Get some great tips and advice on dating after divorce!
Today I want to offer some advice on dating after divorce because there’s a good chance that dating after divorce can be so much harder than before you were married. You are now coming to the table with a past marriage experience (and I assume failed expectations), as well as children to consider if you’re a parent. Before you were married, you may have felt that the world was your oyster and post-divorce you may be completely cynical. This time around, approach dating with a different mindset and can get the results you are looking for.
Here are 7 tips to get your started on your dating journey, all based on good advice on dating after divorce that was shared with me:
1) Define the best that you can what you are looking for. For example, if your children’s dad is present in their lives, then you are NOT looking for a father for your children. You are looking for a companion for yourself. If you have no children and you want children, then you ARE looking for a father/mother for your future children. There are a lot of potential partners out there, all looking for different things as well. Honing in on what you are really looking for will eliminate a lot of the wrong people and save you time.
2) Assume many of the people you will meet are not going to be right for you, but enjoy the time together just the same. One time I went on a date with a hot firefighter. I knew immediately that I was not his type, and that he was probably not my type either, but we had a really nice time talking about our situations, what we were looking for and how hard it was to be divorced. Every interaction you have with someone can be a nice experience even if it doesn’t lead anywhere.
3) Don’t badmouth your ex on your first date. Your first date should be a time to talk about YOU. If your only topic of conversation is what a jerk your ex is, there won’t be any reason for someone to want to see you again. I recently heard the phrase “You can better, or you can be bitter, but you can’t be both.” I had a date once with a very bitter man who went on and on about his ex and her new man and the vacation they were taking the kids on and the fancy house they lived in and bleh bleh bleh. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Don’t be that guy!
4) Dating apps are cool, but ask for introductions from people you know. Good people know good people. Once you are ready to put yourself out there, ask your family and friends if they know anyone that might be a good match for you.
5) Keep your kids out of it. There is no reason to introduce anyone to your kids at the beginning of your relationship. Your goal is to have things as stable as possible, not a revolving door of people they may never see again. In fact, it is very common for divorce agreements to state that a new partner cannot be introduced during the first 6 months of dating, or even the first year. Keep your dating life to yourself until you feel confident you have found a person that will be stable presence in your life, and the life of your children.
6) Don’t get quickly discouraged. It may take some time to meet someone that is right for you. And it may take some time for dating itself to feel comfortable.
7) Have fun! Enjoy going on dates and learning about yourself as you meet new people.
You will likely get TONS of advice on dating after divorce, lots of it well meaning and some of it that may make you scratch your head. Use my tips above to establish some boundaries and base lines for what you really want, be patient, and see #7 above – just have fun!