There’s nothing simple or easy about divorce, and picking up the pieces afterward can feel overwhelming. Just one facet of that picking up of pieces is deciding whether to date and how to approach dating post-divorce. Here are a few tools to help you successfully navigate dating after a divorce.
Before you entertain the thought of dating, take a moment to be introspective. Have you taken the time to fully heal? Why do you want to start dating again? If you approach dating as a way to escape pain or avoid feelings, it’s advisable that you wait until you’ve fully processed through the pain of the divorce.
It’s important to gain a better idea of who you are before trying to date again. You are not the same person you once were and understanding who you are and what you’re looking for will be crucial to successfully date again.
One of the most helpful tools for self-evaluation is a trained, licensed therapist to help guide you through the questions you should be asking. We often get too far “in our heads” and need an objective third-party person to help us navigate through our thoughts, fears, feelings, and pain. This kind of help is worth every penny.
Tips for Dating Again
Now that you’ve taken time to evaluate who you are and why you think you’re ready to date again, these tips and tools will see you successfully through dating after a divorce.
- Temper your expectations. Don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting that every date will be perfect and carefree, or that you will find the “right” person quickly. It’s not a race, and your date is only human. Keep your expectations realistic.
- Do your research. The dating game has changed, and if you want to explore all avenues for getting back in the game, do your research first. Dig deep into reviews of dating sites and talk with friends about what seems to be safe and more your speed. Adventure can be good, but it’s important to keep your safety and security in mind.
- Employ honesty and There’s no need to hide who you are now or what you’ve been through, but how you share that information is important. How you talk about your ex, how much you share about the most intimate details of your life can either make or break the date. Also, you need to know the person before you trust them, so maybe keep some info in reserves to share after you feel you can trust them.
- Interview your date. Every date is an interview, but we often think we’re the only ones in the “hot seat.” Not so! Without interrogating, ask lots of questions. Get to know them and see whether they’re what you’re looking for. Don’t be concerned whether you’re what they’re looking for; just be yourself.
- Trust your instincts and be patient. It’s a good suggestion wait until your divorce or separation is final before venturing into the dating world. But as stated before, it’s even more helpful to spend some time healing and getting to know yourself before you venture out again. Expect awkwardness on dates but trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. Listen to that voice.
When you do start to date again, you should have a better handle on what your values and priorities are having been through a marriage or relationship that ended. Don’t rush things, though. Take the time to get it right, the process will be worth it.