Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Nancy Van Pelt
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000206
00:30 Hello I'm Shelly Quinn, and
00:31 welcome to another
00:32 Issues and Answers.
00:33 You know what, If you are
00:35 divorced or maybe you've been widowed or you're a widower,
00:39 this is a program that you are going to want to watch.
00:42 And if you know anyone who is single again and
00:45 wanting to re-enter the dating market, then
00:48 that's what we are going to be talking about today,
00:50 with our special guest Nancy van Pelt
00:52 and Nancy is a certified Family Educator,
00:55 she's a strong Christian,
00:56 and she has written 28 books,
01:00 she's been to 55 countries, done over a thousand seminars,
01:04 and she is here to share some of that insight with us.
01:06 So, Nancy once again thank you for coming back to join us
01:10 all the way from Clovis California.
01:12 My privilege thank you.
01:14 Now where is Clovis?
01:15 Right close to Fresno, - Near Fresno.
01:17 right in the very heartland of California.
01:20 Well, I am just thrilled that you're bringing all of your
01:23 expertise to talk about this very important topic,
01:26 of re-entering the dating market,
01:29 because that's not easy for a lot of people.
01:33 It's very difficult when they've been out of the dating scene,
01:36 maybe they've been married
01:37 and now there spouse is gone
01:40 for whatever reason.
01:42 How do you re-enter the dating scene?
01:45 That's our question. - Ok
01:46 Now before we answer how, let me ask you this question.
01:50 When? Because if you are recently divorced or if
01:54 your spouse has passed on,
01:58 how long should you wait
02:00 to make sure that you are emotionally healed and
02:04 that you are prepared to re-enter the dating game?
02:08 It doesn't matter if you have been through a divorce
02:10 or a death, it's going to take pretty close to 2 years,
02:14 to work through all the emotional reaction
02:18 following a death or a divorce.
02:20 And yet, many people are marrying within that time frame.
02:25 So it takes, I give it, a two year time frame
02:28 for some people it's going to be more than that.
02:31 They say, after a death or divorce,
02:34 it can take up to 7 years for some people, so
02:37 2 years is, more or less, a minimum time frame,
02:41 or it takes time to find out who you are as a single person.
02:46 To make sure that you have worked through all of the
02:49 emotions, and working through the emotions is not starting
02:52 here and a steady upward, you have some good days
02:55 and some bad days.
02:56 One day when you feel healed and another day where your world
03:00 is falling apart.
03:01 And I believe that people should not be putting
03:04 themselves on the market, shall we say, available
03:08 individuals, until they are emotionally healed.
03:13 Love doesn't present itself that way, if you are going
03:16 to go on the market again, present yourself as a
03:19 healed, well, healthy person, not some emotional
03:24 basket case.
03:25 So, I'm talking about 2 years now to get over
03:29 their divorce or the death and then I'm talking about
03:33 2 more years to build a new relationship, so we're
03:38 really talking about a 4 year time frame in there
03:41 that is a minimum.
03:43 Now, boy, that is something that most people don't follow that
03:46 advise, but you know what I have seen, even with friends of mine
03:49 who have lost their husband, to death's sake,
03:53 I've seen women who maybe were not in a very good
03:57 relationship, they didn't have that good of a marriage,
04:01 they really don't know what their goals are in life,
04:05 because those goals were squelched in the past,
04:09 they were unhappy, they will turn around and marry
04:12 someone like their first spouse and their still unhappy.
04:16 And I think the problem is that people don't know who they are
04:20 and that's why they pick the wrong people,
04:22 so I think that's very good advice, if you have been
04:26 divorced or if your spouse has passed on, then
04:31 we recommend that you do really come to know who you are,
04:36 not only hear on earth, but mostly who you are
04:39 in Christ, before you think about dating anyone else.
04:42 But now are program is about getting back into that market.
04:46 I hate to use those words, but that's what people call it,
04:50 is the dating market.
04:51 How do you go about, once that time of healing
04:54 and you feel that yes I'm mentally prepared,
04:57 I'm emotionally healed, I am ready to go forward with a new
05:02 relationship, how do you enter the dating market?
05:05 Well, one of the big things you need to do, is keep a wide
05:08 circle of friends. - Ok
05:10 And if through your friends most people meet their prospective
05:14 dating partners through a circle of friends,
05:17 on all surveys that are done. But another great place is at
05:22 church and if you are going to church regularly then it'd be
05:26 somebody of like faith and this is going to be a big advantage.
05:31 Of course you could meet people at work,
05:33 Then you have the possibility that they are not of the same
05:38 faith and the same values or so forth, so you have that problem.
