Dating after divorce can seem daunting and impossible. Once you have lived through a broken relationship and the ending of marriage, it is easy to become bitter or jaded. You get married expecting it to last a lifetime and when it doesn’t, it is the painful-no matter who leaves who. The good thing to remember is that you are not alone in this situation; many people have lived through the ordeal of a divorce and gone on to find happiness again.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel take the advice of friends who have walked this path before you. There are also many resources such as online articles, support groups and counselors who are available to help you navigate this time in your life. Make sure you take advantage of all of these resources before you try the dating world again.
Here are some more tips to help you make the transition to dating after divorce:
10 Tips You Must Learn If You Want To Date After Divorce
1. Give yourself time to heal.
The amount of time it takes for one to heal after a divorce is as different as the people involved. Some people roll with the punches while others need time to process the changes. The worst thing to do, however, is to jump right back into dating before you have healed from your divorce. You need time for closure and for hurts to heal.
2. Make sure you have a support system.
This doesn’t mean that you have to go only on group dates. It just suggests that you have a solid group of friends who can be your cheerleaders and help you through the maze of dating. If you have someone objective to talk to, it helps you figure things out. It also creates a safety net for you when other people know where you are and who you are with…just in case you need something.
3. Be positive.
It is easy to fall into bashing the opposite sex after a divorce but try to avoid that way of thinking. A positive attitude creates what you are looking for. It also helps you to cope and to find humor in situations that are sometimes tricky. Try to see the world and other people as potential friends and that is what they will become.
4. Like yourself.
Before you can find someone else to share your time with, you must like being with yourself. It is easy to get discouraged or down on yourself after a hurtful breakup. That is why you should take the time to heal and to learn to like yourself again. Put the blame and the unkind words in the past. You are great, and you have much to offer, but you can’t give that to someone else…until you have given it to yourself.
5. Think outside the box.
Dating after a divorce is the perfect time to reinvent yourself. Try a new hairdo or a new fashion style that you couldn’t when you were married. Get involved in new hobbies or groups that you would never have as a married person. You have free time now to try all sorts of new things.
6. Evaluate your “type.”
After a divorce, you have the freedom to examine the qualities you want or need in a partner. You have learned some valuable lessons being married…things you like and don’t like about someone in your life. It is okay to make changes in who you date and adventure out. It is true that opposites often attract.
Many times after a divorce, we want to rush out and date someone just to show that we can still attract the opposite sex. Maybe you have something to prove to your ex or others. But this is just a trap. Take your time…there is no time limit or hurry to jump back into dating. Go out with lots of different people and explore life.
8. Talk to your kids.
This is a huge consideration when you date after divorce. If you have children, no matter what age- your dating life will affect them. It may not affect them negatively but to be sure, you need to have an open discussion with them (based on their age) about the fact that you may go out. It will be difficult for them to see a parent go out with someone other than the other parent. One word of caution: do not take every person you date to meet your children.
Keep it separate until you are serious with someone. Let your kids have space at your home that is private for a while, where they can be themselves. There will be time for introductions if your dating becomes long term. Put the children first. They did not have a choice in the divorce, and they deserve your undivided attention sometimes.
9. Start with a new slate.
As hard as it may be, don’t begin a dating relationship with the past hanging over your head like a dark cloud. Make peace with what has happened and don’t go into a new friendship, looking for trouble. This is a new person in your life that should not have to pay for your ex’s mistakes. Also, avoid constantly talking about your failed marriage. There will be a time and place to do it but then close that book and move on.
10. Catch up.
One very practical thing to consider when dating after divorce is that things may have changed since you last dated. Depending on how long you were married, you may be out of the dating loop. Whether it is online dating or new rules for daters, you need to catch up. Spend some time with some single friends who can clue you in.
Dating after divorce can be a daunting task. So, in the end, it is really up to you to determine if you are ready to date after divorce. Every person is different, and there aren’t any right or wrong answers. You need to give yourself time to heal and don’t feel pressured to date or anything else. Live your life and do what’s best for you and your family. Never fear…there is life after divorce!