There are some things to keep in mind if you are re-entering the dating scene after divorce. It’ll be new to you, and a maybe a little scary, to just relax and have fun without feeling or applying pressure; especially if you were married for a long time. It’s new, so it’s entirely ok to relax. A very key point is that you have you have to allow yourself time to heal while being open to love again. The last thing you want to be responsible for is making the new guy feel as though he has to pay for the pain caused by your ex.
You can definitely use your experiences to help clarify what you do or don’t want when it comes to dating. You are no longer the same person as when you were married and divorced, so it’s important to consider those inner changes and communicate clearly from the beginning. If you have feelings of loneliness (and we all do from time to time), don’t give in to those feelings to settle for someone with questionable characteristics just for the sake of having someone in your life. For some, dating is intentional – meaning that the right person is not going to play games or lead you on. The discovery phase of dating will help you determine qualities in a potential companion that could be complimentary to your lifestyle and relationship desires.
You have to also be willing to discuss something other than the divorce or your kids while dating. The person you’re spending time with should hopefully want to get to know about you. While the past and the children that you’ve birthed into the world are an important part of what makes you who you are, there are other facets to the person that you’ve become. Don’t sell yourself short or dismiss the awesome journeys that you’ve navigated.
If you have a career and children, it’s very likely that you have personal goals as well that are important to you. Don’t put those goals on the backburner because you’re dating someone new. The right person will show an interest in your personal development. They may even have a perspective on where you want to go that will enlighten you to move differently or think outside of the box. They may even hold you accountable for the things you want to achieve, which is a great quality.
Dating is as much of a learning curve about yourself as it is the person of interest that you’re spending time with. Be as mindful of the evolution that you’ll endure as you are about what makes them tick. Nobody stays the same over time, including yourself.
What lessons have you learned from dating after divorce? We’d love to hear from you.