05:42 Now there is something, a new twist, that has come up recently
05:47 and I say, over the last number of years, and that it is
05:50 Internet dating and I know that there are many services now,
05:54 Christian services that maybe by your denomination they will post
06:00 various people on the Internet that you can meet,
06:03 of your same faith. What do you think of that?
06:05 I think that Internet dating is a great way to meet somebody,
06:09 but then that does not mean that you can establish
06:12 a relationship. For example you meet somebody who lives on
06:16 the other side of the country, who lives a thousand miles
06:18 away from you. How do you see this person frequently enough?
06:23 I know people who are completing my 2 year rule, but maybe
06:27 they've only seen each other 20 times and if you go to visit
06:32 that person on a weekend, you are not seeing that person under
06:37 normal circumstances. You're flying in Friday night,
06:41 you're flying back Sunday, so that you can manage your job.
06:44 Everything is tried to be crammed into
06:48 weekend activities.
06:50 There's nothing normal about that.
06:52 We need to see each other under normal circumstances.
06:56 Now also, to answer your question, we have to understand
07:01 the process of communication. Now let me tell you a story.
07:05 A woman wrote me from Canada, emailed me from Canada, that
07:09 she had found the perfect man over Internet dating.
07:14 She was becoming a physician, she'd never met the right person
07:18 so we know we are talking to a very intelligent woman.
07:21 But now she's met him, they are five months into their
07:24 Internet relationship, but they've never met.
07:26 And she explains to me that she knows him better
07:30 than any other man. They have discussed everything,
07:33 they have left no stone unturned, at all.
07:36 She wants to know what my opinion is, they are going to be
07:39 meeting for the first time soon and she wants to know what my
07:43 opinion is on this relationship. Should she marry this man?
07:47 Well, I had to explain to her that communication takes place
07:52 in three ways. Through our verbal, our non-verbal, and
07:56 our tone of voice. Through an email only 7% of a message can
08:01 come through, because that's all we get from the words
08:04 whether it's written or spoken.
08:06 55% comes through our non-verbal
08:10 or our body language and 38% through our tone of voice and
08:15 you see the tone of voice and body language is missing in an
08:19 email and I explained this to her, and then I said something
08:23 tongue-in-cheek, I want you to understand,
08:25 but I said, for all you know about this man,
08:27 he could be a serial murderer and you would never
08:30 know the difference. Now I said that in
08:32 tongue-in-cheek, but actually this is the way...
08:35 - Oh that's true. - It's true.
08:36 people can say one thing with their mouths and lie
08:41 with everything else.
08:42 Internet dating is extremely dangerous until the two of you
08:47 can get together. What I recommend is that
08:50 a couple continue their relationship over the Internet
08:54 for a year with occasional visits.
08:57 If it's a long-distance relationship.
09:01 If after a year it looks like it is going to work,
09:04 One of the two of them has to move.
09:06 I agree 100%. Because you would have to...
09:10 You know there's things that, and there are some things that
09:13 people don't recognize, and this is a silly example and
09:16 I hope it doesn't make me sound like a silly female, but
09:19 I was dating a man who actually was a college professor
09:23 I'd gone back to the school when I was close to 30 years old.
09:27 He was a college professor and after a semester of being
09:31 in his class, then later we began dating and
09:34 we were same faith, and we had a lot of things in common,
09:40 and there were some really interesting things, dynamics
09:43 in our relationship, but after I had dated him for about
09:47 six months, I met his family, which, I loved his family,
09:50 but you know something, when I saw him in a different,
09:54 in a family setting, suddenly he had some things
09:58 that drove me nuts and one of them was his sense of humor.
10:00 I'd never seen it before, but he had a really,
10:04 I don't know any other word to use, but a goofy sense of humor,
10:08 a silly slapstick sense of humor and drove it me up the wall.
10:13 And then I began to see that more and more and more
10:16 when we were in family situations, and I didn't realize
10:21 that even sense of humor, when you have common values and
10:25 shared things, even that can really make a big difference
10:29 in the way that you feel about somebody.
10:31 And I began to see other things. You can't tell that over the
10:33 Internet. You can't share that,
10:36 and they find that marriages are happy when husbands and wives
10:40 can laugh together, can play together,
10:43 and when they shared the same sense of humor.
10:46 The interesting thing is that new research shows that
10:48 men and women have different senses of humor,
10:51 women like more spontaneous humor,
10:53 and men are more into the slapstick type of humor, so
10:58 that's one of the gender differences.
11:00 That's interesting, I didn't know that.
