That same night, however, he decided to grow some cajones and ask me on a date for Friday. We went to a restaurant that was clearly intended to make an impression. There was no question: He. Was. Into. Me.


If The Mighty Zack Oates who is a top-notch guy and pro dater has accidentally helped you to rationalize your Hanging Out Habits, first consider this three-pronged (pitchfork) presentation of what I call “The Hang-ups of Hanging Out:


1) If you are hanging out, word is getting around. Girls talk. You know this, so you might think it will keep your options open if you take it slow and hang out first. Here’s the thing, women will talk ANYWAYS. Look at these two scenarios:


Jill, the Woman You Might Want to Date, chats with Sally, the Woman Who is Totally Out of Your League. Jill says, “He took me out to dinner and was such a gentleman!” Sally thinks to herself, “WOW. That’s the kind of stand-up guy I want to be dating!” (Next time you see Sally, the twinkle in her eye tells you she’s hot for you).


– OR –


Jill tells Jan, The Girl You MIGHT Consider Dating if Jill Turns Out to Be Boring, “We’ve been hanging out, but I can’t tell if he’s into me. He doesn’t show much interest in dating.” Jan thinks to herself, “This guy sounds spineless. Note to self: avoid hangouts with {Your Name Here}.”


So remember: although they say talk is cheap, if you’re hanging out, that talk could be cheapening YOU.


2) If you are hanging out, it’s dulling your sparkle. A man’s attention matters. But if a woman sees you put your hand on the small of multiple women’s backs, or if she hears you call any other woman “sweetie,” even in passing, Armour=tarnished. It will never be special when you do those things to her. A man’s SPECIAL attention matters. When in doubt, single her out.


3) If you are hanging out, you’re being robbed of your manhood. Be upfront about what you want and stick to the Triple P approach. It lets her know that you are smart (Planned), capable (Paid for), and specifically interested (Paired off). It’s up to you how smart, capable, and interested you want to come across, but I guarantee The Woman You Want to Date will accept nothing less. For Mormon YSA, there is a staggering amount of group hangouts built-in to everyday life. That is to say, there is plenty of opportunity to get to know a girl beyond her bod, without expending additional resources aside from your sharp intellect and charisma. This could be your ward activity or an engaging conversation in line at Café Rio. Maximize this built-in group hang out time to peak efficiency by employing these moments as a platform to get dates.


Don’t imagine that you’re getting away with anything if you’re hanging out. You certainly won’t be getting away with The Woman You Want to Date. Because The Woman You Want to Date is fed up with spineless jellyfish, tarnished amour, and scrubs.

Making a Case for Hanging Out  

hanging out dating

That’s right, I’d like to make a case for hanging out.


Now before you gather the pitchforks, light a young woman torch and come to the ‘that’ part of Provo you know you’ll find me…hear me out.


I’m not saying don’t date.


I’m just saying that ‘hanging out’ has unjustly become a curse word(…or phrase).


Yes, Elder Tingey spoke of “the indecision some college graduates have in…accepting the responsibilities of marriage and family.”


Yes President Monson spoke of those having “a little too much fun being single, taking extravagant vacations, buying expensive cars and toys, and just generally enjoying the carefree life with [their] friends.”


Yes, Elder Oaks spoke to older single men (me, particularly), “grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It’s marriage time.”


So yeah, fellas, we need to buck up and go on dates. I completely agree with all of that.


But we need to go on dates for the right reasons.


You can go on dates just to ‘go on dates.’ I have done that for years and the reason that the relationship clock never struck “marriage time” isn’t for lack of effort. No, perhaps it was because of too much effort.


See, when we date, we are trying to be the best we can be and, quite frankly, we are trying to find the worst in the other person.


Yes, dating is essentially trying to impress while looking for deal breakers.


When we hang out, things are usually calm, ccasualand, quite frankly, a little more realistic. I have never been married, but I imagine that a dinner, movie and making out is not the standard for a typical day for a couple. Those romantic date nights are interspersed through a string of time where the couple is just friends.


Some of the best relationships I have had started with a friendship.


Those friendships were not forged in the fires of flirtation, but rather built on the basis of a casual closeness.

When in hot pursuit, you rarely are being totally you, but rather what you think they want of you.


When hanging out, there are no expectations, so you can just be you and she can just be her.


If you aren’t going on dates, shame on you—but if you aren’t building friendships then shame-er on you. The advice is to get married and you will never do that by only hanging out or only going on one-on-one dates with 15 people at a time.


