Starting your life after the divorce can feel daunting. It can feel especially scary when you are ready to consider dating again. Regardless of how long you were with your ex, it is likely you have not been in the dating world for quite awhile. You may also be felt with some unresolved doubts and insecurities about yourself because your marriage did not work out. While it is scary to put yourself out there again, the thing you may not realize is that it is easier to find a partner after divorce than you think.
Why Dating in Life After the Divorce Seems Hard
After the dust has settled and you are firmly living your life after the divorce, there comes a time when you are ready to start dating. You want to go out and have fun. Maybe you want to find someone to share your time with, either seriously or casually. You might just really want to be intimate with someone again and are curious about sex with someone new after being married to the same person for years (or maybe even decades!). Whatever type of relationship you are ready for, it can still feel scary.
You are probably scared about a lot of things. Even if you are ready to get start your dating life after the divorce, you are likely still dealing with some of the feelings of having gotten divorced. Whether amicable or not, divorce is hard and leaves you with a lot of emotions to unpack. Maybe you are scared of getting hurt since your last relationship ended. You might not trust your instincts to find a good partner since your previous relationship did not work out. And honestly, dating has likely changed since you last started a relationship so the whole concept of a dating life after the divorce might be terrifying.
All of these fears and worries are likely to make you feel insecure. What should you wear? What do you talk about? What if you make a fool of yourself? Are they going to like you? Are you going to like them?
All of these feelings are valid and normal. You are starting over in your life after the divorce and that can be overwhelming. It is a scary thing to put yourself back out there. Take things one date at a time. If you go on a date or two and realize that you are not as ready as you thought you were, that is okay. Put dating on pause for a little while. There is no rush to feel ready to embark on your dating after divorce journey.
It is also important to remember that you are not a failure because your marriage did not work out. You are not required to spend the rest of your life alone because you got divorced. This is also true if you have children from your previous marriage. While there are some rules you should follow if you are dating after a divorce and you have children, you do not have to shy away from dating because you’re a parent. You deserve happiness.
Why It’s Easier to Find the Right Partner After Divorce Than You Might Think
The first few dates may be rocky. You are likely to be nervous. You may or may not go out with people who you are really interested in pursuing anything with. That is totally normal. Once you get those first few experiences out of the way, you get past the nerves of being back in the dating world. That is when you can start to look at the situation and realize that finding a partner – whether casual or serious – for your life after the divorce is easier than you might think. Here is why.
You know what you need in a partner.
After a divorce, it is easy to look back on that relationship and see the things that did not work. It should start to become clear what it is that you want and need from a partner. You can figure this out if you start examining the things that made you happy and unhappy in your previous relationship. Ask yourself some questions. What won’t you stand for in a relationship? What are your deal-breakers? Your triggers? Your standards? Make a list either mentally or an actual list that you write out on paper of the things that you want in a partner.
Then, pay attention to the details when you start to date someone. Tune in to the way someone makes you feel when you are around them. Do they say or do things that seem like red flags? Do they pay attention and listen when you tell them things about yourself? Do they remember little details you have told them? Do they respect the things that you say are important to you? Do they keep promises and meet commitments?
When you know what you need and want from someone, and you are willing to stick by those standards that you set for what you want in a partner, it becomes easier to find a compatible partner.
…and you know what you absolutely do not want.
The opposite side to this is that you also know what you do not want in a partner. This is just as important as knowing what you want and need from your partner. Do you want someone who likes to stay active or are you looking for a homebody? Is it a problem if they are a workaholic? Are you willing to date someone with children? Is it a deal breaker if they share different political views?
There are no rights and wrongs here. You have to be honest with yourself and then stick to your standards. You and your ex divorced for a reason, so if there were things that you absolutely cannot live with again, then you need to be honest with yourself and keep that in mind in your dating life after the divorce.
You can make life after the divorce whatever you want it to be.
Want to find another serious partner? Go for it. There are plenty of people your age, whether they’ve never been married or also divorced, who are looking for the same thing. Interested in getting married again one day? Go for it! Found a great partner who you want to be in a long-term, committed relationship with but you are not interested in getting married again? That’s totally up to you! Just be honest and upfront about what you are looking for in a partnership from the get go. If it is not something they can get on board with, you are giving them the chance to make that decision from the get.
This all ties in with the previous two reasons that finding a partner after divorce is easier than you might think. You are defining what you want and don’t want for your life after the divorce. You are in a position to know what is going to make you happy and be best for you. Use all that knowledge that you learned from your previous relationship and your divorce to help you define the future that you want and deserve. Being able to create this new life that will make you happy, gives clarity to the kind of person you want to share it with.
You know who you are.
After a divorce, you have likely done some soul searching. Maybe you did this on your own or maybe with the help of a therapist or other professional like a life coach. You probably took some time to find yourself and figure out who you are as a single person rather than half of a married couple. When you know who you are and are comfortable with yourself, you are in a better place to find a good match. That is because if you go on a date and are authentically yourself, you are letting that other person see you for who you are and decide if they are attracted to and like who you are.
An important piece to a good relationship is being able to be yourself and have your partner support that. So when you know who you are, are honest with yourself and anyone you are interested in getting into a relationship with, you are more likely to find the right person to share your life after the divorce.
Easy does not mean quick. You may find Mr. Right in no time. But it is also possible that Mr. Right could take a while to show up. Starting your dating life after the divorce means that this time around you have the experience and the knowledge to know what it is that you are looking for and what is going to make you happy. Use this knowledge to give you the confidence to say, “No, thank you,” to relationships that you know are not going to make you happy. While it will be scary at first, if you trust yourself, your dating life after the divorce can be great.
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