After you go through a divorce, it can change your entire outlook on dating.
Depending on how long you were married, you may feel like you’ve been out of the dating game for too long, or maybe you’re just uncomfortable putting yourself out there again, because for so long your identity was partly defined by your spouse.
It’s not always the easiest thing in the world to step into dating again, or putting yourself out there to someone new, but it’s also not impossible, and you can definitely find love again, no matter your age, or how long it’s been since you’ve been on a date!
Check out these six tips for dating after a divorce, and don’t be afraid to try them out for yourself.
# 1. Give Yourself Time To Grieve
It doesn’t matter how long you were married – give yourself time to mourn and grieve over your relationship before putting yourself out into the dating world again. There is no correct timeline when it comes to going out on your first date, so do what feels best for you, whether that’s a few months, a year, etc.
# 2. Figure Out Who You Used To Be
Before you were married, what did you like to do? Who did you like to spend time with, and what were some of your favorite hobbies? Essentially – who were you? Rediscover the old you, and don’t be afraid to combine it with who you are currently, and how you’ve grown. Rediscovering yourself and how you want that to relate to your future can be extremely therapeutic, and open you up to new relationships.
# 3. Make It Fun
There’s no rule that says you need to dive into a serious relationship right away! Instead, when you decide to start dating, make it fun. Do some things you rarely or never got the chance to do with your ex-spouse; like going on an adventure, trying a new type of food, etc. When you see your dates as new experiences, it will be easier to move past the way you used to go out with your partner.
# 4. Have An Escape Plan
This doesn’t mean that you should go into a date automatically thinking it’s going to be a disaster, but be sure to have a way out, just in case. If you haven’t been dating for awhile, there could be a point in the evening where you begin to get uncomfortable, or just aren’t ready for it as much as you thought you may have been. Have a casual way to leave the day that won’t hurt anyone’s feelings, and don’t be ashamed when it comes to taking your time.
# 5. Keep A Little Distance
When you start dating again, it can feel freeing, exciting, and new, and that can make you want to get attached very easily. If someone is making you feel happy, that’s wonderful, but understand that a lot of those feelings could stem from the fact that you haven’t felt happy in a relationship for awhile. Give yourself a bit of space before diving head first into a serious commitment if you feel like you’re quickly falling head over heels for someone.
# 6. Must Haves, And Must Nots
Chances are, you know exactly why your divorce didn’t work out. Whether part of it was your fault, or both parties were involved, or it was your spouse’s fault, obviously there was a problem and disconnect between the two of you. So, before you start dating again, make sure you know your ‘must haves’ and ‘must nots’ before getting into another relationship with someone. If you go into the world of dating with those things in mind, you’ll be less likely to become disappointed.