Are you no longer legally married and trying to figure out dating after divorce?
This article will help you realize that nothing is impossible and will teach you how not to make the same mistakes when it comes to dating.
When my marriage ended, dating was the last thing on my mind. Thanks to good friends and an excellent relationship counselor, I finally overcame my fear of dating.
After a couple of online dating sites and paid memberships, I began dating. Once I unburdened myself with the idea that the date would define my future, I started enjoying meeting new people, and eventually, I met my new husband.
I know it’s hard to put yourself out there, but there is love in this world, and you deserve it all!
So, without further ado, let’s see why and how dating after divorce is possible!
How long should you wait to date after divorce?
Divorces are tough – no doubt about it! Some are amicable, others get messy, and looking for a specific timeframe that fits everyone is a total waste of time.
When you get back in the saddle largely depends on how you are coping with the situation. Are you relieved to be single again? Are you dreading the thought of starting anew? Are you still counting your losses?
Although there’s not a specific number to aim for, therapists suggest it’s best to give yourself a few months, if not up to a year, before you start dating again.
You should use this time to “regroup.” Leaving a dysfunctional relationship behind may feel like a blessing, but that’s not all you are leaving. You are also saying goodbye to the good moments, happy memories, a home, the pet you were sharing, or, worst case, children.
The worst thing you could do is jump on a dating site and look for instant gratification. It may feel refreshing to meet a new person and enjoy some good sex, but is that the right way to deal with the emotions still running high after your divorce?
Some people rush into a new relationship still carrying the old baggage, still dealing with old feelings, grudges, or even the ex-partner themself. By doing so, you are setting yourself up for failure.
On the other hand, taking some time off will do wonders for your mental and emotional health. Sit with yourself! Reflect, heal, grow! Before falling in love with someone new, fall in love with who you are becoming.
Self-awareness is key when getting back on the dating scene because you may not only hurt yourself but also “damage” someone else, which is not fair!
How to start dating after divorce
Take Things Slow
It will take some getting used to before you feel comfortable in your skin as a singleton. Divorced women are better at taking things slow than divorced men, but there is no general rule.
Instead of rushing headfirst into a new relationship, whether emotional or sexual, spend some time getting to know this potential partner. Maintain regular communication – talk over the phone, text, do some video calls, and perhaps grab a casual coffee together. There is no need to label things right away.
Set reasonable expectations
To do so, first, ask yourself the real reasons you want to go back to dating. Are you leaning more towards marriage or just casual connection?
Once you determine your goal, look for a healthy amount of chemistry, emotional intelligence, similar worldviews and values, a good sense of humor, and overall compatibility. Otherworldly sex may be great, but it’s not always the best guideline.
Don’t dwell on the past
What is the biggest turn-off on a date? Talking about your ex-spouse.
It’s great to be honest, and tell your date what’s going on with your life, but going on a rant about your failed relationship and post-marriage dating flops is one of the major red flags!
To attract healthy people, you need to do your inner work first.
Give chemistry a chance to kick in
Chemistry is very important when it comes to finding a new partner. If you need to get drunk to get in bed with them, it’s not going to work.
Chemistry is also dangerous because people mistake it for compatibility, and once it wears off, they notice there wasn’t much there except good sex.
So give them a chance if you found someone you feel you can be yourself with and genuinely enjoy their company. Chemistry sometimes takes time to bubble up.
Stay informed about online dating
For some people, online dating wasn’t even a thing when they got married the first time. I’m pretty sure navigating a dating site is easy, but cracking down online dating after divorce can be challenging. There are tons of con artists, gold diggers, and lowlives aiming for your bank accounts.
Luckily there are dating sites like Separated, where divorced people can safely and comfortably look for matches for a serious relationship or marriage.
Careful with your kids and family
Dating after divorce is uncharted territory. You may find true love, but you may also run into a total douchebag that only looks like your soulmate.
Many will feel honest and trustworthy when you meet people, but don’t expect your children to always share your enthusiasm. They need to come first in life, and they need to know that at all times!
What to do on your first date after divorce
If thinking about dating after signing the divorce papers gives you a headache, you are not alone. Many women and men who have been married for several decades, dating after divorce is a dreadful thought.
But going alone through life is hard. Loneliness creeps in quite fast after divorce, and here you are, about to dive into the dating pool.
Here are all the Dos and Don’ts for a first date:
Do Go Easy
Aim for a place with a light atmosphere – not too fancy, not too casual. Focus on getting to know each other without of pressure of figuring out where this is going on your first date. Smile, flirt, and enjoy each other’s company.
DON”T Give Them the Third Degree
It is a date, not an interrogation. There is no need to rush into finding everything about your date in one outing. It’s impossible, and it quite frankly reaks of despair. The most important thing is to let them open up, not bury them under a pile of questions.
DO Have Realistic Expectations
A first date doesn’t always lead to a relationship, nor does it point to marriage. Don’t burden yourself with thoughts like “I want us to work out” or “I hope she/he is the one.” Having realistic expectations will save you from a lot of heartaches.
DON’T Talk about Your Ex
As we already mentioned, talking about your ex can be one of the worst red flags and deal-breakers!
DO Give Compliments
We all like to hear a compliment or two, especially when the ego is bruised after a divorce. Take the pressure off your potential partner and tell them what you like about them. Of course, try to sound natural, not creepy.
DON’T End up in Bed with Them
Dating after divorce can be confusing. You may want to postpone going back to their place until you are sure of their intentions (and yours). To give your future relationships a chance, you must first be careful with your emotions.
DO Aim for 50/50 Communications
First dates are all about communication. Say whatever you want to say about yourself, and then listen to what your potential partner has to say. Allow them to pick up the conversation, and don’t be afraid of awkward silences.
DON’T Answer your Phone
That is pretty self-explanatory. Unless it’s a real emergency, lay off your phone and focus on your date!
A paced return to the dating scene after a divorce is a healthy way to recover your love life. Don’t be discouraged by a previous bad experience or a difficult divorce. Eventually, the wheel will turn, and you’ll finally find the right person/partner. Your next relationship might just be around the corner.