After going through the process of a divorce and the stress and emotions that come along with it, dating again may seem daunting or even impossible. Eventually, however, you’ll likely find yourself thinking more and more about the other fish in the pond that could be out there waiting for you. As more time passes after your divorce, the idea of finding a new spark, having fun with someone new, and maybe even falling in love again can start to be appealing.
Obviously, getting back into dating after the end of a marriage is going to be different than your first time around. But as long as you take the right approach, your romantic goals won’t be too far out of reach. Here are a few pieces of advice to help you have the best experience as a dating divorcée!
First and foremost, make sure you’re ready before you jump back in.
The end of a marriage can be devastating. Even if it was amicable, you’re going to experience a wide range of emotions for quite some time after it’s over. Before you jump into a new relationship, allow yourself time and space to mourn your marriage. Although it was for the best, you’ve suffered a loss. You need to heal from that loss, so you can be sure when you do start dating again it’s for the right reasons and not just to stave off grief or loneliness.
Use this time to rediscover yourself as an individual by hanging out with friends and family, focusing on your career, dedicating yourself to a hobby you’ve neglected, and spending time alone. You might even consider seeing a therapist to help you with this process and reflect on what went wrong in your marriage, so you don’t end up in a repeat relationship.
Go in with minimal expectations.
It’s easy to be cynical after a divorce. It’s also easy to be consumed by fantasies of finding your perfect match after your first date back out. Do your best to let go of what you think a relationship should be. When you release those expectations and just go with the flow, you’re less likely to miss out on something you didn’t know could make you happy just because it didn’t seem to fit your ideal relationship image.
For the same reason, try to ditch the idea of sticking to a “type”. You’re a different person now than you were before your marriage and divorce—you might be surprised by what you need and desire now.
Be open and honest about your past.
When you start to feel comfortable with someone, it’s important that you’re transparent with them about what you went through in your previous marriage and divorce. You don’t necessarily have to give them a play-by-play, but be honest about how it has affected you and how you’ve grown from your experience. Don’t hide the ugly parts because they’re hard to talk about or you’re afraid to scare someone off. Your potential partner needs to know what didn’t work for you the first time, so you can determine if you share the same values and priorities and can create something stronger going forward.
If you have kids, don’t feel compelled to involve them right away. When it gets serious though, they’ll need to be introduced to your relationship and develop their own relationship with your partner if it’s going to work.
Don’t knock online dating.
A lot of individuals reentering the dating game after a divorce or the end of a long-term relationship are skeptical about online dating. But the truth is, online dating is actually a great place to start if you’re just looking to slowly dip your toes back into the dating world. Dating websites and apps are a great way to connect with people in your area, who share similar goals, at your own pace. It’s a chance to get to know someone a little more before you give out any personal information or go on a real date. You decide if and when to take it offscreen.
Don’t write off virtual dating just because it’s new to you either—technology has really transformed the process in terms of safety, convenience, and authenticity. Just remember to choose secure dating platforms and follow basic safety tips when meeting up with someone from the Internet.
Go slow, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Dating after a divorce is the start of a whole new chapter in your life. The best way to keep your priorities straight and have a safe, fun, and fulfilling experience is to take it slow, but still step outside of your comfort zone. Check in with yourself as you go to make sure you’re not seeing or falling into old, toxic patterns or losing yourself to the idea that you have to be in a relationship.
Be patient and don’t settle for anything less than what you’ve decided you need in a partner. But also keep in mind that connections and chemistry sometimes need a little more time than you anticipate to flourish, so don’t give up on something before giving it a real chance to grow.
When you’re ready to take your first step into the dating world after a divorce, start by creating a profile with My Safe Dating. Our secure forum is specifically designed for individuals over the age of 40 in Vancouver to connect with new people safely and narrow down potential matches that are on their same journey with a similar destination in mind.
Take control of your life and happiness and sign up for your membership today!