Think nothing can be more stressful than a divorce? Try dating after a divorce, which can be a major source of anxiety for recently separated singles. Navigating the dating scene after divorce does involve getting out of your comfort zone. But it doesn’t have to be as stressful if you’re willing to embrace a healthy mindset. People expect that dating will be the same as it was in their 20’s and it’s not at all. The pool is different at this age and stage of your life. People have life experiences and stress to contend with.
Although things have changed out in the world and in your relationships, meeting new people doesn’t have to be an anxiety inducing experience. With the right mindset and your willingness to embrace this period in your life it can actually be quite interesting and fun and help you to focus on the future!
- Get in touch with yourself first. Before you even think of going on a date you need time. You need time for the process to run it’s course. You need time to grieve, time to reflect, time to heal, time for prayer to seek God’s direction for the next phase of your life. You really want to focus on yourself at this point. Your needs, your desires, being good to yourself and being patient with yourself. Do renew your image with an updated wardrobe and a little pampering. After you have regained your strength you’re going to desire the company of a man. The best way to get over a man is with a new man, a better man!
2. Connect with single friends. Begin to socialize with other singles with whom you have common ground. Don’t sit at home waiting for the phone to ring or watching your inbox. You can actually be out having a good time and being seen and not waiting around for him. Often when a woman releases herself from the pressure of the “wait game” and just decides “you know what” I’m going to enjoy myself anyway with or without a man, that’s usually when he arrives.
3. Get online and keep your options open. Chances are having been married for so long you’re not the “club or bar” type girl. You’re probably not socializing much at this point and frankly putting yourself out there again is intimidating. Exploring your options online in private is a more comfortable situation for you. Find a reputable site. Stay away from the “hook up sites” as you are looking for a suitable companion leading to a mature long-term relationship. Only respond to men that are on the same page as you otherwise you’re just wasting time. There are many suitable professionals online who are looking for quality companions.
4. Don’t get discouraged when things don’t work out. It’s part of the process . Every date you have is not going to be a home run, and it’s okay. The point is you’re back in the game and you’re bound to hit it out of the park at some point. It’s about meeting new people and having a good time regardless of the outcome because guess what tomorrow is another day!
5. Don’t dish on the details too early. Prepare in advance what you want your date to know about you. Do not talk about your messy divorce, or how you’re in a custody battle. Keep conversation light and fun.
6. Be a good listener. Everyone likes to be heard. Some women sabotage their date by talking too much and not letting their date get a word in edge wise. This is a bad start and not the type of woman who’s going to get asked out for a second date.
7. Plan your conversations. It’s been a long time since you were out in the dating world. You may be a little rusty keeping chatter lively. It would be beneficial for you to plan what you’re going to say or what questions you want to ask. This is simply called having a game plan. Ask questions about their interests and what they like to do for fun. This way you get to learn more about them and keep control of the conversation.
8. Be a little mysterious. Remember your date wants to know about you. Have a few fun stories that will let your personality shine without giving away too much. The first date is a preview not the time to tell your whole life story. If the question comes up “Why did you break up?” Have a prepared answer that’s simple and to the point like “We grew apart” or “We wanted different things out of life”, and move on.
9. Take it slow. When you are dating post divorce, yes you would like to meet someone, but it doesn’t have to be that day. Take your time until the right person comes along. It may be weeks, months or even years, and that’s totally normal.
10. Meet in a public place for first dates, or maybe for the first few dates. However long it takes for you to be comfortable. Whether it’s lunch, dinner, or for coffee. It could be a group date with other people for the first time. You can decide if you would like to have a solo date with him. Stay safe.
11. Watch out for red flags. Don’t ignore them because you’re eager to have someone in your life again. If something or someone doesn’t seem right to you or are too good to be true it probably is. Trust your instincts. After what you’ve been through the last thing you want to do is invite drama into your life.
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