Most people have had us believe that with divorce, a woman’s life has come to an end. Well, that is far from the truth. Regardless of the reason for divorce and what happened in your past, this is just the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Just like a novel, where you don’t know what will happen next, this chapter is a brand new page for you to start from. And here you get to decide how to change or shape your new life. Check out how to refocus your life after a divorce here. And if you are ready and wanting to dip your toes into the dating pool again, here are a few pointers you need to know.
15 Tips On Dating After A Divorce
1. Discover Yourself
Before you start swiping right and going on dates, make sure you have taken time for yourself. Not only to heal but also to learn more about what you want and what you don’t like. Learn about things that make you, you! Reconnect with the parts of yourself you may have neglected while you were married. Invest in yourself before getting close to someone else.
2. Grieve The End Of Your Marriage If You Have To
Marriage is not your whole life, but it becomes a major part of your life. And irrespective of the reason for divorce, breaking up with your partner and having your life take its turn can be hard to process. Hence if you need to, take time to process things and grieve for your marriage. Mourn for the feelings that you have lost or forgotten, it is OK to feel overwhelmed during any change.
3. Reach Out For Help
It might have been one thing that pushed you over the edge and get that divorce. But in reality, there are many more underlying reasons. Hence you might want to visit a therapist to know more about this. They can help you make sense of things that might seem otherwise senseless. By talking it out with a pro, you can identify healthy behaviour you want to bring into your next relationship and any unhealthy habits that you should ditch.
4. Make Sure You Have Healed
Before you start blocking your calendar and prepping for dates, make sure that you have healed. This is very important. Your partner must have wronged you, and that anger yet resides in you. Resolve those hateful feelings. Dating from a place of anger doesn’t usually lead to good choices.
5. Know What You Want From Your Next Relationship
Prioritize what you can and cannot live without and see where you have some wiggle room and where you need to be firm. For example, if you have kids, know that you would prefer a person who wants kids or likes them. Or even small things like being a social drinker, financially independent. They might seem petty or childish at the start but know that they are conditions that you have set.
6. Be Open About The Type Of Relationship You Want
Another thing to pay attention to is that you both need to be on the same page. Even if he checks all the boxes of your checklist, are you both in it for the long haul? Sometimes you might just want a no-strings-attached relation. And it’s fine! Communication is the key here. Communicate to know that you both are comfortable and open about your relationship.
7. Let Your Friends Know
Your girlfriends will be your biggest cheerleaders. And wingman if you need! And sometimes if you are unclear, your girlfriends can help you clear the dark clouds. Introduce your partner to your friends, go on double dates. Friends can pick up on things that you cannot, so in case of a double date, your friends can let you know if they detect a red flag.
8. Open Up To Your Kids That You Are Dating
When you choose to tell your children you’re dating someone new is totally up to you. But it is best to do so only when you are certain of your partner. Your kids are your priority and in case they have any doubts, you must remind them that. Also before introducing your kids, make sure that your partner is kid-friendly. Take a good look at how they respond to your stories about your children, and how they talk about children, in general. These can be the biggest indicators.
9. Do Not Change Yourself
A hard pill to swallow is that you change with time, and more with a person. But we must understand that change is normal and inevitable. Sometimes you change for the better or for the worse. In your next relationship, make sure you don’t change things about yourself that you like. Do not adjust according to your partner’s needs.
10. Be Transparent About Your Past
Your past might be tricky. In case you have had a bad experience with your ex-partner or even small things that might disturb or trigger you, talk it out! If you are comfortable with the person and topic, it is best to talk and let them know about it.
11. Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Dating after divorce is probably better. You know what to avoid and what to go after. But in order to do so, you need to get out of your comfort zone. Don’t stick to your usual ‘type’. A person’s type changes with age. Also, make sure your dates contribute to your life. We mean, go on dates that could focus on your self-development and growth. Go on dates that are different from the usual dates you’ve had before marriage. Explore new things.
12. Don’t Rush
There are plenty more fish in the sea. Do not put all your eggs in one basket. When you are dating, don’t rush it in with the first person you meet. Or even better, don’t just date one person. Have a good vetting process and keep your options open.
13. Notice Red Flags
Throughout your life, there must have been a few red flags that you have noticed. It could be anger issues, or being rude to the waiters or house help. Keep an eye out for any red flags! You do not want to be in a relationship with a toxic person. It will be mentally and physically taxing. Also, avoid the saviour complex. Do not go after a toxic partner with the mentality ‘I can fix them.’
14. Be Patient
Be patient with yourself. Do not expect your prince charming to be waiting right after your first meeting. Also, be patient with the people you meet. Your date might not check all your boxes, but sometimes even they need time to open up. Dating is a process and there will be many ups and downs.
15. Trust Your Gut
Sometimes you need to trust that sick feeling in your gut. If you have a bad gut feeling, end the date early. Trust your gut even with a good feeling. That feeling is mostly true.
5 Facts About Dating In Your 40s
1. Find The Right App
If you go the good old way of meeting people through friends, then that’s great! But if you prefer meeting someone through an app, you need to pick the right app. And Tinder is not the app. If you want to prioritise dating then Bumble, Hinge or OKCupid are the way to go. They are user friendly and have people with the same interests (prioritising dating).
2. You Still Need To Talk About Sex
Every person and relationship is different, and each one has their own sexual desires and dynamics. In a relationship, before getting between the sheets, it is important to talk about your desires, likes and dislikes and boundaries. This will make you both comfortable and be on the same page.
3. You Will Explore New Things
Again, every relationship is different. People have different likes and dislikes even with everyday habits and things. Be open to such experiences. Look at everything as the opportunity to learn more about your person or the next best thing. And if you hate it, you can always say no.
4. Have Kids?
If your kids come first and make sure you say that as clearly as possible, before getting serious with the relationship. Most probably your date has their own kids too! If they do, then you both understand and can handle the family side of the relationship better.
5. Learn About Their Past
Yes, old wounds do heal. And when you get to the person, you’d probably get to know about their past. But while you are on the subject of history, it can be a good idea to examine the past. You can learn so much and also if you are serious about the person, unlearn past habits or patterns that can be a tiebreaker.