If you have recently become single again, you may be wondering how to start dating after a divorce. This can be tricky if you are a single parent. You now have to deal with kids on your own and you may find the places where younger people go to meet people are not as fun as they used to be.
Dating after divorce brings up a lot of other questions, too. Where do more mature people meet others of like mind? How do you dress for dates? What about the kids?
If all the thoughts about dating after divorce upset you, this article is designed to help make this life change just a bit easier for you.
When to Start Dating After Divorce
Do Not Start When:
- You are still holding on to your past relationship. You may still think about your ex a lot and miss them. If you still find yourself crying over the break-up or having regrets, another person may pick up on these feelings and feel unwelcome in your life.
- You find yourself talking about your ex-partner constantly. Listen to your own conversations. Do you mention your ex’s name a lot? Do you complain about what your ex did wrong? These are deal breakers in a new relationship and will turn the other person off.
- You are still feeling closed up to others or having trouble having fun. You will find yourself having a hard time connecting to a new love interest if you don’t feel up to showing them who you are.
- You have given yourself time to grieve, to think and find the right one. No one knows when this happens, but make sure you take enough time to recover. The pain and sadness you feel after a divorce is actually a healthy part of healing.
- You are truly ready to let go of your ex. When you find thoughts about your ex are fading then you may be ready for a new relationship.
- You’re open to new experiences. If you find yourself out and about doing new things with your life, you may be ready to step out romantically. Starting a hobby can signal that you are ready for a new relationship.
10 Golden Rules for Dating After Divorce
The best answer to the question, “how to date after divorce” is to first determine what you are ready for and what you are looking for in people. Here are a few tips on what you could think about in the process:
1. Know specifically what you need and desire in a person. Know exactly what you are looking for and what you might be willing to compromise on and look for the “red flags” that are things you absolutely will not tolerate in a relationship.
2. Sit down and list out all the important qualities that you are looking for. It may help to look at some of your own interests to help you find what you are searching for. List all these things and think of places to go to meet people with similar interests.
3. Try some new things for yourself. You may want to start branching out and do some things you have never done before, for example; yoga, meditation, music classes, etc. You may find a new personal passion in a new hobby and love along the way.
4. Look for conversation starters. If you are out somewhere by yourself and you see someone else alone, start up a conversation. You never know where it might lead. It may lead to just a friendship, an invitation to coffee or dinner or they could be the person you were looking for.
5. Don’t rush. You may not want to be alone, but rushing a relationship can actually set you up for failure.
6. Reassess your self-value. Divorces and break-ups can really take a toll on someone’s self-esteem. Take a look at all of your good qualities and insist on those in another person. How you feel about yourself is what you will attract in others.
7. Be prepared for the rough times. You may have certain memories of places, holidays and times with that person and when you re-visit those places or times the memories may come flooding back. Be prepared for this.
8. Find a balance. If you are a single parent now with a career and busy life, you need to find a balance and still make time for yourself and dating.
9. Keep kids separate for a while. Until you know a person is going to be a permanent fixture in your family life, keep dating separated from kids. Too many people coming in and out of your kids’ lives isn’t healthy for them emotionally. Although, kids should not stop you from dating.
10. Have fun and be flirty. This can help boost your self-esteem and show that you are confident with who you are.
7 Tips for Successful Dating After Divorce
1. Keep first dates to a one hour time limit.
When you sit down on a first date, let your date know you have to be done in an hour, even If the date is going well. This will make them want to call you again.
2. Dress comfortable, but look good. A great pair of jeans usually hits the mark for first dates.
3. Always meet in a public place for first dates and don’t let him pick you up at home. This is for obvious safety reasons.
4. Keep sex out of the conversation or talk about marriage. These can turn someone off on the first date.
5. Keep a list of good qualities and bad qualities you want on hand and read over it before going on a date with someone.
6. Dating after divorce has to be for the right reasons. Never date because you think it is required. It is okay to be single.
7. Avoid the “set-ups.” Other people mean well, but you need to pick your dates.
4 Rules for Conversation During Dates
Dating after divorce can be tricky enough, but conversation rules are even trickier. You will need to keep your date engaged by showing interest in them while letting them get to know you.
1. Talk about your interests and listen to theirs.
2. Talk just a little about careers, but show lots of interest in what you are doing on your date.
3. You don’t have to go into your whole life story, but give a little background on where you are from, what hobbies you have, and your favorite music.
4. At all costs, avoid any conversations about money, kids, your ex, or compare your date to your ex.