Dating after divorce
Maybe it's been only a few years or perhaps it's been decades since your last date, but that shouldn't stop you from finding the love of your life. Dating after divorce can seem intimidating, but there's no need for it to be. Getting back into the game while keeping a few things in mind will help you find the new relationship you're looking for.
Enjoy the journey
It can be easy to want to rush a new relationship, especially if you're a little on edge about being single, but that's just going to put too much pressure on you and your date. Single mom and author of It Takes All 5: A Single Mom's Guide to Finding the REAL One, Kerri Zane suggests that "rather than looking at every date as a means to an end (finding your next husband or long-term relationship), see it as an opportunity to meet someone new, learn something different, or enjoy a fresh experience. And if the date is bad... so what! My philosophy [is that] even a bad date is a good story you can share with your friends and laugh about."
Be realistic and authentic
After divorce, many women want to reinvent themselves — to do things they've never done and grow as a person. When it comes to dating and meeting new people, it's important to show the other person who you are and not pretend to be something you're not. Dating and relationship coach and co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!, Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, says, "It's tempting when you start dating to pretend to be who you aren't — to act more 'polished,' sophisticated or interested in something like sports when you really aren't. That's a form of 'bait and switch,' teasing your partner into thinking they are with someone who isn't you. Instead, be real, share your authentic self and be proud of who you are, warts and all. They're going to show up anyway, so why pretend to be different?"
Don't bring your ex into the conversation
There's no doubt that your ex-partner has had a lasting impact on your life. At one point you loved each other and built a life together, even if only for a little while. It's important, though, that going forward, you don't bring your past relationship as baggage into your new one. Etiquette consultant for Business of Manners and divorcee Adeodata Czink says it's important, no matter what your history is, to not lump all men into the same category. She advises, "If a woman constantly talks about her ex, then either the relationship really is not over in her own mind, or she has not worked out a solution for her anger. Any which way, this poor man should not have to hear ex stories all evening. That's what girlfriends are for."
Get out and meet people
This might seem obvious, but if you've been out of the dating scene for a while, you might not know where to start and where to meet people. It can be more challenging when you're older than when you're young and in school or frequent the bar scene, but there are still great places to meet people. Dylan Thrasher, relationship and life coach and author of the book How to Find and Create Lasting Love, suggests you should start meeting people by "doing 'natural' things, like going to the store, coffee shop, or gym. If not, you can focus on a multi-pronged approach — join some online dating sites to practice your flirting skills, go join local social groups/networking mixers."