11:02 My husband isn't slapstick, so the Lord knew I didn't need that
11:06 Well, so if you are re-entering, through friends or meeting
11:11 someone through the friendship circle, or through church, or
11:16 possibly through Internet dating, and I, by the way,
11:18 know a number of people who've met and married someone from the
11:22 Internet was their introduction and it's been very successful.
11:25 what is the most important thing that we can counsel with someone
11:30 who may be going through a divorce and it's a
11:33 lengthy divorce, should they even consider re-entering before
11:39 or should someone consider dating someone
11:41 whose divorce is not final?
11:43 I strongly recommend that you do not begin dating until the
11:49 divorce is final. Very, very strongly.
11:52 I know of one case where a husband-and-wife were getting
11:56 a divorce, there was no hope and she began dating somebody.
12:02 But he held up, he was not going to put himself on
12:07 the market yet. Would you believe, just before
12:10 the final papers were signed,
12:14 she changed her mind and said
12:16 she wanted to give the relationship one last shot.
12:20 So they went into a counseling, their relationship was saved.
12:24 Now, what would have happened if he had said, there is no hope
12:28 for this relationship, it's final, so he
12:31 starts dating somebody. I do not call that honorable
12:35 dating. I think we need to date with integrity.
12:39 Date in an honorable way and that to me is not an honorable
12:44 way of entering the dating scene ...if you have a relationship in
12:49 the background that is not completely over, whether it's
12:52 emotional or whether it is a legal matter.
12:56 This is not re-entering the dating game honorably.
12:59 Well, and you are also violating God's commandment, of
13:02 not committing adultery, because that is a spiritual adultery.
13:05 If you are still married, you're still married.
13:07 So that's something that's very critical.
13:09 - Yes. But now what about the parent,
13:13 the single-parent who's divorced and let's say they've gone
13:16 through the 2 year rule, and they've waited to re-enter.
13:20 And they have children, that's a special consideration.
13:24 How do single parents with children re-enter
13:27 the dating game?
13:28 This is one of the big differences between
13:29 dating as a mature adult, and
13:32 dating when you are a teenager.
13:34 Of course more and more teenagers
13:36 are having babies out of wedlock now too.
13:38 but generally speaking they are not dating when they have
13:44 children, but the mature adult who has been previously married
13:48 or perhaps widowed, will be entering.
13:51 Now the trend is to just bring
13:54 the children along on a lot of
13:57 occasions, but that's not always a good trend to follow, because
14:03 children who have lost one parent already,
14:06 whether it be to divorce or to death, already are
14:11 emotionally upset, because they have lost half of their parent.
14:15 - Yes. and they need security.
14:17 they need to permanence in their life, not a succession
14:21 of dating partners. And so I strongly recommend that when
14:26 people re-enter the dating scene that their children not be
14:30 a part of that. And it becomes even more complicated should
14:35 the parent have a teenager.
14:37 - Yes. Teenagers consider themselves
14:40 maybe the star of the dating scene, so if
14:44 mom or dad is dating and the teenager is dating it can almost
14:49 set up a scene of competition.
14:51 So teenagers may be aware that
14:55 you are having relationships, or younger children as well,
14:59 but don't bring them into it until the relationship is
15:02 well established. You can on certain occasions,
15:08 but keep things very cool, very...
15:11 - Casual. - Casual, friendly.
15:14 No demonstrations of strong,
15:18 romantic affection. Think more
15:21 of bringing this person along as a friend and no
15:25 heavy commitments, so it's very, very difficult to
15:30 date with children. What do you do with the children?
15:32 You know you have to hire babysitters, unless they're
15:35 going to come with you, so we have another whole world
15:38 of dating out there with children.
15:40 Well, and children, sometimes it seems that, there is one of two
15:44 scenarios. Either the child looks at the new person that's
15:49 arriving on the scene as competition, say to
15:52 either a deceased parent or to a divorced parent, and so
15:57 they will be very detrimental to the relationship.
16:01 They'll do anything they can to destroy it,or a child can become
16:05 overly attached to someone... - Yes.
16:06 that maybe you're not overly attached to.
16:09 And then when you break up that child has to go through
16:13 the loss of another important person in their life.
16:16 ...o it's very, very difficult. And yes, and some children also
16:21 can, at a certain age, "Is he going to be my daddy?"
16:25 - Yes. "Is she going to be my mommy?"
16:27 And this can be embarrassing to, so it's better not to bring
16:32 children into a relationship, especially in the early stages.
16:36 Except for special occasions. - When it's unstable.