So don’t fear the dessert parties of hanging out, but be aware to not deny yourself of the hearty dinners of dating. Both, coupled (pun intended) together will create a strong bond that will both be in harmony with the brethren’s council and help you to not try too hard.





Just because it “Works” Doesn’t Make it Right — GUEST POST by @zandersays

good guy bad boy

One of the best parts of blogging: the comments. Zander Jensen from www.zandersays.com and @zandersays commented regarding the post about “good guys,” “bad boys,” and the woes of women regarding each. Some comments must be shared in special ways. Zander’s is usually one of them.


————-the magic below————–


On why is it sometimes it pays to be a jerk, and why you shouldn’t be one anyway.


*I wrote this as a response to Zack’s Post here* (here is the link to the post)


When it comes to the “Nice Guy”/”Jerk” scenario, it really is so much more complicated than you can summarize in 300 words (I did my best and this is like 500). But hey, I’ll give it a shot. (For the record, a “bad boy” is different than a “jerk”, though not mutually exclusive)


Everyone knows that confidence is attractive, that’s dating 101, and a wide polling of women would suggest that there is a certain sexiness to a guy who knows what and goes after what he wants; conversely it is rather easy to cross over the line and come on too strong. In which case you “knowing what you want” becomes your downfall.


Let me break it down. If you are interested in someone, then when they perform a confident or romantic gesture toward you, it is not only welcome but incredibly attractive. If on the other hand you are not attracted to said person, the gesture at best is considered “sweet”, but more likely to come across as desperate and creepy.


The “Jerk” dynamic is best explained by the fact that the “jerk” doesn’t mind making his interest known in a very obvious way, while at the same time not caring what the outcome is. If he texts a girl and receives no response, he doesn’t mind, he’s probably talking to other girls, he’s moved on before he even noticed she hasn’t texted back. There is no double or even a *cringe* triple text, because frankly he doesn’t care.


I have read, and talked, about this subject ad nauseam. I could go on and on about how people love to go after what they can’t have, or how confidence plus mystery added to the thrill of “the chase” make for a dangerous (but admittedly fun) cocktail. Then there is the tyranny of choice, instant gratification, and a million other concepts.


But I won’t, because honestly it doesn’t matter. Knowing you have cancer is much different than curing it.


My advice for those who consider themselves to be a “nice guy”?


Stop telling yourself that you’re going to finish last, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and only self-defeating.


Next, stop complaining (no seriously, stop it) and be confident (fake it if you have to), be persistent (go after what you want), and most importantly be patient. Focus on something besides girls. Hobbies, passions and interests, fill your life so when you text that girl you aren’t sweating bullets waiting for the text back, instead you’re doing you.


And last, don’t date a girl that needs you to ignore her in order for her to be interested in you. Why would you want to date someone like that anyway (be confident remember)?

Girls Go for “Bad Boys” because “Good Guys” are Idiots

good guy bad boy


“Girls never give us ‘good guys’ a chance and always end up with those ‘bad boys’…ugh!”


If this is something some half man has said to you, perhaps this is a good opportunity to share it with them…because you love them.


If that is something you have said. For shame.


An attractive Asian dancer friend of mine shed some light on why she doesn’t ever seem to be with the “good guys,” much to her chagrin.


To understand why girls end up with “bad boys” and “good guys” are left confused, we must first understand how attraction with men and women works.


Women love on a spectrum. Men don’t.


Men love on a point.


Meaning that when a woman meets a man, that man can increase or decrease in attractiveness quite significantly based on personality, connection and the phase of the moon.


Men have a hard time really understanding this because they meet a woman and she pretty much stays the same attractiveness level, regardless of other factors.


Now, two of the MAIN factors in a woman finding a man attractive are 1) his confidence and 2) his interest shown in them.


And therein lies the problem of girls often liking the “bad boys.”


See the “good guys” are timid, humble and rarely assume that an attractive girl is interested in little ol’ them. The flirting of the female variety is confused for just being kind.


The “bad boys” are arrogant, pretentious and can’t fathom that an attractive girl isn’t interested in the awesomeness that is them. Even the spurns of an attractive woman are interpreted as unapologetically borderline obsession.


And while slightly annoying, the “bad boys” are, in the end, both persistent and flattering. And if the “bad boys” think so highly of themselves, the women think, maybe, just maybe, there is something there they should like too. Not to mention that confidence usually plays out in a successful career (albeit an affair or two, but that is a couple kids away).


