How to Date After Divorce: The Top Tips You Should Know
Around 40-50 percent of married couples in the U.S. end up getting divorced.
If you and your spouse have decided to part ways, you’re definitely not alone. It’s easy to feel alone, though, especially after the divorce is finalized and you’re thinking about putting yourself out there and joining the dating pool again.
Are you not sure how to date after divorce? Hard to tell if you’re ready to date? If so, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that will make the process easier, help you dip your toe into the dating scene, and make post divorce dating much more enjoyable for you.
Get Over Your Ex First
Before you jump in and start trying to date again, it’s important that you take time to get over your ex.
It’s okay to mourn the loss of your previous marriage, even if you know that getting a divorce was the right decision for yourself and your family. Spend some time grieving what you so you can accept that that part of your life is over.
Make sure your divorce is finalized, too (this makes things much less complicated, especially when it comes to things like your divorce rights and custody rights).
Work with a Therapist
For most people, it’s much easier to get over their ex and move forward with their life if they’re talking to a therapist on a regular basis.
A therapist can help you to work through your feelings and ensure you’re acting in a way that’s healthy and productive.
Having a therapist you trust will give you someone in whom you can confide once you start dating as well. They can provide you with objective feedback on how you’re doing and which areas of your life need more attention or improvement.
Think About What Went Wrong in Your Last Relationship
It’s also important to work with your therapist to figure out what went wrong during your marriage, as well as previous relationships. Take time to understand patterns and figure out what kinds of behaviors or situations you may need to avoid when you begin to date again.
Take Things Slow
When you do find someone who piques your interest and you decide you want to date them, be sure to take things slow.
There’s no need to rush into another monogamous relationship. It’s okay to date around and to take your time while getting to know them.
This is especially important in the early days after your divorce is finalized. You’ll be vulnerable during this period, and it’s best to move slowly to avoid dating someone who’ll take advantage of you.
Set Realistic Expectations
While some people have a tendency to dive head-first into new relationships after their divorce, others have the opposite problem. They may set unrealistic, impossible-to-achieve expectations for the people they date and end up dismissing perfectly good people because of perceived imperfections and problems.
Recognize that the people you’re dating are human and will have flaws. You don’t have to overlook obvious problems, of course, but don’t be so picky that you pass on people who might end up being good for you.
Be Clear About Your Priorities
If you’re having a hard time figuring out who’s a good person for you to date and who isn’t, it helps to sit down and write out your non-negotiables.
What characteristics matter most to you. Do you value a strong work ethic? A sense of humor? Do they need to share certain interests with you?
If you figure out your priorities now, it’ll be much easier for you to decide which people you want to continue seeing and which ones you can let go.
Be Wary of People Who Are Too Perfect
There’s nothing wrong with having high standards and looking for people who seem like a good fit for you.
However, in the same way that you should be wary of someone who doesn’t check any of your boxes, you should also exercise caution around people who check all of them.
Someone who seems to be too perfect may be hiding something. They might even be trying to manipulate or take advantage of you.
Be Open and Honest
Be honest with the person you’re dating. You don’t need to spill all your secrets on the first date, but it’s okay to be upfront about what you’re looking for and what kinds of expectations you have going into the dating world again.
Don’t try to cover up details of your life, either. Let them know right away if you have kids, for example, and don’t try to hide your age. The person you’re dating has a right to know these things before they develop an attachment to you.