16:39 Okay, now what happens if let's say that you've done everything
16:43 right here and you are a single father and you have waited the
16:48 2 years to re-enter the dating game, and
16:53 now you've been dating someone that you were friends with
16:56 at first and then you kind of began casual dating,
16:59 more exclusive type, or where it wasn't really exclusive, but you
17:03 had casual dating, now you're into that series dating and
17:05 you're maybe thinking about this might be the person I want to
17:09 marry, so you bring this woman new special person in your life
17:13 home to meet the children and to introduce them as someone
17:17 that you're interested in and the children don't approve.
17:20 Now what you do?
17:22 This can be a major problem and some people will go right ahead
17:27 and marry anyway and live to regret it.
17:32 I have found many couples who I think without children involved,
17:36 had the maturity to make the relationship work, but the
17:41 children themselves do not have the maturity, and if they take a
17:46 dislike to somebody, and think also what a child has at stake
17:51 because if we got his kids and her kids now that are now
17:55 uniting in the relationship maybe a daughter who has never
18:00 shared a bedroom with anybody suddenly has to have her bedroom
18:05 shared, her territory is not her own anymore.
18:08 we've got major complications and many people are marrying
18:12 especially through this Internet dating, now
18:15 without ever meeting each other's children or maybe
18:18 they meet for the first time at the wedding.
18:20 This type of thing is occurring and this is not healthy.
18:25 When children do not approve I believe that a parent
18:28 should sit down ahead of time talk openly with a child,
18:33 not telling them everything, but asking their opinion
18:37 letting them know that you may not necessarily follow
18:42 everything that they are saying, but you are open to hear
18:46 what they have to say. I think a parent needs this
18:49 kind of respectable attitude that open dialogue with the
18:54 child taking what the child has to say into consideration, but
18:58 letting the child know that, in the end you are a person
19:01 enough to make your own decision.
19:03 But if you make that decision when your children are against
19:05 you, you've got to be able to live with the consequences.
19:09 So you know there's times that children can see things maybe
19:13 you don't see and there's some really valid reasons, but
19:18 there's times that children can be just very selfish.
19:20 - Yes. And they don't want to share you
19:23 with someone else. So you can't let the child
19:26 control your life, but yet if the child has some really valid
19:31 reasons, is there some kind of counseling procedure that you
19:34 can go through at this time? I would recommend that
19:37 and there's a type of therapy a family therapist, that would
19:41 see you altogether and families even form teams
19:45 when you go into a room, what side, where would the
19:50 children sit. With mom, with dad who are they going to side with.
19:54 All kinds of things in a family therapist would
19:57 work through these issues and of course this prepare MC that
20:01 I mentioned to you before would get into some of the issues
20:04 involved in parenting children that are not your own,
20:09 one of the most difficult types of parenting is parenting
20:13 stepchildren, children that are not your own and the
20:18 wicked stepmother, you know, she gets labeled that, much
20:23 of the discipline is going to fall on her shoulders.
20:26 what kind of maturity, what kind of parenting skills
20:30 does she have in parenting a child that is not her own.
20:35 A child that does not like her. Does she have the personality?
20:39 The maturity, the ability to turn that around?
20:44 A big, big, big decision. - And this is something that
20:47 obviously, any two people who are considering marrying
20:50 that they do have children, maybe one or the other side,
20:53 or both have children, they need to really thoroughly
20:56 discuss this and decide how they are going to handle these
20:59 situations. I mean, they need to have a united front to offer to
21:05 to the children here if they do get married.
21:06 Now let me, oh, I just wanted to stop you for a minute,
21:09 because you mentioned the prepare MC that we discussed
21:12 in another program, but for viewers who weren't able to
21:15 watch the other program, please explain what prepare MC is.
21:19 Prepare MC is a test of 125 questions that both he and she
21:25 would take separately and then they would meet with a counselor
21:29 afterwards to discuss any areas that did not match and...
21:35 - Potential problem areas. - Potential problem areas,
21:37 and the MC stands for married with children in the home.
21:42 And they go to a counselor that is certified for
21:47 administering this test and the interesting thing is that it
21:52 can tell within 86% accuracy whether this relationship will
21:56 end in a divorce or not. Powerful tool.
21:59 That is, and I understand that there's a lot of pastors who
22:02 are using this in their family counseling,...
22:04 - Yes. so this would be a good test.
22:06 I highly recommend this, especially for anybody who is
22:10 entering a marriage with children on either side.
22:13 Nancy, what advice would you give to a divorced parent who's
22:18 previous husband or wife is entering the dating game.
22:23 Let's say you're a single again mother and you have several
22:28 children and you find out your husband is entering into dating
22:32 before you do. How do you handle that with the children?