Basically it isn’t that my Asian dancer friend goes after “bad boys,” but rather that “good guys” won’t grow a pair (of eyes to see a great opportunity).




Ladies…you will have to ‘put yourselves out’ there if you want a “good guy”–it may be tough, but it sure is better than just ‘putting out’ to the “bad boys.”


“Good guys”…come on man. Just take a leap of faith and realize that in the end, the girl really want you. But wants you as a man, not a puppy.


“Bad boys”…well played. Well played indeed. But don’t worry, when you make your money, put on 50lb and are on your third marriage, you’ll be calling a “good guy” for life advice. You can keep your hot and shallow because the “good guys” will eventually end up with the attractive Asian.


 UPDATE: I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the “Asian” thing. No, I’m not racist, making stereotypes or anything like that. This is a theory, on which my friend enlightened me, who happens to be an Asian who is super cute and with whom I go dancing…hance, “attractive Asian dancer friend.”  All other misrepresentations I’ll let stand. Semi-serious satire always seems to stir the soup.

The Most Cowardly Way to Break Up: SABOTAGE


drink grinch

I was in my second week of dating this wonderful girl who had things together, but for some reason, I wanted to break up. I guess I wasn’t ‘feeling it,’ whatever that means.


The was one small problem: I was chicken liver sissy pants scared.


So I did the only self-respecting thing there was to do, something that you all have done, something that plagues our generation like selfie-itis–I sabotaged.


I convinced her I hated Christmas…her favorite thing in the world.


I told her I hated Christmas music, trees, cinnamon smell, fires, movies, santa…everything.


She, realizing this could very well be a sign that I was a complete moron, dumped me.


A sigh of relief washed over me.


See, this way, I can get sympathy for being dumped, not make her feel bad for getting dumped AND still be single!


A disgustingly sourly(?) sickening success.


But on the way home I suddenly had a realization (be it from God or common sense, I’m not sure): Zack, you are going to be single for the rest of your life, you twit.


Why did I just do that? I thought. Oh man…this was a huge mistake!!!


I explained to her that I actually loved Christmas. Everything about it. Well, okay, I don’t like setting up the tree, but besides that, EVERYthing. I confessed that I had just gotten scared that things were getting more serious and I wanted her to break up with me. But now I realize that I do like her and I don’t have to be scared and that there was no need to break up! We could stay together!


She, realizing this was a sign that I was a complete moron…reaffirmed her dumping me.


#foreveralone (#fornow)


Lesson Learned: Don’t be a coward. Own up to your fears. Own up to your feelings. It is okay to be scared, but talk about it with the person you are dating, don’t run. Just because you get cold feet doesn’t mean you should amputate them. Relationship sabotage only is stabbing your own back.



Don’t forget to share, comment and like!

How to Know if You FOR SURE Have Lost a Date


I recently was on a date with a girl.


Beautiful, religious, smart, positive…everything I could ask for (this technically should be “for which I could ask,” but colloquialism will take precedent over correctness here).


Things are going smoothly–maybe even a kiss by the end of the night, who knows?


It was a beautiful evening. The hot tub set just the right mood at the end of the date. The stars were beaming down in faultless splendor. And right as cheesy lines are spinning through my head of how to not mess up this perfect evening…


things turned sour.


Like ‘mouthful of rotten ocean water’ sour.


She goes, “You know, I think you and Alicia (name has not been changed) would be such a great couple!”




[furrow eyebrows]


[left eye slightly squint in confusion]


[a little more silence]


“What did you just say?” a sucker-punch to the ego.


“No, I mean, I just think that you guys would be great for each other.”


I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh.


“Well, I guess there isn’t any pressure for the rest of this date then, is there?”


“I think you’re a great guy and all, but…”


The rest is, as they say, the story of my life.


Yes, fellas, a telltale sign that you are as burnt as forgotten toast is if she ever mentions you dating someone else.


Ladies, please use this tactic wisely and rarely.


How else have you known that your date was over?


Should Guys Ask Out Girls on SECOND Dates at the End of a First?

Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen…[eyebrow rub]

[pause for a slightly condescending glare over the glasses]



How do I put this?




Just stop.


You are bold enough to ask her out, smart enough to plan a great date, cordial enough to be a fun time, calm enough not to do something stupid…and then you blow it all at the doorstep. You might as well take off your shirt and show her you have a heart shaved in your chest (which, incidentally, is not a great way of getting a second date #personalexperience).


