Getting back to dating after a divorce has its share of complications, some of them having to do mostly with your mind state, which require that you have a serious introspection, others that have to do with the particularities and trappings of dating. Certainly men and women have it differently, both because of the general perception attributed to the role of each sex but at the same time due to the increasingly smaller “playing field”. It’s true that divorces are more common now for couples in their 30’s or even late 20;s but, for the most part the “divorced but looking for somebody” playing field is mainly occupied by 40’s and up.
At any rate, we are going to take a look at 10 best advice to look into if you’re trying to make sense of your dating life after divorce, and also at a set of questions to let you know when you’re ready to start looking for somebody.
1. Analyze your situation:
While some people can work their situation on their own, by simply taking the time to self analyze sincerely, most other will find that a good few sessions with a therapist can work wonders. Remember, this is not couple therapy, it’s you and your expectations, and your future life.
2. Don’t underestimate your worth:
Both for men as well as for women, a tricky part of mentally deciding that they’re ready to date has to do with their feelings of already having been in a relationship that had crumbled away. This can have repercussion on the way you see yourself and that can put you up for underestimating your appeal.
3. Don’t overestimate yourself either: Just because you’re no longer in a marriage you weren’t happy with, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have other issues to work on. Males but often times females too will think that their entire list of problems is gone just because a draining relationship has ended. Remember, it’s not always about a fresh start as much as it is about continuing with your life and work.
4. Don’t put your child(ren) first: Don’t gasp, it’s not that you should abandon your children, not at all, but you need to make some time for yourself. Don’t use the: “oh, I can’t start looking for somebody, I’ve got children and I can’t make space for someone in my life right now”. Too often both men and women will use this excuse to avoid even consider dating. Remember, taking care of others starts with taking care of yourself.
5. Yes, dating is a game of chance, but it has always been that:
Another often times used excuse used by people to avoid going on dates has to do with the often less than good dates. While this applies to blind dates, or to dating intermediated by a dating site, any date can be less than perfect. But you have to put yourself through that again if you’re ever to find someone fit for you.
6. No, you don’t have to give up your friends or other important activities:
Especially those that haven’t been dating for a while and remember the time when dates could put a strain on friendships, especially if those early dates were happening in one’s early 20s or even the late teen years, remember that you’re now an adult. So will the person you’re going to be dating, so, while there will be some back and forth, the common ground is now different. You can date and still keep your circle of friends or other productive or leisure activities you hold dear. Just make sure to communicate what your boundaries are and what it is that you are looking for. While love can happen and will happen if you give it some time, you have to be honest about who you are.
7. Do I have the time for dating?
It’s the age of the internet for dating so jump on board. Studies have shown that as much as 30% of all new marriages start as friendships that were intermediated through an online network. Besides, setting up an online profile can add further benefits to your dating life, easier screening of your potential dates, having a more solid background on one’s private and professional like and so on. Coupled with increased ease of use, with the fact that you can spend as little or as much time as you wish on these platforms, you are always in more control over who you later choose to actually meet.
8. Face the social pressure sooner rather than later:
It sure is easier said than done, sure, but you have to face this fact. Most of your friends will probably be married or in relationships, and they might have their own ideas about divorcees going into dates. Don’t forget, if your entourage doesn’t support your choices, you’re better off without their meddling in your affairs. However don’t hide that you’re dating, but also don’t make it your thing, the only thing you talk about or your main imperative. Keep your private affairs private, but don’t hide them either.
9. No, you don’t have to settle for less just because you’re divorced:
Another major issue with divorcees rejoining the dating scene is that they expect their new relationships to never amount to much. A failed relationship is always a harbor for resentment and for comparison. However, don’t go thinking that you deserve less than what your ideal date would be.
10. However, be real:
Yes, you don’t have to settle for someone you don’t care about, for someone lesser, but remember; you’re going to date real human beings, part of which means flaws, ongoing issues, jobs and other responsibilities. So, while hoping for the best do get ready for some genuine human interaction, as it always was and it will always be. In other words, don’t build a fantasy over your dates, but know that you don’t have to settle for someone that doesn’t meet a set of realistic expectations.
So, ultimately, while your choice to jump back into the dating game remains a very personal decision, consider the thing realistically. There won’t ever be an ideal moment to see someone, so don’t wait for a mysterious alignment of the planets! Part of dating and meeting someone you can click with has to do with chance, and mostly with you putting yourself out there to see what happens.