Dating after a divorce is both an exciting and difficult game for women. After years of marriage, going back to the dating game can be a daunting task. I know. After 18 years of marriage, 15 happy years and 3 years of hell, my divorce was finalized last year. Here’s what I learned out in the field of post-divorce relationships.
Times have changed and it’s a bit of a pain to prepare what to wear or what to say. But with dating apps all within your hand’s reach, meeting new people shouldn’t be a burden after all.
Many women feel reluctant to date after going through a divorce. The pain of the process may make them aloof of relationships, while others needed more time to heal. Many divorced moms tend to feel vulnerable at this point. One reason is that they used to have a spouse to protect them and there are children to consider.
Love is tough, but you don’t have to shut yourself out of the world. Dating again can make you feel alive and happy. You just have to know how to step out into the field again.
A 6 Step Field Guide To Dating After Divorce
1. Determine if you’re ready
Are you pressured by friends? Or are you emotionally and mentally ready? If you feel more of the latter, congratulations! You’re finally prepared to explore new relationships.
Don’t rush yourself into another relationship just to compensate for the emotional longing your former spouse left in you. Regardless if you’re in Year 1 or Year 5, being prepared is a case by case basis. Some take time while others get back up faster. And guess what, it’s all normal and okay.
If the idea of dating makes you feel off, it means you’re not yet ready. Give yourself more time.
2. Accept that you’re afraid
You don’t have to pretend that you’re a tough cookie just to date again. Accept that you’re afraid, your marriage has failed, and that you’re willing to start again.
It’s totally fine to “mourn” your failed relationship. However, don’t beat yourself up too much. It’s true that divorce may feel like an upheaval or betrayal, but you shouldn’t let yourself be consumed by negative thinking.
If you think you’re prepared, take a step forward and gamble with the idea of meeting and welcoming new people into your life.
3. Know what your intentions are
Before you go back to the dating game, ask yourself first, “what’s my intention of dating again?” If it’s to seek revenge on your ex, forget about it. It can be looking for a life-long partner, a short-term relationship that may lead to something, or purely for fun.
This intention will guide you on how you’ll deal with people while dating.
4. Join dating apps
Gone are the days when you’ll rely on someone else’s friend just to meet a new guy. You should decide first what kind of dating app you’ll want to join in. Are you into casual encounters without serious commitments or more of a serious meet-up thing?
If your end goal is to become sexually active, there are many sex dating apps that you can join in. However, take note that most men and women here have the end goal of being laid alone.
In case this isn’t what’s in your mind, it’s better to hop into casual dating apps. It always boils down to your intention of dating. As you see, it will determine how you will deal with a possible relationship: are you just testing the waters or looking for a life-long partner?
5. Learn from your mistakes
Now that you’ve decided to jump into the dating game, there’s one thing that divorce will teach you: learn from your mistakes.
Admit that you’ve committed mistakes from your past marriage. It might be bitter, but this will be your guiding light so you won’t repeat it on your next relationship.
Figure out what caused you to lose your husband or partner. Have you been too possessive? Have you lacked the intimate aspect? Each divorcee will have her own story.
6. Don’t stick to online contact
Once you’ve met someone online, don’t drag the communication on the web. Meet up after two or three weeks so you’ll know if the feelings or intentions are mutual. Is he someone just planning to get laid? Or is he someone looking for a partner for life?
It’s easy to fantasize over someone you met online. This is why it’s better to meet the person as soon as possible to check where the two of you are in terms of your relationship.
Still, practice caution: tell a friend where you’re going and invite the person to a public place first.
Remember that dating is a numbers game. About 4 out of 5 people you’ve dated will walk away. When this happens, don’t wallow into self-doubt. Just move forward and keep dating until you find your perfect match.