Open curtain:

“I had a great time,” you stammer.

“Me too…” she replies.

“Would you like to go on a second date?”


This is about when cupid wants to throw a brick at your face.


Possible scenarios with that question:

  1. she had a good time and is excited you asked her out.
  2. she had a good time but now you seem too eager and she is questioning if she really had a good time.
  3. she had an okay time and needed a good’s night rest to let the date set in before making her decision and now feels undue pressure and that you like her too much and is a little weirded out.
  4. she did not have a good time but awkwardly says yes and is forced to go out with you again.
  5. she did not have a good time and tells you no on the doorstep and you don’t go on dates for a couple of weeks and talk about this mean girl who told you no.




So what do you do? Let’s try this again.


“I had a great time,” you stammer.

“Me too…” she replies.

“Would love to do it again sometime. [no wait for response] But have a great night and good luck with [insert something from conversation to show you were listening]!”

[Both laugh]

[Night hug]

[Drop the mic and walk away]


Boom. Nailed it.


Be proud of yourself, you just successfully navigated the trickiest waters other than a first kiss–the first doorstep scene.


Pat yourself on the back and go hop on Tinder for an ego boost…you deserve it.


Remember, you can assume it is okay, but never ever ever ever ever (rarely) ask a girl out on a second date at the end of a first date.


Always appropriate to tell them that you had a good time and would love to do it again, but to set up a second date right there…? Poor form.


But hey…then again, I’m 28 and single…what do I know? Let’s see what you guys said.
I polled a few places on Facebook and received 135 comments (44 being from @joshguessed…follow him for a myriad of semi-sporadic updates if you haven’t had enough of him) and here is the breakdown.


second date infographic

5 Steps to Trick Any Girl into a Second Date

first date ice cream

Once you actually are ready to go on a first date with a girl, how do you make sure it is good enough to score a second? How do you not be a player but still play the game?


Here are five steps for a first date to ensure a second:


STEP 1: Ask her on a date.

Use the word “date” and give her a time you will pick her up. Don’t be late, you idiot.

STEP 2: Plan to keep it under 2 hours–60-90 min is ideal.

A quick dinner OR frozen yogurt OR crepes OR cupcakes (note there was no “and” there). If they aren’t wanting more, you gave them too much. DO NOT ask her ‘what she is doing on Thursday,’ but it is appropriate to gauge her interest by saying, ‘We should do this again sometime.’ A PDT (post date text) is another telltale sign you did step three right.

STEP 3: ONLY talk 20% of the time.

THIS is the biggest biggest biggest mistake guys make. (MORE ON THIS BELOW)

STEP 4: Don’t contact her for at least 1 day.

It shows that you aren’t too eager and have “stuff” going on.

STEP 5: Call her to ask her on a second date.

Yes, call her–(no text/fbook/text/snap/insta tag/group me/linked in/email/pigeon/page/singing telegram…okay, maybe a singing telegram, but call her too) and ask her to do something specific in a call under 5 min. For example, “[small chat]..but hey, I wanted to call to see if I can take you to grab a bite to eat and to the nicklecade this week!”


If you follow these five steps and she says “No,” either she’s a troll or you are. If she is, good riddance (thank you, Google for letting me know it isn’t “good riddens”…that could have been embarrassing if people knew I had no idea how to even pronounce that right, much less spell it #closecall). She would make a terrible mother. If you are a troll…well…don’t know what to tell you, buddy. Shoot lower? But really though, you’re fine. Just keep trying. (The five steps don’t actually work for “any” girl, that was just to get you to click on this article.)


Okay…so why should you only talk 20% of the time?

First, everyone loves talking about themselves, so she will have a great time.

Second, you will appear slightly mysterious.

Third, and most importantly, the only reason you would want to go on a second date with her is because you like her. She doesn’t ask you on a second date; you ask her. And the only way that you are going to find out if you like her is by learning about her…which comes from, class? That’s right! HER talking, not you. So learn about her on the first date and and do talking 50-50 for the next two dates. (You will find that you will ease back into that 20% thing very involuntarily quickly if the relationship progresses.)


So you can charm your way onto a first date, trick a girl to a second date and maybe even convince a girl on a third date…but that’s when the game ends and you are just left with you. The common misunderstanding is that “the game” is meant to fool someone into falling for you–but it isn’t, it is to break down the initial walls to see if love is even there. These five steps help do just that.


So play on, because the game is over when love takes the field.