There’s Still Hope! 6 Effective Dating Tips for Divorcees
Love has hurt you once before, but that doesn’t mean you should give up! Here are some tips for divorcees looking to get back in the dating scene.
Tips for dating after divorce are flying around like mosquitos in the summer. You will hear tips from your friends, your parents, your coworkers, and maybe even from your ex who claims to know what’s best for you. Interesting concept, right there, because if they did know what it took to make you happy, you probably wouldn’t be divorced right now.
Divorcing a loved one might be the best decision of your life, but it is still a sensitive change and will bring with it many difficult emotional stages. If you’re looking to date to get back at your ex or to feel validated, stop and consider: isdating really is the best way to do so? If you’ve already come to terms with your divorce and are looking to mingle with singles once more, keep reading! [Read: 10 ways to look at the bright side of divorce]
How to get back to dating after a divorce
Dating after divorce is possible. Finding love again is possible. But there are certain ways to go about it to ensure you’re jumping back into the dating scene with a fresh, healthy perspective. While there is no magic formula to make dating a breeze this time around, we’ve got some tips to make it fun and worthwhile.
#1 Don’t be ashamed to be single. After being married for several years or even a short period of time, you have to give yourself time to readjust. There might have been a lot of activities you had to give up as a married individual–maybe even your religion, your career, or your daily routine.
Learn to live on your own again, reestablish what works for you, and find yourself after being legally attached to another individual. Read again, go to the gym, and get back in touch with your long-lost friends. Relearn what truly makes you happy before introducing anybody new into your life. It is not a bad idea to get introspective and analyze what went wrong in your marriage in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes in your next relationship. [Read: 12 things about love that you’ll only learn from experience]
#2 Divorcée to divorcée. Know that you are certainly not alone. Talk to people you know who have been through a similar situation. Sometimes, it is easier to open up to individuals who have gone through a divorce, as well. Some of them may even be actively dating, whereas others may have already found love again.
Ask them for advice on what to expect when you start dating. Ask them what the dating scene is now like, with technology’s impact. The insights you learn from people who have been through what you’re going through are astounding, eye-opening, and–ultimately–comforting, since you know that there are people out there who have been divorced but found happiness again. [Read: 8 reasons it’s fine to never get married]
#3 Stick to your standards. Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you should settle for whoever will date you. Being divorced doesn’t diminish your value; if anything, it only serves to show the world that you’ve got more wisdom than those who have never been through such a huge life change.
In line with this, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a future partner. A lot of single souls are very animated about what they do not want, but that doesn’t mean what they want is automatically the opposite. That’s why you should be specific when it comes to what you’re looking for. Do you want someone who wants more kids? Do you want someone who earns more than you do? What about your stand on religion? How about parenting styles? [Read: 13 warning signs to look out for on the first few dates]
You can be flexible about certain traits, but don’t settle for someone who does not have a job if that’s a must on your list. Don’t even go on a second date if there is a crucial must that is not met right away. Just like a grocery list, don’t deviate too much, or you’ll be sorry! [Read: Should you settle for less when you can have so much more?]
#4 On dating a year after your divorce. Some individuals will feel ready to date right after divorcing. It’s possible that you have been physically separated and even emotionally separated from your ex for a while, and even if the divorce is not final or only recently finalized, you have decided you are ready to date. Good for you.
However, make sure you do not repeat the same mistakes you once did. Be honest with yourself, and take a good look at how you select your dates, where you meet them, and why you choose to go out with someone a second time. Don’t bore your date with how terrible your ex was, and don’t throw a pity party, but don’t avoid the topic of divorce so vehemently that your date doesn’t find out about it until the tenth date!
Make sure you start fresh once you start dating, and take it as a second chance… because it is. Although you are older, and divorced, you are not less interesting or attractive. Instead, you are wiser, more experienced, and better equipped to make decisions.
Don’t sell yourself short, either. Whether you want to look online for a date, or meet someone at the gym, make sure you display self-confidence. If you can’t, you may not be quite ready to get back out there. [Read: How to get your self-esteem back after a breakup]
#5 On dating several years after your divorce. Now, if several years pass before you are ready to enter the dating world, it can be quite surprising and stressful to get used to the dating scene again. You have established a new life, a new routine, and after two years *or possibly more*, you might have forgotten what it’s like, or how sweet it can be to be in love.
You probably have your guard up, because you have reprogrammed your life following your own needs and desires, and you don’t want anyone to disturb your peaceful path. Remember: dating does not involve getting married right away, so don’t be too anxious about going out and having fun. After all, life is too short to end up lonely.
You can allow someone into your life without changing what makes you happy. Actually, that’s the way it should be, and if that person is respectful of your schedule, your routine, your needs, and your wants, well… they might be a keeper.
#6 Keep your children in mind. Listen to your kids and realize that, while you might be ready to date and feel good again, they might still be experiencing a lot of insecurities regarding a future without mom and dad living together. Talk to your children. Find out how they are feeling, and listen to their questions and fears. Be patient with your children if you are thinking about introducing someone new into their lives.
While your kids might not know how to express their thoughts very well yet *especially if they’re young*, many of them are happy to go along with what makes mom and dad happy because happy parents make happy children. [Read: The woes of single moms who are looking to date]
Of course, explaining dating to your kids will depend on how old they are. If they are really young, you can use a “play date” analogy, wherein moms and dads need to make new friends. Older kids often already know what dating is, and you will need to approach your teen or pre-teen, depending on your child’s personality. Once you feel the moment is right to have your children and your new flame meet, involve your kids in planning an activity to make it easier on them. [Read: 9 things you can’t overlook when you date a single parent]
A lot of newly-divorced people will shout to whoever wants to hear that they will never get married again. It is, of course, a possibility, a choice, and their right. But it’s also important to be open-minded. Take the time to meet and get to know people. Start trusting your judgment again. If you have taken enough time for yourself and have rediscovered your likes and dislikes, you should be able to trust your gut instinct and make great choices for yourself.
If you have children, don’t feel like you are handicapped or unavailable for love. While you shouldn’t involve your kids in your dating life until things get serious, they deserve to know what’s going on. Lastly, don’t force things. Online dating, speed dating, and all the other options available to you these days are valid, but let things happen as naturally as possible. There’s no need to rush love, after all.
Dating after divorce may seem scary at first, but in time, you can ease into the flow of dating until you find someone out there who’s right for you!