Figuring out how to date after a divorce isn’t always easy. Even the word ‘dating’ can be enough to raise the hairs on your arm when you’re still in the wake of a divorce – no matter how amicable it was.
The simple fact is, the end of a marriage is a huge event that can shift your entire outlook on life and love. Aside from dealing with the emotions and logistics involved in the divorce itself, tricky questions emerge: How long should you wait to date after divorce? How exactly do you start dating after a divorce?
If you’re in this situation and are feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t worry! With a few pointers and some top tips in mind, knowing how to date after a divorce doesn’t have to be so daunting. Let’s get into it.
How Long Should You Wait to Date After a Divorce?
First things first, let’s answer this question with another question: Are you still grieving and processing the divorce? If the inside of your head still feels like a stormy sea, it’s probably not the best idea to swan dive back into the dating pool. Everybody processes challenging life events at different paces, so there’s no telling exactly how long this will take you.
If you’re still holding onto hopes that you and your ex-partner will reunite, it’s important to deal with these feelings first. If you attempt to start dating while still reeling from your divorce, you’ll likely find it difficult to make real, meaningful connections. Likewise, people will probably find it difficult to get to know the real you – the one who isn’t trying to get over heartbreak. Trying to date too soon may result in further hurt.
What (Or Who) Are You Looking For?
Once you truly feel like you’ve moved on and gotten past your divorce, it’s worthwhile taking some time to think about what, or who, you’re looking for. Remember, you might’ve changed as a person in the chunk of time since you last dated. What you were looking for last time around may be different from your preferences today.
So, before you begin dating, sit yourself down and consider what it is you’d like to find in a potential new partner.
– What personality traits would you like to see in them?
– Is their choice of career important?
– Do you want somebody who shares your communication style?
– Do you want somebody who shares your love language?
– Are you dating to find a serious relationship, or just for fun?
– Do you mind dating somebody with children?
– Do you have any lines in the sand – any deal breakers you’re not willing to look past?
It’s worth spending a little time figuring out the answers to these questions. It’ll help you find someone you actually want, rather than somebody who’s simply available.
How to Start Dating After a Divorce: 5 Ways to Try
When thinking about how to date after a divorce, the hardest step can often be knowing where to start, especially as things might’ve changed quite a bit since you were last single. Don’t stress though! Below, we’ve put together a few fun and easy ways to jump back into the dating scene.
1. Dating apps
You may have met your ex-spouse on a dating app, or you may have never used one at all. Either way, dating apps are a huge part of modern dating. Whether you’re an online dating pro or a complete novice, give Zoosk a go to start connecting with like-minded singles online. This is a great way to ease yourself back into dating after coming out of a divorce!
2. In-person classes
From salsa to poetry, in-person classes are one of the best ways to meet people. You show up to the same place over several weeks or months, learn a new skill, and slowly become friendly with a new crowd. It’s a less direct method of meeting somebody, but a more gentle way, too.
3. Singles events
There are tons of great singles dating events out there. Whether it’s speed dating, a simple meet-and-greet, or just drinks, singles events offer fun and relaxed settings to meet new people and make genuine connections.
4. Social events
There are all kinds of communities out there, online and offline, offering social events. It might be group hiking, rock climbing, gardening, board games, or anything else. Choose the one you find interesting, and with a little luck, you’ll meet somebody you can really connect with.
Platforms like Meetup offer the opportunity to find social events based on your interests and location. So, wherever you’re based in the US, find an event you’re into a take the leap into a world of new connections!
5. Friends of friends
When it comes to knowing how to date after a divorce, sometimes the old-school options are still the best place to start. Hanging out with friends of friends can be an easy and relaxed way of meeting new people. Simply tag along to dinners and nights out with friends, and see who you end up meeting along the way.
5 Tips for Dating After Divorce
Got a date all set? Here are a few snippets of advice for the big night.
1. Be yourself
Don’t try to morph into the person your date seems to expect you to be. Be yourself and let your personality shine. When the right person comes along, they’ll like you for simply being you.
If it’s your first date in a long time, it’s natural to feel nervous. However, just be sure to remember to chill out, and keep your expectations realistic. Come equipped with some first date conversation topics and see if there’s some chemistry there!
3. Take it slow
There’s no rush! Take the time to get to know the person sitting opposite you, and ease yourself back into the dating scene. If you try to move too fast too soon, you risk feeling overwhelmed. Allow yourself to acclimatize, and don’t feel like you’re under any pressure.
4. Maintain your standards
Don’t accept poor behavior, even if you’re feeling a little lonely and are keen to find somebody. After a lengthy period in a marriage, any attention can be flattering, but watch out for any online dating red flags!
5. Be upfront about your situation
If you have kids, let your date know sooner rather than later. You don’t need to get into the grisly details of your divorce — in fact, it’s probably better than you don’t — but do be upfront about any information that might influence their decision to date you.
How Date After a Divorce: The Bottom Line
Knowing how to date after a divorce can be both intimidating and exhilarating. There’s no telling who you might meet and what future rosy memories you might form together. But, remember to take it slow, go at your own pace, and hold onto your values. Above all, try to have fun and be yourself! Who knows where your next romantic encounter might lead?