5 Tips For Dating Again After Divorce
Divorces happen, and they happen fairly frequently. Recent studies have shown that over 2 million Americans got divorced in the year 2015 alone, and that was not an exceptional year for divorce by any stretch of the imagination. However, it’s important to remember that, no matter how many people got divorced when you did, your divorce and your journey through it is still unique to you. This is why, if you’re thinking about dating again after divorce, it’s important to take a deep breath and make sure you’re truly ready to jump back into that pool.
1. Think About What You Want in a Partner
If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re never going to find it. This sounds like basic advice, but coming out on the other end of a divorce often changes our wants and needs in ways we don’t think about at the time. Before you start going out again, you have to know what you want from a partner and what you’re looking for in a relationship. You might be looking for companionship, a casual friend to get dinner with once a week, or something a little more intimate and serious. Only you can make that decision.
2. Talk About Who You Are
Your marriage can often hang over you like a cloud after a divorce, and the things that happened to you are still fresh in your memory. When you’re dating, though, you should follow one of the most important rules you had when you were still single: don’t talk about your ex—at least not for a while. Before you regale your date with stories of your past relationship and divorce, it’s important that they get to know you, and you get to know them and are sure they’re worth trusting with your story.
3. Be Honest About Who You Are
Honesty can be in fairly short supply in the dating world, unfortunately. This is particularly true regarding online dating, where people may exaggerate their qualities to make themselves seem like better dating prospects. This is something you should absolutely avoid doing, because most fabrications on an online profile come to light sooner or later. Keep your profile honest, and before you go out with someone you met online, consider running a quick search on them. You might be surprised what you find.
4. Talk To Your Kids About Your Dating Decision
Divorce can be especially tough for your kids. If you and your ex have children together, you should take the time to talk to them about your dating decisions. Not only that, but you need to be honest with your kids about what your dating plans are (within the bounds of reason and good taste, obviously). While it isn’t necessary, or even recommended, for your kids to meet everyone you date, they should know that you are dating again.
5. Dating is Not a Fix-All
Too often we see dating portrayed as a way to fill a void or fix what’s wrong with our lives. Your problems, our culture says, will go away or become unimportant once you find the right person. However, dating isn’t something you do in order to fix your life; it’s something you do to enrich and share your life, once you’ve rebuilt it. If there are areas in your life where you are still healing and getting your feet under you, focus there before you begin dating. Whether it’s issues with intimacy, difficulties with adjusting to being a single parent, or just trying to figure out your new goals in a post-marriage life, having a handle on these core areas will be key to starting a relationship with a new romantic partner in the equation. I encourage you to really ask yourself the question if you are ready to date again after divorce.
Taking the leap to start dating again takes time, healing, and a healthy dose of bravery. When you’re ready to jump back in the dating pool, you may want some additional support and resources to guide you. We’re here to help!
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