6 Top Tips for Dating After Divorce
Divorce is one of the most stressful things that a person can go through. It’s heart-breaking, financially debilitating, and can cause a great deal of mental and emotional anguish. But the struggle doesn’t end when the papers have been signed and the assets have been split; that’s just the beginning.
The next step is for the divorcees to try and piece their lives back together again, something that gets harder the older you are and the longer you were married. You’re faced with the frightening prospect of dating after divorce, of putting yourself out there and dealing with the dreaded world of online dating sites.
This is scary following any divorce, but it’s downright terrifying if your marriage predates dating websites and even the internet. But the good news is that you’re not alone. There are over 100,000 divorces every year in England and Wales, over 2,000 in Northern Ireland, and 6,000 in Scotland. That’s a lot of people struggling with the notion of dating after divorce, a lot of people that these top dating tips can help!
1. Think of it as a Positive
You can’t really appreciate how difficult dating after divorce is until you’ve been with someone for a long time. Your life changes and begins to mould around that person. Your friends, your hobbies, your family—everything is shared. When all of that disappears, you might feel like your life is over.
To an extent, it is—but that was your old life. Rather than seeing this as the end of something, you need to see it as the beginning. Sure, you no longer have someone to come home to every night, but you have more freedom to do what you want when you want.
Dating is exciting, it’s fun, and thanks to online dating websites, like Zoosk, it’s never been easier. All of this excitement is now at your fingertips, so embrace it and start focusing on the positives.
2. Make Sure You’re Ready
You should never jump right into the dating world as soon as you go through a divorce. Life after divorce is tough and can leave you weak and emotional. If you try to rush things, you may end up scaring yourself off dating or, worse, rushing into a new relationship or marriage that you’re not 100% happy with.
This is a sure-fire way to make yourself miserable or scared, neither of which will help you to live the life you want to live. So, don’t feel like you need to rush things. Give yourself time to get over the divorce, to start piecing your life back together, and make sure you’re ready.
It’s hard to know when you’re ready to start dating after divorce, but generally speaking, if you no longer feel scared or desperate, and if your goal is to have fun and not just shack-up with the first person to offer themselves to you, then you’re ready.
3. Be Honest
One of the most fundamental dating tips is to be yourself. It’s cliched, but for a reason. Sure, a few white lies might create a better first impression, but then what? What happens when they discover that you’ve been lying to them?
This isn’t Hollywood. The prince or princess doesn’t tell you that everything is okay because now they love you. They get angry, they throw things, and then they leave. This is the real world—no one likes a liar.
If you have kids, don’t hide them; if they ask about your marriage or divorce, be honest.
4. Don’t Play the Pity Card
If you’re an emotional wreck, as many people are when dating after a divorce, then you’re not ready. We’ve discussed this already, and one of the main reasons for this is that it’s easy to slip into a state of pity. You’ll be the person slumped over the table, tears in your eyes as you bemoan your luck and ask your new date why life is unfair and why your spouse left you.
The problem is, humans are generally altruistic creatures, especially in a one-on-one. If you mention your marriage and make it clear you’re upset, they’ll ask you to elaborate. If you start crying, they’ll tell you it’s okay and that you should let it out. But this is a huge turnoff. No one wants to start a relationship with someone who spends all their time crying over their ex.
Be confident, but honest; descriptive, but succinct. It’s okay to state the truth, providing you show strength when you do it.
5. Use the Right Sites
Not all sites will be right for you when you’re trying to rebuild your life after a divorce. Some sites focus on quick hook-ups and are populated by many singletons who have never been married; other, less-scrupulous sites are geared towards actual married people who are looking for an affair.
The site that is right for you will depend on a number of factors, from your age and location, to your preferences and your goals. Zoosk is a great option for pretty much anyone, with a member-base of over 40 million people and some great mobile apps.
eHarmony is also a solid option, with some fantastic algorithms that have helped countless daters to find love. eHarmony is also populated with daters of all ages and all preferences and is one of the biggest dating sites in the world.
6. Use Good Pictures
As any dating tips article will tell you, the pictures you post to a dating website are important. It goes without saying that you should always post your best pictures, ones that show you in your best light but are also fun. However, when it comes to dating after divorce, this causes some confusion and leads to some really poor decisions.
Many divorcees post pictures where they have their arm around their former spouse. They post images of cartoon characters or their favourite fictional protagonist, because “that shows my personality”, or ones where they are drunk and holding a beer. If you were active on social media during your marriage and enjoy taking selfies, there’s a good chance you’ll have this part nailed down.
However, if you let your partner take all the holiday snaps and the only good pictures you have were taken by them or with them, it may be a struggle. It can be remedied though. Just snap some selfies and ask a friend to pick the best one. Whatever you do, don’t quickly snap off an awkward mirror-selfie and definitely don’t pick an old photograph where you were 100 pounds lighter and 20 years younger.
Dating after divorce is about being open and honest.
Get Out There!
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Just remember, dating after divorce is not as daunting as it first seems. There are online dating sites out there that can help you; countless communities that you can join, and more.
Stop thinking about what you’ve lost and start focusing on what you can gain. Your old life may be over, but there is a new one waiting just around the corner!
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