Protecting Your Heart (and Body) When Dating After Divorce…
Jumping back into the dating scene after a divorce can seem overwhelming in many ways. You’ve been hurt, and you definitely don’t want to get hurt again. While nothing can definitively guarantee you’ll avoid a broken heart, there are some things you can do to protect yourself physically and emotionally when dating after divorce. Here are some Dos and Don’ts for protecting your heart (and body) when dating after divorce.
DO: Use common sense safety practices when meeting someone off a dating app
At some point in time, you will likely give dating apps a try. If you connect with someone and decide to meet them in person, make sure you’re doing so safely.
- Always meet in a public place.
- Drive yourself so you have an easy get-away.
- Tell a close friend or family member where you’re going and who you’re meeting.
- Never tell a stranger where you live (remember until you have vetted them in-person, they are still a stranger, no matter how much texting and video chatting you’ve done).
- If something seems off, don’t hesitate to leave.
DON’T: Rush the intimacy
Longing for physical touch after divorce is common, especially if intimacy was lacking in your marriage, but rushing the physical side of a relationship too soon can lead to more than just heartbreak. It’s a good idea for both you and your new partner to get tested for STIs and STDs before beginning an intimate relationship. Even if you were married for many years, there is still a chance something has gone undetected during that time (not to mention the possibility of cheating during your marriage).
DO: Have fun and take things slow
Dating after divorce doesn’t have to be scary if you make a commitment to just have fun with it! Set an initial goal to make new friends and open yourself up to new experiences before putting the pressure of labels on it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with casual dating- in fact, it’s one of the best things about the post-divorce life because you have the freedom to spend time with whomever you want!
DON’T: Get your kids involved too quickly
When you really like someone, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of wanting to introduce your new partner to everyone…including your kids. Not only is that a bad idea to do so quickly, but it might also violate your Separation Agreement. Make sure to look it over thoroughly before introducing your significant other to your kids in case there is anything in there stating a timeline for doing so. You don’t want to give your ex any excuse to tamper with your new relationship. Many exes choose to wait at least six months to a year before introducing a significant other.
DO: Remind yourself of how strong you are
Even if you end up with a broken heart (or a health issue because you rushed too quickly into intimacy) remember how strong you are! You have already made it through a divorce- one of the toughest life transitions you could ever go through. You will make it through this, too. Take each setback as an opportunity to learn and evolve into the person you are truly meant to be post-divorce.
BONUS TIP: Keep a journal
Writing down your thoughts after each date can help you figure out what you want and don’t want in a potential partner. How did they make you feel? What positive attributes really stood out about them? Was there anything they did that totally drove you nuts? Compare these answers against a list of non-negotiables to ensure you’re not settling for someone simply out of loneliness. Going through this process can help you recognize any red flags early on. This way you can address them before they become a major problem.
For more insights and experience about dating after divorce see what our Split.fyi Community members are sharing. Talk it out with people who are in the same situation.
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