I'm Divorced and Ready to Start Dating Again. Help!

Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D!

Photo by Mario Jaramillo

Dear Willie D:

I live in the U.S. and watch a lot of crime and murder mystery shows on television. I didn't know that so many people were being kidnapped, raped and murdered in this country. Sometimes I have dreams of being killed. Each time I leave my house I'm absolutely terrified of the possible dangers that await me. I'm afraid to blow my car horn at someone on the street for fear that they will pull out a gun and shoot me.

When I'm at home I listen to my music on my computer or my headphones because I don't want to disturb my neighbor to the extent that they feel it necessary to shoot me over loud music. Whenever I'm walking through a parking lot to or from my car I'm alert; constantly checking for suspicious activity. I'm also paranoid of becoming a home-invasion victim. What is wrong with me? Is this normal?

Absolutely Terrified:

There's nothing wrong with you. It's the morons you share space with in this so-called civilized region of the world that inflict murder and mayhem every single waking moment of the day. As a matter of fact, I would say that there is something wrong with you if you weren't afraid. The best way to protect yourself from violent crime is to be proactive. That includes being aware of your surroundings and making smart decisions about where you go, and who you keep company with.

Oftentimes the people closest to you are the ones who get you: spouses, friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers. I'm paranoid about home invasions also; that's why I have an alarm system. It may not prevent someone from running in, but the noise will give me just enough time to retrieve my heat and stop them from running out.


Dear Willie D:

I am a 37 -year-old recently divorced mother of three with a successful career. I've been divorced for about eight months but we were separated for about four years before we divorced. During that time I never dated or stepped outside of my marriage. I have always felt as if I was doing something wrong even though he had moved on and had two kids with two different women. I still saw myself as a married woman, and never wanted to disrespect my husband.

Also, I never wanted my kids to think badly of me knowing that I was still married to their dad. I'm a small town girl with small town values and I was always taught to stay true to your husband no matter what. Well now it's time for me to get out there in the dating world again and I don't know how. I don't go to clubs. I just moved to Houston and I really don't know anyone. Online dating is out of the question. How and where do I start with this dating thing?

Getting Out There:

The best way to meet people is to put yourself in social situations that reflect your interests. Since you don't have friends in Houston, volunteering at a nonprofit organization could be an excellent option. Giving back is a great way to surround yourself with good-hearted people and live a life of purpose. Get a gym membership and sign up for a cycling, dance, or swim class. Take a computer or language course. Join a church.

When you see someone you think you might like, don't be afraid to be the first to say hello or ask a question. I'm not a club person either, and don't even get me started on the deceptive, impersonal practice of Internet dating. We are living in some harsh times for relationships because people don't take the time to get to know each other. Everybody's in a rush to hump and pump out babies. Bringing a new man around your kids is a big step. Loving on your kids and caring about what they think of you -- well, it don't get any bigger than that.

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