Getting through a divorce is challenging enough ... but then post-divorce, jumping back into the dating pool is a whole new ball game.
And like the divorce process, there is a better way to approach dating again after all this time. Learn from my personal experiences, and those of my clients', on what's most important when you start dating again post-divorce.
Avoid these dating minefields to make it fun and easy instead!
Jumping back into the dating pool after a divorce is daunting. It takes time to mourn the death of a marriage and recover from the post-traumatic stress disorder that is inherent in the divorce process. I had never been a serial dater before my marriage, so the idea of getting back out there after this all time was incredibly intimidating. And the dating world had changed completely with online dating, speed dating, meetups, etc. When I thought about it though, I realized that I needed to shift my perspective. I had just survived an incredibly long, incredibly expensive divorce. If I could handle that, then learning to navigate the new dating world would be a piece of cake in comparison. And rather than think of it as a war zone studded with land mines, I could see it as a playground full of fun and new experiences. And it can be … if you remember that dating is about YOU and NOT the other person.
Avoid these common mistakes to create a better dating experience:
Giving Away Too Much, Too Soon
Your safety and privacy are important. So, don’t share personal details about yourself and your family too soon. Make sure that the person you are dating is completely trustworthy first. Use apps like Been Verified to check out your date before you meet and always make sure that someone else knows who you are meeting and where. Your trust is a gift. It needs to be earned. So, don’t give it away for free. And don’t unload your past relationship horror stories on the first date or rush forward too fast. Enjoy this new beginning. Create some mystery about yourself that wants your date wanting more. If you rush forward too fast, you’ll be missing all those magical moments that are happening right now.
Forgetting Your Self-Esteem At Home
Your divorce might have knocked you down, but don’t let that bleed into the new life you are trying to create for yourself. Remember, people will treat you the way YOU treat you. So, if you don’t respect yourself, then your date won’t either. Love yourself first. You don’t need anyone else’s validation. And when you insist on being treated with respect, kindness and compassion, you will attract those types of people to you. You are a gift. Never forget it. And having that kind of confidence and respect for yourself is damn sexy!
Creating Unrealistic Expectations
Who doesn’t love that giddy feeling when you’re getting ready to go out on a date? It’s nervousness and excitement all wrapped up together. Unfortunately, those feelings can sometimes encourage you to rush forward and start creating expectations about what this person could mean for you in the future. Instead of just enjoying the moment, you’re distracted by the incessant question in your head of “Is he the one?” Does it matter? No, it doesn’t. Your goal in this dating process is to have fun, meet new people and create new connections. If there is spark, then great. But you need to take this one step at a time … without expectation. There’s no rush. Enjoy the ride.
Saying Yes When You Should Say No
There are billions of people on this planet, so chances are you could find love with more than just one. After a divorce, it’s nice to have new attention, but don’t fall into the trap of needing it for validation. When you’re validating yourself, you don’t need to compromise in the dating process. You don’t need to settle. If one date doesn’t work out, move on to the next one. There are plenty of fish in the sea. And being single is a whole hell of a lot better than being miserable just to avoid being alone.
Jumping Into Another Relationship Too Soon
It can be tempting to jump into a new relationship straight from your divorce. It allows you to avoid that transition from being married to being alone. It allows you to avoid the responsibility of rebuilding your life by yourself. It allows you to avoid that you actually got divorced at all. So, lots of avoidance here. But avoidance never serves us. Avoidance is incredibly tempting, but it robs us of the time we need to really know what we want. It robs us of the clarity we need to understand our past patterns and make better choices for the future. It robs us of the strength that comes from rebuilding our life the way we want it to be … without compromise. So, give yourself this time to be independent, to be free.
Not Trusting Your Gut
We feel our feelings first in our body before our mind interprets it. So, listen to your body. What’s it trying to tell you about this date or that date? If you ever feel the slightest bit of doubt, move on. Even if you don’t understand it, there must be a reason. If, however, you get that giddy “butterflies in the stomach” feeling, then you just might have a keeper! Tap into your intuition and let it guide you to make better decisions.
So, be safe. Be confident. Value yourself. Lose any expectations around the future. Insist on being treated like a queen. Be present in the moment. Trust your gut. And most importantly, have fun!