If you are recently divorced, you have probably been out of the dating scene for quite some time. At some point, you are going to want to get back out there and start dating again. How long does it take to get over a divorce? When do you know if it is okay to start dating again? What are the dos and don’ts of dating after a divorce? We are going to try to answer some of these questions for you right now.
Is It Time to Start Dating Again?
Honestly, every person is different so there is no “be all” answer to say when you are ready to start dating again. In all likelihood, you are going to need some grieving time, but try not to dwell too long.
Attitude adjustment – before you can start dating again, you need to get out of that funk. How many times have seen characters in TV shows or movies on their first date after a divorce do nothing but talk about their ex? Instead of seeing the divorce as the end of something, look at it as a new beginning. Start being a glass half-full person instead of a glass half-empty person. Before you step out, every bit of that divorce should be in the rear-view mirror.
It’s a learning experience – yes, your marriage is over, but take a serious look at what went wrong and learn from it. Just when did you and your ex start to grow apart? What caused this? Is there something either of you could have done to prevent this? Were there warning signs that were missed by either person? These are all experiences you can take into your next relationship to make it even better than your marriage.
Forgive and forget – now that you have come to terms with what went wrong, it is time to forgive your ex for his or her role in the divorce. This may not be an easy thing to do, especially if there was cheating involved, but holding onto that anger does not serve any purpose at all. You also need to take responsibility for any role you had in the divorce and forgive yourself.
Are you ready – once you have come to terms with everything, you are ready to get back into the dating scene. Everyone has emotional and physical needs that only a mate can supply. It’s time to take that first step and find the next love of your life.
Avoiding Common Divorcee Dating Mistakes
Now that you are ready to get back into the dating world, you need to know what NOT to do. Dating as a divorcee is new, but there have been plenty of people before you and the mistakes they made are lessons for you to learn from before you head out to have coffee with your new friend.
Don’t bring marital issues into your new relationship – whatever the baggage from your marriage, leave it behind. This is a new person that will no doubt have some faults, but he or she is not your ex. Nor does this person want to hear about the problems of your previous marriage. This is a new relationship, so start it with a clean slate.
Stay away from rebounds – the fact is, rebound relationships are doomed to fail. This is one of the main reasons we tell everyone to wait until they have put the divorce behind them before moving forward and entering the dating pool again. If you end up dating someone that is on a rebound, get out of the relationship ASAP because it will not go anywhere. Both you and the person you are dating should want to date, not need to date. Believe me, there is a huge difference.
There is no place for comparisons – just because your ex did something does not mean this new person will do it. Just because your ex liked or hated to do certain things does mean this person will like or hate the same things. Do not compare your new friend to your ex in any way, shape, or form. This is a new relationship, so take the time to learn about this person and enjoy his or her uniqueness.
Don’t be self-centered – it is not always about you, whether you want it to be or not. The same goes for your new friend. If he or she is making it all about them, why would you want to be with them? A good relationship is about sharing and doing things for each other. Amazingly, people often find when they put themselves second, the person they are with puts them first. It can be one heck of a tradeoff.
Stop talking so much – when you meet someone new, there may be times of silence, and this okay. If you start to force conversation, you may find that you are talking about things you should not be talking about, like your ex. The two of you are going to create some new memories, so let them happen and actually enjoy those quite moments.
Don’t bring up your past – you probably don’t want to know every detail of your date’s past and it is a safe assumption to think that he or she does not want to hear about yours. Realistically, what does the past mean anyway? Everyone has something that they did in their past they are not proud of, but there is no reason to spoil a new relationship with something that does not affect or will not affect that person in any way.
Don’t settle – this happens a lot, and we mean a LOT. People coming out of a divorce can go into panic mode thinking that the clock is ticking and they are going to end up alone. Don’t settle on being with someone that is not really what you want. If you drop your standards and “settle,” you are more than likely heading down the road of a failed relationship. You know what you want, so wait until it comes along.
Leave a little space – nobody really enjoys being crowded. It may seem cute in the beginning to spend every available second together, but that will eventually get old. Both of you need your space and need to keep your identity. Keep that night out with the guys or girls. Continue to enjoy your friends and don’t force the “new” person in your life to do things that he or she does not enjoy. A little space is good.
Don’t go into stalker mode– when you do finally meet someone you click with, try not to go overboard. Put yourself in their shoes and think how you would react to someone that texted you five times a day and called you every couple of hours just to say hi. It is a little scary, right? We are not telling you to not call or text, just keep it reasonable so you don’t scare him or her away.
This is a new chapter in your life and you should be very excited. The pain and stress of the divorce is finally over and you are about to start having some fun again. Just remember, don’t be desperate, don’t settle, and try not to come off too strong on the first date. In time, you will find that “special” person.