So, you’re single. Now what? The answer for many divorcees is to start dating again, but the thought of dating apps and meaningless hookups is a lot to take in after a long-term relationship and harrowing divorce process. If you’re looking to ease into the post-divorce dating scene, we’ve got some tips for you. Dating after divorce: 6 ways to rock the single scene.
- Set realistic expectations
- Be honest about your divorce
- Stay positive
- Do what’s best for you
- Work on your own issues
- Have fun!
Setting Realistic Expectations When Dating After Divorce
That first date after your divorce is not likely to turn into a long-term relationship. The second, third, fourth, fifth, etc may not either- and that’s okay! While you may desire a partner, and even want to get married again someday, it doesn’t have to be right away.
Remember that a lot of the potential matches in your dating pool are probably also divorced, and they come with their own set of issues to work on. Putting pressure on them- and yourself- too soon can lead to disastrous consequences. Instead, focus on casual first and let things develop naturally. There’s no rush!
Be Honest About Your Divorce to Potential Partners
Divorce is not as taboo as it once was. Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, so chances are, at least a few of your potential suitors are divorced, too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it might even give you and your date something to bond over.
Being honest doesn’t mean you have to get into every nitty, gritty detail of your divorce. No one wants to hear all about an ex on the first date, but you certainly don’t have to shy away from the topic if it’s brought up. Your divorce is a part of your story, and if someone wants to get to know the real you, they can’t skip over that chapter.
Positivity Attracts Positivity
No one wants to date a Debbie Downer. If you want to attract a healthy, positive relationship, you have to put those vibes out into the universe. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be happy all of the time- that’s not a realistic expectation for anyone- but the more you look on the bright side of things, the more the bright side will shine.
As you step into the post-divorce dating scene, it’s a good idea to look at your communication style in relationships. Are you passive, assertive, passive-aggressive? Not every communication style meshes well together in a relationship, so knowing yours is helpful when seeking a new partner. Since communication issues are a big reason why many marriages end in divorce, it can’t hurt to spend some time working on this.
Doing What’s Best for You Isn’t Selfish
One good thing about a divorce- you aren’t married anymore! You aren’t tied to any potential partners legally or financially, so you don’t have to put up with things that aren’t making you happy. When you see a red flag pop up- address it! The red flags you ignore in the beginning usually contribute to the demise of the relationship, so don’t ignore them.
Dating after divorce is more about want versus need. You’ve already done the marriage thing, and maybe even had kids, so settling down in that way may not be what you’re looking for this time around. That gives you the opportunity to seek out what you actually want in a partner. The best part? You can walk away from any relationship that isn’t serving you because you are independent and free!
Be Self-Aware and Work on Your Issues
No one is perfect. You may not have been the biggest reason your marriage ended in a divorce, but everyone has something they can improve about themselves. Be aware of where you need to focus some of your attention. Maybe it’s childhood trauma. Maybe it’s your self-esteem. Maybe it’s your fear of committing again. Whatever it is, work on it for yourself, and ultimately, for your future partner. The last thing you want to do after a divorce is to repeat old relationship patterns.
Have Fun with Dating After Divorce
Not every date will lead to a long-term relationship. Some dates will lead you to discover new restaurants or new hobbies. Take the positives out of every dating experience you have, and use those experiences as stepping stones towards finding your dream partner. There’s nothing wrong with a date that turns into a friend, or even having a fling or transition relationship. Those experiences help build up your confidence and self-esteem after a divorce, and can lead you on the path towards finding the happily ever after you truly deserve.
Struggling with the biggest way to meet people after a divorce- dating apps?? Join our community to gain access to our Toolkit Library full of helpful downloads like our “Dating in the Digital Age: 6-Step Guide for Divorcees” and “Red Flags While Dating or in a Relationship”.