Important tips for women looking to date again after divorce. Getting back into the dating pool after divorce may seem daunting, these essential tips will help guide you through the fears and answer questions that you may have.
Dating can help you move past the divorce and is the first step to finding a new love. While it’s tempting rush out there into the dating scene, you need to proceed with caution. First of all, give yourself time to get over all the mental garbage from you marriage, because old habits and expectations will effect how you relate to a new love interest.
Getting to know who you are as a divorced woman, what’s important to you, and making peace with your past relationship all takes time. It is absolutely possible to move forward and find someone new if you keep your heart open and get back to living.
There is no right or wrong way to date after divorce, but these strategies should give you the courage to move forward and give it a try.
How to approach dating after divorce
Living through a bad marriage that ends in divorce takes it’s toll on your self-esteem. Rushing to find someone who will make you feel better about yourself and take away the pain is a really bad idea, and it rarely works. You do not want to keep re-creating the same dysfunctional dynamic that you had in your marriage.
Read through the questions below and really think about your answers. Dig deep and explore your thoughts and feelings. You have to figure out who you are before you can figure out who you want, or should to be with in the future.
Are you ready to date?
Some women might be ready to date after 2 months, others may need years. Don’t rush it. It’s important to experience and work through all of the difficult emotions associated with divorce.
- Are you sure that your marriage and divorce are fully in the past?
- Have you allowed yourself enough time to grieve and reflect?
- Do you understand what went wrong?
- Have you accepted your part in the breakup?
- Have you thought about how you will handle relationship challenges?
- Are you in control of your feelings?
- Are you able trust others despite the pain you have endured?
- Do you feel deserving of another chance for love?
How did these questions make you feel? Did reading through them bring up unresolved emotions? Use your emotions as a guide to determine whether or not you are ready for a new relationship.
Are you dating for the right reasons?
If you’re tired of being alone and looking to fill a void, then it may be difficult to patiently wait for the right person to come along. You don’t want to desperately hunt for love or pursue those who are not a good fit for you.
It’s more effective to have a calm approach to dating and view it as a process. It may take time to find a new love, but the result be worth it in the end.
Are you making excuses not to date?
It’s easy to come up with excuses to avoid dating:
- You’re too tired or don’t have time
- You’re not ready (maybe you’re not)
- You’re worried about your ex’s feelings
- You’re scared about your children’s reaction
- You’re worried about how others will react to you moving on with someone new
Are these legitimate excuses or are they just negative thoughts keeping you scared? Once you work through the self-doubts in your head, you will see that they may be stopping you from moving on and finding love again.
By the way, If you’re still thinking about what your ex is doing or whom he’s currently dating, you are not emotionally ready to begin a healthy relationship. Imagine how you would feel if your new beau was hung up on his ex?
What are you dating goals and expectations?
Your expectations, values, and goals will influence your dating experiences and behaviors, so it is important to think about what you hope to get out of a new relationship before you even start dating.
- Are you hoping Prince Charming will arrive and sweep you off your feet?
- Do you know what you’re looking for in a partner?
- What are your dealbreakers?
- What are the values that are most important to you? Sense of humor, kindness, affectionate, open, honest, accountable, mature, calm-demeanor, a good listener, empathetic, shares the same interests, appreciates family?
Figuring what is most important to you beforehand, will save you from wasting time with someone who isn’t going to be a good match in the long run.
Did computers exist the last time you went on a date?
If it has been decades since you last went on a date, things have definitely changed! Take your time and explore the many options that are now available. Chances are the local burger joint is now a Starbucks! Not that you couldn’t find someone nice over a hot beverage, getting out into the world and socializing is always a good thing.
I asked about computers because there are multiple online dating websites where you could possibly meet your perfect match. Some of them cater to niche hobbies, religion, or jobs. Check them out, click around and get a feel for how each of the sites work and what their fees are before signing up.
Some sites work through social media platforms (ZOOSK), some use personality tests to match couples (eharmony), and others by age, zip code and appearance (Match).
Friends & Family
Keep your children out of your dating life
Having children makes dating all the more complicated. Although it may be tempting to involve them and ask their opinions, your children should not be involved in your dating life. They may still be dealing with the confusion and upheaval of the divorce, the last thing they need is to have a parent parading new partners in and out of their lives.
Give it time. Spend at least 6 months getting to know someone before you introduce them to your children. Only serious, long-term relationships deserve to have your children involved.
If you feel that you have found “the one”, sit your children down and discuss this new love with them before introducing them to each other. This gives them an opportunity to ask questions and lets them share their concerns or fears about the relationship. Let them know that it’s okay to be angry, nervous, or sad about your new relationship.
You need support
Make sure you have adequate support from friends and family as you move on from your divorce and begin dating. Surviving a divorce will be one of the most difficult things you will ever go through, so letting others in to help you is essential to your healing and well-being.
Now is not the time to become a hermit and avoid the outside world! Instead, talk with friends, family, and others in your circle that can relate. Online support groups with women who are all going through the same experience can be valuable as well.
Would you like to join our Divorced Not Broken Facebook Community?
Dating after divorce isn’t an easy process, but you can make it work with the right strategies. By staying positive and limiting self-doubt, dating can also be exciting, reinvigorating, and life-affirming.
Believe in yourself and believe that you are deserving of love. Allow positive thinking to lead you toward the life you want to live and the relationship you hope to create. Most importantly, trust yourself and enjoy every step of your journey toward a new life and a new love!
Helpful books to read
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