Monday 27 January 2020

10 Top Tips for Dating when you're Divorced

Dating couple cuddling
Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

{This is a collaborative post}

I have to be honest I am well out of the game when it comes to dating; it is like another world now, as the last time I dated was in 1994 and that's quite some years ago! However, just because I'm not dating (I don't think my husband would approve), doesn't mean that many of you aren't. I know from my local friends that there are many people my age who are now in the second stage of life and divorced dating. So I thought it was high time that I chatted to a few of those friends and put together some tips for anyone who is now dating after a divorce.

1. Take it slowly at first
Even if your divorce comes as the end to the worst marriage on the planet there is still bound to be a sense of loss tied up in the relief, and as such it is important to allow yourself some time to breath, and even grieve before you dash straight back into full-on dating. Make sure you have some quiet time focusing on you and thinking about how you want your next relationship to look. What is important to you, and how can you be a better partner next time?

2.  Decide what you're looking for
I don't mean draw up a massive list of what this partner of your dreams must look like or do. Just have a good think about what is important to you. We are all different and it doesn't matter if your friend Sally will only date a man with his own home, or a full head of hair. What are your non-negotiables? Mine would be, that he'd have to be kind and good around my kids.

3.  Be realistic about your first date
Your first date after your marriage break-up is bound to be a big deal, but that doesn't mean it will necessarily go perfectly. Don't go on the date expecting to meet your next life partner, nor that you will end the night with a kiss. Keep it low-key, go expecting to meet someone new and be able to chat a bit about yourself. Then once it is over, and whether it went well or not, pat yourself on the back as you'll have survived and will know if you're ready for another date or not.

4.  Decide how you want to date
Is online dating for you? If yes, maybe a site like Date Divorced Singles will work for you, but if you feel daunted by trying online dating then maybe see if a friend or two can set you up first and meet someone that you feel has already been 'vetted'. Of course there are no guarantees hat either kind of date will work better for you, you just have to decide what you're comfortable with.

5.  Be safe if using online dating sites
If you decide to try to meet a partner via the internet and online dating sites, that's great. I know a number of people who have married from meeting online and are still very happy years later. Just, make sure that you are being sensible. Check out reviews of the site before using, be careful what personal information you give away, talk on the phone before you meet face-to-face, have a get-out ready if you meet the person and are worried, and make sure other people know where you are.

Couple holding hands
Photo by on Unsplash

6.  Try different kinds of dates
Don't just go for the regular restaurant or cinema dates. Why not do something different and see how you both cope with a little fun. How about laser tag, go karting, trampoling, visit a theme park, sailing? Anything that will make you laugh and put your our of your comfort zone and you'll both get to see the real person, rather than just a facade that might have been carefully constructed.

7.  Don't give up after the first date
If you're just coming out of a long-term monogamous relationship, especially one that might have gone a bit stale, it is tempting to look for romance and intensity straight away, but this could be a false economy. As long as you essentially like the person make sure you have two or three dates together to see if the spark grows, you can't underestimate a relationship that starts with friendship and mutual respect.

8.  Remain vigilant
OK, so you've had a few dates and you feel like you're falling in love. This new person is just perfect, you like the same things, they bring you flowers and call when they're supposed to. You feel they are perfect. But should this be a red flag? You're in a vulnerable position after your divorce and as such, you may not be being as objective as you normally are. Therefore use your common sense and introduce them to some of your trusted friends and see if they feel the same as you.

9.  Don't make family introductions too quickly
When you're dating and one or both of you have children (even if those children are adults) it can all become a bit tricky quickly. So give yourself a good six months of regular dates to really be sure that you have a future with the other person before you start introducing them to close family, like your children or parents.

10.  Be honest about your past
When you're dating and trying to decide if you have a future ahead with this person, it's important that you are open with them and honest about your past. You don't have to tell them everything at first but admit you have kids, admit you've been married, tell them the kind of job you do and over time open up little by little, until you feel you know each other.

Most of all, try to enjoy this season. It is time for you to enjoy yourself and have a little fun. All the best! Mich x

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