Are you ready to take the first step into dating after divorce but worry about how to actually do it?
Has it been a while since you were on a first date?
If you’re not sure how to seek out quality companionship, a bit of guidance might be in order. That’s completely okay. You’ve done the work of processing your past relationship. You deserve some fun with someone new.
Consider the following tips to help you ease into dating after divorce safely and enjoyably:
1. Rein in Unrealistic Expectations
It’s important that you understand what dating is: a low-pressure activity meant to help you meet and enjoy another person’s company. It’s okay if you want to marry again. It’s fine if you think of yourself as a great partner for someone special. However, those personal desires are best set aside for the sake of a relaxed and casual meeting or series of meetings.
Give yourself time to meet new people, plan outings, and enjoy seeing yourself in a variety of dating situations. Resist the urge to get serious too soon or put pressure on someone else too early.
2. Be Honest and Unashamed When Dating After Divorce
Your divorce is not something you need to hide or make an issue of. If you’ve done the work to process it and move on, you have the right to share your whole story. You needn’t hesitate to tell your dates that your marriage didn’t survive, it’s part of what makes you strong and interesting.
Given the divorce rate in this country, it’s likely not the strike against you you might think. Be kind to yourself on this front and offer compassion to those who share a similar situation.
3. Get Okay with Good-byes
Dating often is a game of trial and error. Many outings may amount to nothing. You may come away from many others with lots of good friends to add to your social circle. You may feel some attraction and never hear back. All of that is perfectly okay.
Some dates are just fun practice rounds for the connections that matter later. If you were been married for a long time, dating can be a self-confidence boost and social skills training. Get comfortable with hellos and goodbyes, it’s not a reflection of your value or potential as a partner.
Consider all of your dates to be important and informative, but not necessarily connections you need to cling to or pursue if they aren’t productive. Sometimes you just don’t hit it off. Don’t drag things out.
4. Positivity Draws People to Your Dating Pool
Negativity is unattractive to most people. Try to be aware of your communication style and tone. How do you tend to share stories about yourself and others? Focus on the positive and a healthy, engaging sense of humor draws a person in. Refrain from disparaging commentary about past dates or your ex. Instead, communicate curiosity and a healthy interest in life and your date.
5. Do What Makes Sense for You
Dating after divorce can be both exciting and confusing so it’s important to go slow. Don’t rush. Don’t agree to things that bother you. An don’t feel you need to compete with your ex. You are on your own relationship path, feel free to wander around a bit or set the dating journey aside as you see fit.
Do you want to try dating apps, a blind date, or a do-over with a dating partner from the past? Give it a go! You get to decide. Empower yourself and set your own dating intentions.
6. Do Be Self-Aware & Beware Old Relationship Patterns
As you ease into dating after divorce, pay attention to the way you interact with each person. Consider closely why you may be experiencing relationship deja vu. If certain undesirable partner characteristics seem to be recurring, look at your own unresolved issues. Don’t beat yourself up, just realize that old patterns can pop up even if you felt they were relationship history.
The important thing is to address behaviors that might keep you emotionally stuck or headed toward a relationship like the one you left behind.
Ease into Dating With a Relationship Guide
Dating can be daunting but, with support, you can navigate this new terrain. A counselor is a valuable helper for working through dating logistics, relationship goals, and safe exploration of your emotions. If you’re still nervous about dating, please read more about anxiety therapy and contact us soon for a consultation.