Your divorce was a long and difficult journey. But now that you’ve overcome the heartache of, you feel like dipping your toes back into the dating waters. For some women, getting back into the dating scene can seem daunting. For others, it is exciting and fun.
Where ever you are in your journey, you will need to keep a few pointers in mind to make the most out of the dating game. As a divorce coach, I’ve seen the mistakes women make when dating. And they are mistakes you don't want to make!
Here are 8 simple tips that can make the transition from single and sexy to finding a new man a little less complicated when dating after divorce.
1. Be sure you’re ready. Put in the work you need to in order to bring the healthiest, best version of YOU to a relationship. Be sure you’re emotionally detached from your ex and have overcome the issues that brought on the divorce. If you aren’t confident that you are at your best, DON’T start dating. Do what is needed to get your confidence. Buy a cute outfit. Start that new class. Get back into your fitness routine. If you want to lose weight, focus on that. If you want to focus on your career, do that. Put your needs first and when you’re ready, you’ll know.
2. Don’t look for a husband! That’s right. This process is NOT about interviewing potential husbands. Think of this as a process for YOU. Learn about yourself while you are dating. What are your likes? Dislikes? What makes you confident? What are your turn-ons? Turn-offs? What qualities are attractive to you? While I was dating, I thought of it as meeting new friends. This helped to ease the pressure off the dates and just have a good time.
3. Be positive! This is a process. Not every date will be a winner. In fact, you may walk away with a hell of a story! That’s part of the learning curve. What did you like about the person? What attracted you to him in the first place? And what is your takeaway from this experience? Keep a positive mindset despite any setbacks.
4. Break out of your comfort zone. Don’t date the same guy over and over. But don’t immediately go for the opposite of your ex either. Hopefully, you’ll be open to meeting lots of different people. This will help you to learn about yourself and learn what you want in your next relationship.
5. Use technology wisely. Remember that what you post is out there for the world to see. You may need to research how to keep your online accounts private and be wary of new people wanting to “friend” you. If you decide to join an online dating site, be sure to follow their rules for how to get the most out of this process. Think about how you want to portray yourself when making your profile. Be honest, be confident, and be positive. Be open to those profiles that don’t “exactly” match your ideal mate. Remember what I said about meeting new friends. Find a few commonalities and have an open mind to people with some differences. Perhaps you’ll learn a new skill or make new friends.
6. Leave the kids out of it. You are so proud of those babies! We know it. But when you are on the phone or on a date, leave the talk about your son’s baseball game for when you’re speaking with grandma. Remember, this is YOUR time to shine. This is the time to brag about YOU. Confidence is sexy. By all means, you should be open and honest about having children. Just don’t go on and on about them. Kids tend to kill romance. And do NOT introduce your children to a new interest! Children should not be introduced to someone unless this is a serious, long-term relationship.
7. Leave your ex at home. That’s right, ladies. Your date doesn’t want to hear all the drama your ex-husband put you through. Or all the ways he was a crappy husband and a terrible father. Or even how much you miss him and all the wonderful things he did. Your date just wants to get to know you and all your wonderful qualities. If you find yourself discussing your marriage or your ex, STOP! If you start to notice a pattern on your dates, then it’s time to re-evaluate if you are ready to date.
8. Have fun! You aren’t on an interview. You aren’t at the dentist. It’s all about getting to know lots of new people, going to new places, and having new experiences. Let go of that little voice that might be clinging to some insecurities and enjoy yourself!
Follow these rules and you’ll have a great time! You’ll also learn about yourself in the process.