Dating Again: The Whys and How to Date After Divorce
By Helene Taylor, Esq.
It may have been many years since your last date; or just a few years, either way once you’ve been married and committed to one person for a long period of time dating can seem overwhelming, confusing, and even downright scary.
Discovering Reasons to Date
If you’re newly divorced and want to date again first consider the reasons you want to date. Many times women (and men) rush into dating and a new relationship too soon after divorce. This can lead to bad relationships, even another bad marriage, as we choose someone who may not be right for us.
Common Reasons Women Date too Soon After Divorce:
- Filling a lonely spot or sense of void
- Afraid of going it alone and being on your own
- Your ex has met someone new
- Feeling you can’t be happy without a man
- Keeping busy so you don’t have to think about your ex
There are also good, healthy reasons many women get back on the dating scene.
Great Reasons to Date Again:
- Missing the excitement of a date with a good man
- Desire for good conversation, sharing your interests with someone, and getting to know another person
- You want to (and are ready to) enjoy life again
- Most of your friends are married, unavailable to go out, travel, spend time pursuing your hobbies together
- You’ve met or known a nice guy you’d like to know better
- You feel whole and happy inside and are ready to share your happiness with another person
- You’ve grown as a result of this last relationship and are ready to try again
It’s vital to consider the reasons why you want to date before you get back out there. If you’re fearful of being alone, it may be time to face your fears and hold off on dating for a while. This may not be what you want to hear or do, but what lessons we don’t learn we’re doomed to repeat. It could be a fear of being alone that led you to your last relationship that didn’t work.
When you examine your true inner desires and discover the real reasons you want to date (be honest!) you’ll be more likely to find true love and attract happy, healthy, and emotionally mature men capable of fulfilling relationships.
Taking time to heal from a broken heart, re-discover your true self, face your fears, and stop spinning from your divorce are important parts in the healing process. You can’t just fill the void with a new man; if you do the wounds from the recent divorce are sure to pop up down the road.
The Decision to Re-enter the Dating World
Once you’ve decided that its time to date again, there are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin this journey.
- A lot of healing may take place in your first few dates or first serious relationship. If you date emotionally-evolved men, the relationships can be great catalysts for change.
- Dating can be disappointing. It can also be boring, tedious and unpredictable. Take it all in stride and learn from your experiences.
- Dating can be exciting. It can also be inspiring and motivational. Use this energy constructively. Pursue the education you’ve always wanted, train for a marathon or spend more time with friends.
- It’s okay to change your appearance. Get some new clothes or a refreshing makeover that reflects who you truly are. Experiment, try new things and celebrate yourself.
- It isn’t okay to jeopardize your safety. Don’t bring strangers into your home. Don’t get involved with unstable or unreliable men. Tell your family or friends with whom, and where, you are going on dates. Always practice safe sex.
- Remember, you are not alone. There are many divorced women re-entering the dating world with whom you can connect.
- Always remain open to new experiences while staying true to yourself.
After going through a divorce, whether it’s your first or your fourth, there’s healing to be done. Don’t rush anything at this point. Take your time in going back to dating and take your time with the men you meet. Lasting love is built on friendship, mutual respect, love, and support for each other. This all takes time.
The Most Important Dating Advice
Maybe you feel nervous, insecure, or uptight about dating. You may be unsure of your looks, your lifestyle (maybe you have children now), your career (was it on hold for years?), and who you’ve become in general. The key to attracting a good man whose love will stand the test of time is being yourself! It may sound simple, that’s because it is.
In today’s society everyone wants to look younger, be someone they aren’t, follow fads, and become what they see on television – don’t’ do it! It doesn’t matter where the last relationship went wrong; if you’re good of heart don’t feel you have to become someone else.
Men are attracted to women who aren’t afraid to be themselves, speak their minds (with kindness and respect), and follow their own path in life. If you stay true to your self in all you do you’ll naturally attract a great man! Follow your intuition in all you do – especially with love.
If you feel that you don’t know who you are right now, take some time. Get to know yourself again, re-discover dreams, talents, hobbies, and more. Everyone has unique talents and gifts to share with the world, open your eyes to what you have and be proud! Love will be yours again!