Ten Essential Rules for Dating After Divorce
Dating in your 30s can be difficult if you’re trying to move on from a painful breakup. There’s emotional baggage to deal with and you don’t want to repeat past mistakes. This takes time and you need to be careful as you look for a new relationship so that it can be a success. You need to spend a lot of time with your thoughts and analyzing what you want from a partner and being honest about the mistakes you’ve made. By doing this you can give yourself a clearer idea of what to look for and know what your boundaries are.
1) Deal with emotional baggage first
Before you start dating again you need to deal with any emotional baggage that’s lingering from your breakup. You don’t want these emotions unexpectedly flaring up because it can cause you to act recklessly or think that it’s best to stay single. Let yourself feel all of the emotions that come up instead of ignoring them and talk with friends about what’s going on. This puts you in a better state of mind which makes you more stable and ready for dating.
2) Don’t give in to pressure to move on
There’s pressure to move on after a divorce and it steadily builds over time. Your friends tell you to go out and find someone to have fun with and you tell yourself that you don’t want to be a sad singleton so you need to get out there again. You can’t give in to this pressure because it may not be the right time to start dating which adds to the pressure you’re under because you want it to live up to everyone’s expectations. You have to think about what it would be like to date again and only move towards that when you’re confident about being ready.
3) Think of the positives
There’s a lot of negativity surrounding divorce because you thought you’d be with the person you loved forever and didn’t think you’d end up alone in your 30s. You see it as a failure and may blame yourself for not making it work. Let yourself feel the negative parts but don’t dwell on them because that isn’t healthy. Think of the positives and see this time as the start of an exciting new chapter in your life, you can find someone great and no longer have to deal with the drama that lead up to the breakup.
4) Try a variety of dating experiences
Trying a variety of dating experiences is something you can try because you never know when or where you’ll meet a good match. You can ask your friends to set you up on a blind date, join dating sites, go to speed dating events or go to singles night at local clubs. This lets you met lots of different people with a wide range of interests. You can space these experiences out by browsing date sites for a week or two then trying clubbing later on, this gives you something to look forward to.
5) Be honest about divorce and children
You want to start a new potential relationship off on the right foot but to do this you need to have an awkward conversation. The other person needs to know a little bit about your past so it doesn’t come as a surprise later on. You have to be honest about going through a divorce and mention children if you have any. Give the other person a chance to ask questions so this issue can be dealt with and then left behind as you get to know each other better.
6) Know what went wrong
It’s important to know what went wrong in your past relationship before you think about starting a new one otherwise you’re going to repeat mistakes. Think about when things started to go wrong between you and your ex, what you could have done differently and what changes you’re going to make. This helps you be more capable of having a healthy relationship because you’re actively making an effort and know what warning signs to look for with your new partner.
7) Don’t rush into a relationship
Rushing into a relationship when you’re vulnerable is the worst thing you can do. You go out with the wrong type of people, you lose control of your emotions and make bad decisions. Staying in control of the situation is necessary for you to stay focused and move at a pace that’s right for you. Take your time and meet a few different people to see if there’s a spark with any of them. When you meet one you’re interested in you can take your time getting to know them. This lets you deal with any unresolved emotions from the divorce as they happen and ensures your new partner is right for you.
8) Be open-minded about personality
It’s easy to get used to a certain personality type and seek it out but this can be a bad thing. You’re used to the way your ex was, even if they’re not a good person. Their personality is familiar to you and you look for it in others when you’re dating again without realizing it. You need to think about what you do and don’t want in a partner and be open-minded when you meet someone new because even though they may not be what you’re looking for they can be a nice person.
9) Go on practice dates
Practice dates can make getting back into the dating scene easier and less scary. These dates can happen with a platonic friend of the opposite sex and can be a simple night of going to dinner and the movies so that you get used to doing couple-type of activities. You can also do this with people you meet online, you just have to be clear that you’re not looking for anything serious and testing the waters to see if you’re ready to date again. Being clear about your intentions can help you break the ice and get into the right mood for dating again.
10) Be optimistic
It’s unlikely that the first person you meet is going to be someone you have a long term relationship with, there may not even be a second date. You can’t let this make you want to give up or think that you’re too old or unattractive to date. You have to be optimistic and remember that it takes time to meet the right person. Every date you go on is a learning experience and you’ll find someone when the time is right.
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