12 Tips for Dating After Divorce
Not only is dating tough for many people, but dating after a “failed” marriage can be challenging. Divorce happens for a multitude of reasons, but for the majority of people, it’s a sad affair. It’s the tearing apart of two formerly intertwined lives, finances, material possessions, property, and perhaps children. It takes time to grieve and move on from that event, so it’s a good sign when a divorced person is ready to date again and perhaps be vulnerable again with someone new.
Some people are “lucky,” in that they get divorced at a younger age, and therefore don’t feel so out of touch with the younger generation. They feel like they still have the time to date around and meet someone new. But for those that get divorced later and are older may feel like there’s no point to trying again or that they won’t be able to find someone who’s the same age and ready to date. Not true! Everyone has the chance to start over and to try to find true love again and a relationship again if they so desire. Here are 12 tips to guide one through the murky waters of dating after divorce.
1. Take it slow
Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. It takes a while to feel comfortable again. After a divorce, dating can feel a bit weird and maybe even childish. One shouldn’t put pressure in oneself to feel comfortable right away in this new environment. Perhaps it would be wise not to throw oneself into the dating world right away, but take it one date at a time. That way it won’t feel as overwhelming.
2. Don’t expect too much
It can feel incredibly lonely after the end of a marriage, and it can feel bizarre to be living alone once again after all those years. So, sometimes people may want to try to get into a relationship right away again and could feel frustrated if one doesn’t materialize as quickly as they’d hoped. But, it would be unwise to expect too much. It’s better just to try one’s best, enjoy oneself, and see where things lead.
3. Don’t bring the ex to the date
No matter who ended things with whom, the ex has no place in the new love life. Of course, they are a part of the divorced person’s past and may potentially affect their future relationships, but it’s best to try to keep them away. Don’t let the ghosts of the past haunt the future and ruin what could be good, and potential future relationships! It makes the other person uncomfortable.
Moreover, it could make them run the other direction if someone comes to a date with a negative attitude about their ex and always bringing them into the conversation. The other person doesn’t want to hear about it. They just want to enjoy the other person’s company and have fun. Maybe they have a painful past as well, but they’re not bringing it to the date.
4. Don’t go with a bad attitude
Get over the bitterness and the anger before the date begins. Take the time to grieve and be angry and get closure. It’s best not to get someone else involved before the difficult grieving time is over.
5. Be confident
Yep, that’s right. Even if the divorce was messy, and it took a lot from both parties, and that it was embarrassing, go with confidence into the future. Life is what one makes it. The way one thinks about themselves and their lives has a drastic effect on the way their life goes and how people treat them. Be positive and be confident. There is hope. There is a chance. Don’t give up.
6. Don’t care what people think
It’s time to give up worrying about that. It only holds people back from living fulfilling lives.
7. Use resources
Reach out to people, go to social groups, use online dating sites. Get out there. Don’t sit at home being sad and feeling sorry that there are no good men or women out there. One would never be able to move on and find a new relationship if they don’t get out there.
8. No one’s perfect
Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has had bad things happen to them, so don’t judge other based on what occurred. Give people a chance. It’s okay if they’re not a good match, but don’t write people off right away, assuming they’ll be a certain way.
9. Own it
Whether one is divorced and is 28 years or whether one is divorced and is 70 years, own it. So, what? A divorce has happened, but it’s now in the past. It’s time to move on, dust off, and try again.
10. Keep up appearances
Divorce is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, and sometimes people just want to give up and let themselves go. They stop taking care of themselves and stop caring about what they look like. Beware of that! It’s worth taking good care of oneself because it will not only make one feel better physically and mentally, but it will help them feel “normal” again and will give them the confidence to get out in the dating world.
11. Be open
It’s unwise for one to limit themselves to finding “The Second One” or finding their truest love. After a divorce, the mindset and perspective can change about life and relationships, and maybe it could be a time to spend time with different kinds of people that one may never have expected. It could enrich one’s life and experiences.
Life is tough enough. It’s important to try and enjoy what can be enjoyed. After all of the tears and pain of divorce, take the time to laugh again and enjoy life once more. If it’s time to start dating again, then go out with people and to places that are fun and relaxing. And, if weird things happen or if the dates are a total failure, laugh about it. It will make things easier and will help to get up move on to the next. Don’t wallow in despair. Laugh, get over it and keep on trying.
Divorce is terrible; no one can deny that. It can be either a time of relief; to get away from one’s ex-partner, or it can be heartbreaking to have to be separated from your lover. Either way, these tips can be helpful for starting that journey again into the rocky road of the dating world. For things like divorce, a grieving period is necessary to be able to reflect on what was lost and to be able to move out healed and whole into the world again to try something new with a new person. It can take a lot of work, time, and emotional energy, but if laughter, love, and joy can be restored to one’s life once again after a divorce, why not do all that can be done?
So, learn to laugh again, take it slow, own it, be confident, lose the bad attitude, don’t care what people think, and keep expectations to a minimum. Just stand tall, get out there, and give it another go. It could make all the difference.