Whether your divorce was ugly or amicable, your self-esteem is bound to have been bashed. Plus, your belief in finding the perfect relationship might have dissolved. Look on the bright side, though. You’re more realistic about love now, and you’ve fine-tuned your ideas about what you want from a partner. Alternatively, you know what you don’t want. Getting back on the dating scene might be daunting, but take gradual steps, and you’ll get there. Here are tips to help.
Wait until you’re ready
What’s the rush? Take time to heal from your painful past and get over your ex. Otherwise, you might meet a terrific person while dating, but be on the rebound and lose them. If you’re still at the stage when you can’t help complaining about your ex-spouse, or get drunk and sob in the evenings, you’re not ready to go back on the market.
Ease into dating
Your friends might urge you to go on a blind date, but only agree if you’re happy to oblige. Other ways to begin dating include joining a dating website or meeting new partners via hobbies. Now that you’re single, you may have more time to pursue hang-gliding or painting, or whatever you always promised yourself you would do one day.
You’ll connect with people with similar interests and can get to know them away from a dating situation if you join a club or take classes. The idea may sound more appealing, and less scary, than making a date with a friend of a friend with the intention of forming a relationship.
Identify what was missing from your marriage
Way before your marriage ended, you knew something was missing; what was it? Maybe you didn’t communicate well, or your relationship wasn’t mentally stimulating enough? Or you might have grown apart and discovered you didn’t like the same things anymore.
Identify what you longed for when you were married and aim to ensure your need is fulfilled when you engage in a new relationship. For instance, if you desire a partner who makes you laugh, look for someone with a great sense of humor. Check potential dates meet your criteria before arranging to go out.
What to avoid when dating
Be honest, but hold some personal information back. Just because you’re on a date and it’s traditional to ask questions doesn’t mean you have to discuss the ins and outs of previous relationships. Topics like how you hated your husband dropping wet towels on the floor or your ex-wife’s cooking aren’t fodder for romance.
Similarly, there’s no need to tell dates about how unpleasant your divorce was or that your ex calls you on the phone and yells now and then. Gently get to know dates – only divulge private data when you’re comfortable and doing so won’t spoil the process of connecting. Additionally, don’t pretend to be richer or younger than you are; what’s the point? The truth will emerge later, and explaining yourself will be tough.
When you haven’t been on the dating scene for years, beginning again is hard. However, take it easy, and ensure you’re comfortable with the process. Stay honest and wise, and you’ll have fun.