Divorce can be emotionally taxing for anyone involved, including the couple that gets divorced, close family, and especially children (even adult children). Depending on how long the marriage was and how difficult the divorce process was, being ready to put yourself out into the dating world again can be very difficult. Hopefully, these tips will help you to put yourself out there and take a chance again.
Getting Back Into Dating Following a Divorce
Everyone that goes through a divorce will be a different person than the last time they were single. It does not matter if your marriage lasts a year, a decade, or 30 years. We all grow in a relationship; in some ways, the growth is positive, in others we may have become dependent on our ex to provide us with essential support.
The hardest part of dating after a divorce is trying to avoid repeating any mistakes that may have led to the downfall of the previous relationship. While divorces happen for hundreds of different reasons, most divorces are the results of actions by both parties. Avoiding repeating past behaviors is an important focus when entering the world of dating.
How to Know You Are Ready to Date Again
Are you ready to date again? How do you know? What is keeping you from dating again? These and perhaps dozens of other questions are likely running through your head right now. The hard part is that no two people are the same, therefore, everyone has to determine for themselves if and when they are ready to date again.
There are a few signs that you may be ready to get back out there.
• You find yourself thinking about dating
• You begin to pay attention when people pay attention to you
• You find yourself “flirting”
• You have accepted your divorce
While these are a few good signs, there are probably tons of others. Additionally, we do not suggest that you have to be completely over your ex and through with the processing part of your divorce. However, you should at least move past the point (if you were ever there) of wanting your ex back. There are likely plenty of things that led to your divorce. Accepting that it has happened is an important part of moving on. Grieving the loss of your marriage, even if you were the one who wanted it, is an important step.
If you think there are things you are still holding on to, such as anger, resentment, hurt, confusion, etc.… then you may want to consider waiting a bit before getting back into dating. A good therapist can help you to comb through the things that have kept you stuck in these feelings. Relationship Counseling for One can help you get through these and also help you avoid making the same mistakes.
Dating in the Modern Age
If the last time you went on a regular date was over 5 years ago, you may be shocked at how the dating game has changed. While you do not have to use social media, dating apps, or matchmaking services, they are more commonplace than they have ever been before. You may want to do a little digging and see if there are options that fit your specific information.
If you are completely lost, ask trusted friends, especially single ones. They will help you discover ways to step out in today’s world.
Dating Dos and Don’ts After Divorce
After divorce, there are a few things that are big no-nos. There are also some things to make sure you do.
• Take time to feel good about yourself; even if it means waiting
• Venture out of your comfort zone; you never know until you try
• Make friends with new people; unless you have your eye on someone specific, chances are you are not going to suddenly be attracted to someone you have known socially for some time.
• You do not have to want to marry someone in order to date them
• Listen to your intuition, if it is too good to be true, it probably is!
• Have fun!
• Spend too much time discussing your ex
• Get in a serious relationship too soon
• Hide the fact you are divorced
• Set your expectations based on your previous experiences
Dating When You Have Children
Having children, even adult children can make dating a bit more difficult. It does not have to complicate things if you take a few simple steps.
First, if your children are old enough to understand, talk to them. Let them know that you are not trying to replace their other parent in their life. Some children may be fearful of being replaced by a potential partner or even other children in some cases.
Do not rush! Just because you go on a date with someone does not mean that they have to meet your children. In most cases, you should not introduce your children to someone you are dating until you are completely sure they are going to be around for a while. This is especially important if your children are very young.
Dating after divorce is a big step. It can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. The most important thing to remember is that you deserve to have fun, date, and eventually meet someone that you want to be in a relationship when you are ready. We wish you the best of luck as you venture out into the dating world.