Even after the most amicable of divorces, the notion of dating can be downright scary. Some people may be eager to get back into the dating scene, while others may need a slow roll into the idea of even meeting new people. When you’re ready to start dating after a divorce, here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind as you begin your next journey.
DO: “Ask Am I Ready?”
Everyone has their own timeline for healing after a divorce, and those who don’t re-evaluate their previous relationships may risk repeating the same mistakes. Be sure to take enough time to grieve the loss of your marriage and understand your part in what happened in the relationship. It’s best to wait until you have legally filed for divorce before you enter a new relationship or begin dating so you can be honest about where you are in the process with anyone new. It also helps to decide what you want out of the experience and to know if you want to begin dating for the right reasons. When you are truly ready to make the jump into the dating pool, you’ll feel good about your answers and know they are true to your feelings.
DO: Set Realistic Expectations
Whether it’s been two years or 20 years since you last dated someone, chances are that times have changed. It’s important to understand that you won’t find the next Mr. or Mrs. Right on the first few dates. It may help to think of dating as an interview process. There will be lots of candidates and you don’t have to feel bad about moving on if any one person doesn’t fit the job. Open yourself to new kinds of people. What you felt was your “type” in the past may have evolved, so don’t be afraid to meet someone who may not fit that exact mold.
DO: Know What You Want
A mental (or written) checklist is a great tool to determine what you seek in a new partner. With lessons learned from your previous relationship(s), you will recognize a deal-breaker and know what you are willing to compromise on. Are you looking to date casually or exclusively? Are you open to having a relationship with someone who has children? How do you like to communicate in a relationship? Additionally, knowing the kind of qualities you want in a potential partner can make the “interview” process easier while avoiding the pitfalls of “settling for less.”
DON’T Rush In. Take it Slow.
Easing into the dating scene may be the best option after a divorce or separation. Enjoy talking on the phone first to get to know someone. Making a real connection involves a time investment, and a slow burn is often better than a rebound or a quick burnout. It’s normal to experience a whirlwind of emotions during the initial plunge into dating, and it’s important to process those feelings without the pressure of an intense, new romantic relationship.
DO: Enjoy Your Hobbies and Find New Ones
Here’s the fun part: JUST. HAVE. FUN. The best way to fully reveal yourself to someone new is to get back to who you are and what you love to do. What brings you joy? What do you love to do? What have you always wanted to try? Events & Adventures is a great place to start. Take a look at one of our event calendars. Each month is filled with nearly 30 different events – and the best part is that everyone is single! Whether you enjoy laid-back activities or you seek thrilling adventure, we’ve got you covered. From wine tasting and billiard nights to line dancing and laser tag, you choose the mood, and we’ve got an outing for you to match.
Our members appreciate how easy and natural it is to meet like-minded singles. It’s especially helpful to busy professionals, those new to the dating scene, and people new to town. The fringe benefits also include building new friendships and constructing a “dating village,” on whom you can rely upon for support.
DON’T Trash Your Ex.
Once you begin meeting new people, always be forthcoming about your past, values, and boundaries. If you decide to talk about your previous relationship, do so in a fair and balanced manner and be sure to talk about how you’ve learned from those experiences. A healthy relationship begins as an honest relationship and completely sharing yourself with others cannot come without revealing yourself, scars and all.
DO: Talk to Your Kids at The Right Time
If you have children, dating after divorce can get even more complicated. Once again, honesty is the best policy. Be upfront about your need to build connections – but communicate these needs at the appropriate time. Once you have met someone you are serious about, be open with your kids and give them space to have feelings about it. They will have questions and fears – and your job is to answer them honestly and ease their worry.
DO: Trust Yourself
Your instincts will always be your guide. If you’re not “feeling it,” or something seems “off,” chances are you’re right. If anyone seems “too perfect,” or you see any red flags, DON’T ignore that gut feeling. Your intuition is usually right on the money. If you decide to use online dating apps, stay vigilant of any scams or catfishing. Feel good about what your conscience is telling you, and if you need to move on, do it kindly and with confidence in yourself.
Events & Adventures has provided a fun, easy, and stress-free way for singles to meet for over 30 years. Get to know people just like you by doing things you love to do – or the things you’ve always wanted to do. There’s life beyond divorce – go live it. Get started today with Events & Adventures.