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Ben Affleck’s got a brand new love — but it might not be so new after all.The actor and “Saturday Night Live” producer Lindsay Shookus were photographed for the first time by paparazzi on Thursday, but People and Us Weekly both report the actor first sparked an affair with Shookus years ago when he was still with Jennifer Garner.What we forget is that even if a person hasn’t just exited a relationship, aside from knowing our own boundaries (which can rule out certain things that we’ve already made a decision on in advance of), we cannot get all of the answers upfront or have someone tell us what ‘the ending’ will be.Each situation is different but what you can say with a high degree of certainty is that someone who’s just fallen out of their marriage, who’s still in reconciliation negotiations, who’s still very influenced by their spouse, and who has been separated for a long time ‘just because’, is going to bring pain into your life.After all, there's a good chance that you get involved with that person and they drop that, "I'm getting back with my ex" bomb on you. And let's face it, there's a great risk in being the first new relationship for the soon-to-be divorcee.Do you really want to be the rebound or the buffer between the old life and the new one? Do something where you'll have something to talk about. On the other hand, you don't want to put your date, yourself or your son in embarrassing situations. Question from Denise: Are online dating sites good ways to meet people? You have to try different sites to see which ones feel comfortable for you, and which ones have tools that you think will create a better chance of a good relationship. But I think third date it starts to up the ante, and by the fifth date there is some pressure for some sexuality. That is to say, you are a mature woman and you want to date, so I think you need to talk to your son and tell him that you are going to start dating again. But there is more to love than hair color, and I think people pick who they love on other criteria.
What advice would you give me as far as first date suggestions? And if waiting is important to you, I assure you there are people out there who feel the same.Should my courtship techniques be the same as when I was in my 20s? Question from Randi: What do you think about long-distance relationships? They take a lot of attention, by e-mail, by phone, sacrificing money because the cost can become difficult. Taking a walk, for example, can put a lot of pressure on two people who have just met. Question from Jeannie from Cleveland: My 22-year-old son lives in the house and I want to date. You might meet your early dates outside the house, or not bring them to the house unless the relationship is becoming more important. I don't think it's fair, but it's probably true that gray hair is a signal to men that a woman is older and he may or may not like her ability to embrace her own aging in that way. There are also sites that are primarily about friendship or finding someone to do things with. However, if you are conservative about sexuality, try and date someone who is also conservative about sexuality, and wants a deeper commitment first. "By Straight Male Friend Marcus Osborne for Gal Believe what you hear, divorce is hard. Multiply that agony by ten if there are children involved. Related: Dating After Divorce-- Get Your Mojo Back The oddity is that often during a separation the parties agree to be open to seeing other people, even though the door is supposedly open for reconciliation. Do you tell people you're dating that you're just separated? Other than perhaps the death of a family member, the severing of what was expected to be a lifelong union is about as emotionally crippling as any life as experience an individual will ever survive. If one of us knows they want out, what’s the point of a separation in the first place?
So it's not easy, but if it's really important to both of you, and both of you work at it, it can have a good outcome.