The Challenges of Dating After Divorce!
Copyright © 2009 StraightDivorce.com
Now that you’ve gotten a divorce and have settled into the fact that you’re single again, you’ve started thinking about dating. Yet, when you seriously consider it, your stomach does flip-flops. It’s been so long since you’re been out with a new person, that it’s impossible not to have doubts. Has the dating scene changed? Will you be able to attract a good partner? Will you even know how to handle yourself on a date? Understandably, all these questions are racing through your mind, leaving you filled with self-doubt and worry. But let me assure you; you can enjoy dating. It just takes some practice.
Gaining Confidence in Yourself
There are no absolutes when it comes to dating, and no one person who knows for sure what works and what doesn’t. We each have to rely on our own instincts, so if you feel ready to date again, you should let yourself step out. If you’re lacking in confidence, one way to gain some confidence is to think about what you yourself bring to a relationship. Are you kind, intelligent, interesting, easy to be with and affectionate? Take note of some your own qualities so that when you start dating you have confidence in who you are and what you bring to the date. But do consider that after being in a marriage for quite a while, the thought of dating someone new might seem very challenging. After all, you had gotten so comfortable with one person, it almost seems like it could never happen again. And although you may be afraid that you don’t choose wisely, do your best not to worry about attracting the wrong person.
Going Forward After Divorce
One of the best ways of going forward and not worrying about choosing the wrong person is to perceive your married relationship in a different light. Instead of seeing it as a failed relationship, see it as an experience…a life lesson so to speak. It provided you with a lot of tools and insight, so now when you start dating, simply use those lessons to attract someone who is more compatible. That doesn’t mean you can’t be attracted to someone that is similar to your ex-partner because that just might happen. You did love your ex at one time, but you just want to be sure the person you’re dating doesn’t have the characteristics that led to incompatibility. The trick is to watch for the clues that could potentially mean this new person is the wrong person for you. Don’t ignore the signs.
The First Date
In all likelihood, your first date after divorce isn’t going to wind up being your new partner. It could happen, but the chances are slim. Unless you’ve known the person previously, he or she is probably not the man or woman of your dreams. You’re just testing the water and seeing what it feels like to date and how you respond. What matters most is your attitude, which is going to lead you to the right person. A few things to consider about dating:
- On the first date, don’t make the person feel as if you’re ready for a full time relationship. Be light and don’t come across as needy.
- Don’t talk about your ex on the first date and how awful he or she was; keep some of who you are a mystery until the person you are dating has earned the right to know you.
- Think of the first date as if it were an experiment; stay open, listen lots and be playful.
You Can Have What You Want
Before going on that first date, write down everything you’re hoping to attract in your next partner. Don’t leave out any of the details about the person you want to bring into your life. Give your imagination something to do and picture yourself laughing and enjoying another person’s company. Imagine them doing and saying things that you’d always hoped to hear. Imagine yourself feeling totally loved and appreciated. Then when you go on that first date, you’ll relax and have fun. If it isn’t the right person, another one will come along. And remember, regardless of how your marriage turned out, the next relationship has nothing to do with your previous relationship. You’ve grown and changed, so your needs have changed as well. So, stay open to all your opportunities because they’re everywhere. Be approachable and available to meet new people. Before long, you’ll be dating someone that brings you a great deal of joy and happiness.