Dating post-marriage can feel overwhelming or simply out of your league. It’s important to understand that whom you date is not the only part of the equation. How you choose to get back into the dating game can have the biggest effect on the romantic outcomes you’re seeking. We’ve put together a list of tips geared towards our divorcees on WhatsYourPrice who are getting back into the dating field.
Distinguish temporary “fixes” from actual long-term decisions as you re-establish your life. Time has passed since the “you” pre-marriage, and you’ll likely need to re-familiarize yourself again. When you’re married, you and your partner become “one” so most interests are shared. Divorce forces you to self-reflect. What is your favorite food? What type of movies do you enjoy? Are you okay spending an afternoon with yourself unwinding with a nice glass of wine? Or do you need to be the center of attention amongst a crowd because you can’t stand being alone?
There are certainly rare instances where the two parties in a marriage never quite meshed interest-wise, so a sense of self-definition remains. But for all others, make it your goal the next time around to find someone who certainly holds their own interests, yet can also mesh with you. Buying the dream car your wife always despised, or going on a shopping spree for new clothing and gadgets may be thrilling, but there’s still an individual behind all of those material things. An individual with feelings, memories and a beautiful personality to share.
Be patient with yourself as you welcome new romances. Every so often, we all yearn for that feeling of warmth, togetherness, and never wanting to separate from a desired someone. Thats all fine and dandy, but don’t fizzle out a good thing before it has a chance to mean something to you. Relationships progress at different speeds; sometimes romances start with a honeymoon stage and reach a point where you’ll see each other 2-3 times per week. That level of frequency may be perfect. Another relationship may never leave the honeymoon stage, and you find yourselves happily ever after as your expectations from each other are met without asking.
I give these examples to state: there is no set norm. Remaining open and communicating all feelings, pet peeves, and in-between will ultimately make your dating life a heck of a lot easier. Conversely, if the partner you are approaching is exhausting you or asking for too much too soon, try to communicate these feelings. Ask them to practice patience. If being honest doesn’t work, there’s always more fish in the sea!
This can be tricky. When you’re talking to someone new, and everything feels right—who wouldn’t idealize this to be love? I encourage you to step back for a moment and assess. Are your feelings more physically driven? Can you hold an actual conversation with the person you desire? When you pick up the phone, is it to contact him/her for their physical touch/presence or is it because you saw something throughout the course of your day that made you think of the interests or passions of that person?
There’s wanting to share yourself with a person, and there’s wanting a person to physically become convenient for you. Before dropping the “I Love You’s,” be honest with yourself. If you’re dating to eventually find love and establish something long-term, then “I Love You’s” should certainly be in the horizon. But if you’re spouting out words to make sure this person sticks around another month or two (like when sex is a part of the equation), then proceed with caution. Be mindful of the old adage “actions speak louder than words.” It’s clear to tell if a persons actions represent love, or if their words are purely caught up in a lust-filled moment.
This is often the most difficult checkpoint before reentering the dating arena. Not everyone is comfortable admitting to any level of fault, flaws or misunderstanding. Ideally, addressing any past resentments or negative feelings should be addressed prior to starting new relationships. This allows a new relationship to be just that—new. Casually tossing out “My ex did this”, or “I wish I had never done” will clearly communicate to your date that you have unresolved feelings.
These feelings may be connected to an internalized level of guilt, repressed childhood memories, and in some instances, constantly being reminded by children of the previous marriage. Its unfair to give the impression that you have moved past your previous wrongs and are happily willing to date if in truth, you are not. Take care of yourself, if religion is what you turn to, connect with a member of your church . If your employer offers it, consider weekly counseling or speaking with a therapist. By surrounding yourself with positive influences, you’re less likely to carry the weight of resentment. have you ever heard that stress ages you? Keep that skin looking supple!
What advice would you add to our divorcee dating tips?