By Audrey Cade
Divorce is now in your rearview mirror, and the question on everyone’s mind is “when will you start dating again?” Your answer to that query is the only one that matters; but, how does one re-enter the dating pool again after a long, dry spell in matrimony? Whether you dip your toes in slowly or dive in the deep end is up to you, just don’t get wet until you consider these divorced dating do’s and don’ts first!
DO open yourself up for dating only when you feel ready for it and not just because you’re feeling pressured by well-meaning friends. You’ll know when the time is coming. You will start to notice (and welcome…and return) friendly glances from singles and start to get butterflies again!
DON’T put too much pressure on yourself (or your date) with expectations of anything too serious! Remember, you are brand new back on the dating circuit and there’s no rush to partner up with a new mate! Relax, have fun meeting new people, and let things happen at their intended pace.
Open yourself up for dating only when you feel ready for it and not just because you’re feeling pressured.
DO use your experience venturing on first dates after divorce to help you clarify your wish list in a potential partner. You’re not the same person you were before you married and divorced, so it’s only fair to assume that you may have different needs and hopefully better awareness of what traits work (and don’t) in your partners.
DON’T give in to feelings of longing to be in a relationship so much again that you become tempted to settle for someone not right for you or become too attached before you’re really ready! Take a deep breath! You were in a committed relationship for a while, and of course it feels odd to be single now; but, single is better any day of the week than linked up with the wrong person!
DO take advantage of dating methods that may not have been popular when you last dated. If the most popular ways to meet people when you were last single were chance meetings at bars or set-ups by friends, think again! Online dating is on the rise for all age groups, with sites and apps like Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and Zoosk leading in popularity.
DON’T fail to recognize that the dating world has probably changed a lot since you were last single. Depending on how long you were married, it might have changed A LOT! So, be careful, gather wisdom from other singles, and educate yourself about current dating topics like angel shots, date rape drugs, and internet dating safety.
DO embrace some of the positive momentum in dating trends that favor selectivity over hook-ups, creative flirting, travel and one-of-a-kind date venues, and shun negativity. Marriage and commitment are hot, so many daters are looking for something serious. As someone newly divorced, you need not be swept away by pressure to commit too fast. The good news is that players are played out!
DON’T let the intense excitement of a successful date drive you to jump into bed and lose your head! Feeling attractive to a new romantic interest is exhilarating, as is the thrill of being with someone new. The choice of whether to hold out on anything physical before you’re ready to get serious again versus sowing some wild divorced oats is entirely yours, just remember to protect yourself from STD’s and use contraceptives!
Step out with your best foot forward! You’re a brand new woman and you should feel confident and excited about opening a new chapter!
DO step out with your best foot forward! You’re a brand new woman and you should feel confident and excited about opening a new chapter! Would a fresh new ‘do, updated pieces in your wardrobe, or a makeover of your home help you feel more prepared to enter this phase? Consider doing away with relics from your past that you associate with bad memories and your marriage, and freshen up your look and surroundings! Turn some of your unwanted items into cash to help you move forward into your future. You can sell your wedding ring and other jewelry to Worthy, sell décor at a consignment shop, yard sale, or a number of online sites, and unload your wedding dress to help fund your new life.
Dating after divorce is an exciting adventure waiting for you whenever you’re ready! Take some time to get your head and your heart in a good place before you take the plunge, and expect some interesting experiences along the way!
About the Author
Audrey Cade is the author of “Divorce Matters: help for hurting hearts and why divorce is sometimes the best decision” (on Amazon) and the matriarch of a blended family of eight. She is an experienced “divorce warrior” in the areas of co-parenting, step parenting, parental alienation, and re-marriage, and enjoys sharing these experiences with others who are also committed to raising happy and healthy kids. Audrey’s professional experience is as a case manager social worker with the developmentally disabled, families with young children, and homeless populations. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education, Human Service & Management, and a Master’s in Psychology. She enjoys family outings, a variety of arts and crafts, cooking, gardening, and writing. She is a featured blogger for Divorced Moms, has work regularly appearing on Divorce Force, and articles appearing in Step Mom Magazine, The Good Men Project, and others.