Dating after divorce: 5 things to think about before starting over
Dating after a divorce can seem overwhelming regardless of your age. Often, the disappointment you carry around from your divorce is a burden that can damage your future relationships but rushing into a new one is never the solution.
Whatever the reason for the split, a divorce can trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling emotions. Low self-esteem, identity crises and the fear of facing an uncertain future are all things people struggle with when dealing with a divorce. The only way to find true love after a divorce is to accept your present and cultivate a renewed sense of hope and optimism.
3 Clear signs that you are ready for dating after divorce
Divorce means loss of companionship, emotional/ financial support, and the demise of hopes and dreams. Grieving for your loss might take a long time. It is okay to grieve but you must also begin the healing process. Remember, there’s no magical timeline and each individual will experience divorce differently.
If you’re thinking about dating after divorce, here are three signs you might be ready:
- You’re thinking less about the past and are focused on being productive
You have forgiven your ex-spouse, or at least you do not constantly relive the past. You are no longer angry and can discuss the divorce situation without resentment. You have accepted the reality and are in a better emotional space.
- You feel good about yourself and are more confident
You have begun to see yourself as worthy of love. You have regained your self-confidence and you are focused on being more productive and achieving new goals. You have stopped blaming yourself and you recognise things that cannot be changed, but you’ve decided to reclaim yourself and your happiness.
- You look at the future with hope
You are now emotionally secure and content with your new life. You think positively about new relationships and are excited about dating. You look at dating after divorce as a prospect filled with hope and all your anxiety has taken a back seat. It is clear you are ready for a new relationship.
7 Things to keep in mind when finding love after divorce
Putting yourself out there and diving into the online dating pool can make you nervous, because this time around, you are hitting the scene with some baggage. To ensure you’re getting exactly what you need out of your next relationship, you should first have the confidence to give love another shot.
- Ensure you’re over your ex-spouse and ready to date
It could be three years since your divorce but that does not mean you have completely moved on. Let go of resentments and avoid talking about them.
- Grieve your loss if you need to
Ignoring grief can stress your mind and body. Reaching out to trusted friends and loved ones or attending therapy sessions can be safe places to express and contain your grief.
- Reconnect with yourself
Don’t judge your emotions, tackle them. Before venturing back into dating, rediscover yourself. Engage in activities that make you happy. Invest in self-improvement. Realise that all relationships start with that vital relationship with yourself.
- Overcome the fear of dating and get out of your comfort zone
Start meeting people. Meet other divorced singles – join groups, attend events and try dating apps. Go places where you will meet like-minded people. Set up meaningful routines and make a list of growth goals. Keep trying new things until they become comfortable.
- Have a relationship map to find success
You know your past mistakes; now learn from them. Rushing into a new relationship based only on physical chemistry will leave you with bigger mess. Writing out a relationship roadmap – which consists of your desires and expectations will help you choose the right partner. Set realistic expectations and be optimistic.
- Don’t hide your past
When you do start seeing someone do not hide the facts. Before you get emotionally attached to someone it is better to be transparent. Have kids? Let them know. Putting your profile on a dating site? Declare your correct age. Withholding the truth will only lead to more heartbreak.
- Take it slow
Don’t date someone because you’re lonely. Give the law of attraction and chemistry a chance to develop into something more meaningful, even if it takes several dates to figure out. Your ultimate goal should be to find someone who complements your personality and respects you.
5 First date tips to start dating after divorce
There are several do’s and don’ts – but what’s most important is to be yourself.
- Be confident – Dress well and choose a comfortable first date outfit. Push your physical and emotional boundaries – be open to trying something new. This will make you interesting
- Don’t interrogate, lecture or brag – the objective is to have fun while getting to know them. Do not start comparing them to your ex
- Be willing to leave your emotional baggage. Do not talk about your ex-spouse or how your relationship failed
- Don’t be too eager to take the relationship to the next level or don’t say that you are lonely. Allow things to happen organically
- If you want to flirt, pay genuine compliments
Dating after divorce – Don’t miss out on something that could be amazing
When the dust has settled, the wounds have healed and you still have some love to give, don’t worry about the future or what people are going to say. Love after divorce is not easy, but it is possible. Give it a try. Dating after divorce means that you clearly know what you can tolerate and what a dating deal-breaker is for you. When you have decided to give love another chance, try eharmony. Finding the right person, who shares your values and life goals, is easier on eharmony. When you keep your mind and heart open you are sure to find plenty of reasons to not be single forever.