Did you know that more than half of all marriages end before death causes the couple to part? Whether the cause is cheating or deciding you two are just not meant to be, divorce can be hard. What can be even harder is getting back into the realm of dating during divorce. Here are some tips and ideas on what you can do to get yourself back into the dating game and dating during divorce.
Go Easy on Yourself!
If you want to give dating a shot- go for it! Know that divorce will take you on an actual emotional rollercoaster. No matter how prepared you think you may be, this is an astronomical change you are going through. Even if it is one hundred percent beneficial, divorce is a lifestyle change. Be prepared to experience all the feels.
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Give yourself time
If you are up for dating right away- go with it. Keep it simple. Meet for coffee and go your separate ways. Once comfortable, meet up for dinner one night.
TIP: Avoid alcohol in the very beginning. It can be tempting to order a second margarita with dinner to calm your nerves or make your mind accept the fact that you are dating during your own divorce!
If you go on a date or two and then decide you are not ready for dating during divorce, pull the plug. Remember that you are in control. Only do what you are comfortable doing. If you want to text a man for a while before meeting, do so. If you are more comfortable chatting on the phone first, do so. Do whatever makes you feel content. If you rush into something or take a man’s lead over your intuition, you may end up resenting your choice and getting turned off to dating during divorce, entirely.
Be Open to the New Dating Trends
The trendy way to meet people nowadays is through dating apps and websites. Meeting potential dates online is just as common as wearing shoes, it seems. Be prepared. The game has changed, ladies! Dating is not the same as it was before you were married! It may appear that chivalry is in fact dead. What should not have changed over the years is your commitment to yourself! Only accept proper treatment as early on as exchanging phone numbers with a man. Gentlemen do still exist. Unfortunately, in the dating pool you may have to sift through a bunch of guys before you find your next prince charming.
Dating is not what it was ten years ago! Start off dating with the motto that no man is safe. Always meet men in public places.
TIP: Have your girlfriend meet you at the coffee shop where you are meeting your date before he arrives. You will take comfort in knowing she is on the corner couch observing from afar as you get to know your new boo.
If you are feeling lonely, which is normal while going through a divorce, it will be easy to hop into something, such as a relationship, that makes you feel confident and important. Many women tend to be vulnerable and miss red flags when they are fresh out of a failed marriage. Do not let this be your fate while dating during divorce! Go slowly. Have zero expectations. Expectations lead to resentment. Allow yourself to live in the moment. Practice mindfulness so that you are content with your current situation.
TIP: Although you are grown, share your location with a friend from your cell phone. If you do not have this option, be sure to always tell a friend when and where you are going and with whom. This will give you peace of mind (as well as your girlfriends).
Pay Attention to Red Flags!
Your intuition will not steer you wrong. It is better to be alone and safe than in someone’s company that could be potentially off. Run everything by your girlfriends. They will provide insight into your situation that you may miss and will definitely want to hear your stories. Whether they are still married or wrapped up in the dating world as well, they will want to hear all of the details pertaining to your new adventures with men. It is easy for women who are dating during divorce to miss red flags or even worse- ignore them. Think about what you would tell your best friends to do in your situation. If you are content alone, as you should be, you will be more level-headed in regards to red flags. Do not ignore them!
Dating During Divorce When You Have Kids
Do NOT introduce any of your dates to your children. It will confuse them and cause unnecessary upset. Word can get back to your ex and you will find yourself in a mess. You also do not want to take up lying to your children.
TIP: Use the term “friend” when referring to your dates. Merely tell your child, “Mommy is going to dinner with her friend.”
You are the adult and your children do not need to know exactly what you are up to. Similarly, do NOT bring men home, ever! If you are unable to hold out and must bring a date home (once you know them well enough, of course), do so after your kids are in bed for the night and make sure he leaves before the sun comes up!
Enjoy letting men treat you well. It is okay to enjoy a man’s company even if you have the mindset that men are awful at the moment. Although we want you to have a blast, we highly recommend to keep your guard up when you begin dating again. Allow yourself to safely have a good time in this new chapter of your life. You are in control of dating during divorce. You call the shots and decide what you want to do when you want to do it. Take pride in knowing you have the power to do what makes you happy.
It is perfectly allowed, and acceptable, to date during the process of your divorce! It may even be helpful to do so as a distraction from the turmoil you are feeling. Initially, you may feel guilty or as if you are doing something wrong. This is understandable and completely normal. You were with your husband and faithful to him for X amount of years. Be content with knowing that you are not in the wrong if you choose to take part in dating during divorce! Do what makes you happy. Everyone else will adjust.
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