Divorce can be a stressful and emotional time in one’s life. But it shouldn’t prevent you from dating again when the time is right. When it comes to dating again after divorce, you may find it difficult, for many reasons. Getting back into the dating world – especially in the age of digital dating – will be a new experience, and will likely require you to make some adjustments.
Are you ready to meet new people in your post-divorce life? Whether you already started dating again or you’re about to start, we have some post-divorce dating tips for you to keep in mind.
Tips on Dating Again After Divorce:
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you venture into the new world of dating after divorce:
Wait Until Your Divorce is Final
You may want to wait to date until your current divorce has been finalized. Dating before or during your divorce can jeopardize your ability to settle your divorce case amicably. The decision can put you at risk financially, which most definitely will impact your well-being. More importantly, dating during separation could impact your parenting plan, if you have children. Your spouse might have a difficult time co-parenting with you if there is a third party in the picture, which could harm your children, directly or indirectly.
Are Your Ready to Date?
Ask yourself, are you in a good state mentally to date again? If you’re not, take your time until you feel ready to date. Friends and family members who pressure you to “get back out there” are well-meaning, but may not be tuned in to your best interest.
Realize Your Dating Intentions
You’ll need to ask yourself “what are my dating intentions“? Do some deep self-reflection and see if you are indeed dating for the right reasons. If you find that your reason is to spite your ex-spouse, then it’s best to hold off on dating, to protect yourself and everyone else who is in the mix.
Overcome Your Fears of Dating Again
It is understandably difficult to try dating after a divorce. Try to put your divorce behind you in order to help overcome the fears of dating again. If you are still emotionally impacted by your former marriage, your new relationship will certainly suffer.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Accept that you’re not going to find Mr. or Mrs. perfect – if you try, you’ll be dating forever. No person will check off all the boxes for you – be open, but know what your reasonable expectations are in a potential partner.
It’s easy to get down on yourself after divorce if things don’t pan out right away. Bad dates are bound to happen – it’s part of the process. It’s important to stay positive when dating isn’t going the way you’d like it to. You may consider changing your approach to dating as time goes on.
Try Online Dating
Dating these days is different than what you have experienced years ago, in part, because of online dating and “swipe culture.” Online dating can bring the instant convenience of meeting someone based on your designated preferences. Give online dating a try – particularly with sites like e-harmony or match.com.
Don’t Just Keep it Online
Meet up in person! Don’t drag out an online conversation. The best way to get to know someone is through meeting up for dinner, a movie or another activity.
Give it a Few Dates
You may not have chemistry right away, but if your values align, and there is good communication, you may find your chemistry after a few more dates.
Lanie Delphin, Owner/Matchmaker at Mass Match Dating and Matchmaking Service: “One piece of advice people have thanked me for the most is giving someone 3-5 dates to see if you like them more and more. Starting off with instant chemistry, without really getting to know someone, aka “ sparks” can be the road to divorce court, because we tend not to be listening to anything this attractive person is saying. I’ve had many clients wait for longer than 3-5 dates with someone because they liked them, and then eventually the chemistry kicked in. Much better to see it grow over time then start out with what my clients call crash and burn.”
Be Honest with Yourself
Dating starts with you. Examine what you want in a new relationship after a divorce. In order to be totally honest with yourself, you’ll need to trust your instincts.
Be Honest About Your Past
Whatever ultimately happened during your marriage should be shared as intimacy develops in a subsequent relationship. That being said, there is a time and place to share those details. Don’t share too many things too early (especially on the first date), but if the dating continues, be prepared to share when the moment is right.
Balance Dating & Family Life
Don’t let your kids block you from dating. Sometimes, kids may get upset at the thought of their parents dating someone else. Be upfront and respect their feelings, but don’t let them stop you from going on a date. Be aware of your children’s needs as you develop closeness with someone new. Not all children will react in the same way, and each of them may require different attention from you. Try not to get so taken with your dating life that you don’t address those needs.
Don’t jump into a New Relationship
The last thing you’ll want to do after a divorce is rush into a new relationship. Take it slowly and give yourself the time to get to know who you’re dating. If and when you both feel you’re ready to take the next steps, you can introduce your new partner to your family.
Lanie Delphin, Owner/Matchmaker at Mass Match Dating and Matchmaking Service: “One of the best pieces of advice that people have personally thanked me for is not to rush into a relationship. The biggest mistake most of my clients have made is rushing into a relationship because the problem with rushing in, is that no one rushes out. The known can seem easier than the unknown, alas, but being in an unhealthy relationship is as toxic as smoking. TAKE YOUR TIME! It takes a long time to get to know who you are getting, and though it is a leap of faith, you do want to think you have all your ducks in place.”
What To Look for When Dating:
Tips from Lanie Delphin, owner/matchmaker of Mass Match Dating and Matchmaking service, serving singles in Western and Central MA and neighboring communities in CT, VT, NH, NY, and RI.
“I believe that everyone should be looking for what I call the 4 C’s: chemistry, communication, character and compatibility“.
Lanie, on The 4 C’s of Dating:
Chemistry: “Starting off with instant chemistry, without really getting to know someone, can be the road to divorce court, because we tend not to be listening to anything this attractive person is saying. I’ve had clients wait longer than 3-5 dates with someone because they liked them, and then eventually the chemistry kicked in. Much better to see chemistry grow over time then start out with what my clients call crash and burn”
Communication: “Good, healthy communication is important as you continue dating. Those that can effectively communicate their needs will have a healthier and happier relationship”.
Character: “It is important to remember none of us are perfect humans, but a person’s character needs to be perfect. You can’t have a little bit of a good character —you have it or you don’t, even though we are all human and make mistakes.”
Compatibility: “If you are compatible with someone in terms of values, goals and interests, fitting in with family and friends, then all is well. And yes, it takes a while to figure those things out.”
The Most Important Dating Quality: Kindness
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