22:35 This is very difficult, because
22:37 that husband may not share
22:41 your same values and may not
22:44 even keep the same day of worship, may be living or
22:49 sleeping with another woman and your children are being
22:53 exposed to this. But you know what Shelly,
22:56 the real test of all this needs to be considered at the time
23:00 that you are divorcing that man. You know I'm smiling right now,
23:04 because I'm not a real Dr. Laura fan, but every
23:07 once in a while she has a bit of wisdom, now whether
23:10 this is her greatest bit of wisdom, but she says
23:13 if you are going to divorce, you should not remarry again
23:17 until those kids are in college. - Wow!
23:19 Because what dating does is take
23:23 your time and attention away
23:27 from your children and you are putting more energy into your
23:31 dating relationships than you are into your children.
23:34 And, you know, there is something to that.
23:37 Dating takes a tremendous amount of energy.
23:41 And children are the primary concern.
23:44 Yes, I'm concerned about the single's future, but
23:48 you know what? You brought those children
23:50 into the world,... - Yes.
23:51 and you need to worry about leading those children to
23:54 the Lord and making sure that as a single parent you're doing the
23:58 right thing for that child all the way through.
24:01 - Yes. And for those who perhaps
24:04 do not take that advice, or don't see the wisdom of
24:08 that advice, and there are different routes, I mean there
24:10 are many, I've seen many second marriages where the children
24:13 benefit greatly... - Yes.
24:15 from having a father, you know, if you are a single woman trying
24:20 to bring up boys by herself, that if she marries the right
24:23 person, the man who steps in to be their father may be a better
24:27 role model than their biological father. So, we're not trying to
24:31 dissuade anyone, you've got to do a lot of praying and follow
24:36 some pretty good ground rules, but I see the wisdom in that
24:41 as well. Now before, we're running out of time so rapidly
24:45 and I wanted to touch on widows and widowers specifically
24:48 because there are so many out there.
24:50 Do you have some wise words for the widows and widowers?
24:54 Well, widows and widowers will go through the 2 years
24:57 of grieving, but they don't have all the bad memories.
25:02 When you go through a divorce there's so much negative emotion
25:06 but there's not so much negative emotion connected with...
25:09 - With a death. - With a death,
25:13 - Yes. and they say that one of the
25:16 best times to remarry is in the 50s. When you are 50 or beyond,
25:20 because your children are generally speaking, they're
25:25 raised and they're gone and you still have your health,
25:28 you are financially stable. So it can be one of the
25:32 best times to remarry. And maybe because you know
25:35 what you want more, and you don't play the games that
25:39 other people play. - Yes,...
25:40 although people remember now, everybody does the game playing,
25:44 because we always want to put our best foot forward.
25:47 But I still believe they need to take the Prepare test, because
25:52 now we have a new Prepare test, once you are 50, it's called
25:55 Mate now, but it's still part of Prepare, because there are still
25:59 issues that you need to look at, but I'm glad you said that, that
26:05 we don't want to frown on second marriages, because
26:10 the second marriage can be the best thing sometimes that ever
26:13 happen to you. But remember second marriages do have a
26:16 higher divorce rate than first marriages. So we need to be more
26:20 careful the second, third, fourth and fifth time around.
26:24 The divorce rate does not slow down until a person has been
26:28 married five times. - My goodness,...
26:30 that's an amazing statistic, but you know when you say
26:33 we need to more careful, maybe we just need to be more careful
26:36 the first time we get married so that we don't get into that
26:39 divorced arena. - Exactly, exactly.
26:42 But there's so many variables that we cannot foresee and
26:47 so many things that change. the most important advice that
26:51 we can give is just not to marry too quickly, whether it's your
26:54 first time or another time. - Absolutely, and take that
27:00 Prepare test. First time around or whether it's the second or
27:05 third time around. Just being a little more careful, asking
27:09 the Lord direct guidance, is this the one for me?
27:12 But the member what I said singles, when they pray they
27:16 can hear God say anything they want to hear God saying to them.
27:20 But be very careful, cautious, and slow down.
27:24 What you're saying is, sometimes when we're praying we are
27:27 hearing our own thoughts instead of God's thoughts, because we
27:31 get so emotionally charged and involved in the event.
27:34 Nancy, our time is all gone again so fast.
27:36 Thank you so much for being here and we're going to have you back
27:39 for a couple more programs. For those of you at home,
27:42 remember this, it doesn't matter what's going on in your life,
27:46 God has a plan for your life and I guarantee you, it's probably
27:50 better than the one you are already living.
27:53 Stay tuned.