After Divorce: 15 dating tips for the recently divorced

Filed under divorce advice
So, you are freshly divorced and you are on the prowl for a new relationship. Or maybe you don’t necessarily want a relationship but you don’t want to be sitting around moping all by yourself another minute, especially since your ex has already moved on and is flaunting their happiness all over your face. Well, have we got some good advice for you! Here are 15 dating tips for the freshly divorced and looking for love:

Man-hunting after divorce can be challenging

1. Try online dating. After a divorce many people find themselves in a tailspin trying to figure out life as a single person. Since the last time you were on the market, everything changed in the dating Universe. People don’t get set up by friends or meet at the laundromat anymore. They instead upload their profiles on dating sites on the Internet and start the process in cyberspace instead. So our advice is for you to upload your profile on some dating sites. Including the one right here on Divorce Saloon.
2. Relax.It’s okay if you’re not perfect. It’s okay if your stomach is not as flat as Gywneth Paltrow’s. Most guys of a certain age don’t care about that anyway. They are looking for a connection not necessarily having a woman with the flattest abs. Of course, work out so you look the best you can, or get on the divorce diet to shed some pounds if you are heavier than you would like to present to the new crop of men you’re angling to meet. No harm in that. But don’t starve completely. Don’t kill yourself. Nobody is worth that. So, follow our after-divorce dating advice that’s bound to result in your success: Relax.
3. Ask for directions. Talk to a friend or family member who’s been through the divorce experience and compare notes, share thoughts about getting back into the dating scene. It’s okay if you feel a little scared and unsure of yourself. You are likely not alone.  Everybody feels this way. Ask for personal anecdotes from them about how they did it, how they felt when they began dating again. So our advice is to seek input about what to wear, where to go and things like that. But then, make up your own mind, of course.
4. Don’t act desperate. This could be a challenge, especially if you are feeling particularly lonely. But try to contain your emotions. You don’t want to turn off prospective prospects by acting like your life will end if you can’t be with this person forever, or if you can’t find a new mate right away.
5. Defer sex. To be sure, we live in a culture of “immediate hook ups” and you probably won’t lose a thing be jumping into bed right away. But is that what you really want? If yes, go for it. It’s not that we would lose respect for you and neither will your date necessarily, especially if it’s a Gen Xer or younger person we are talking about. But for old school folks, think twice. Sure you may be a bit, how shall we say, deprived? Yes. Deprived is a good word since the last time you did it with your ex spouse. But that is no excuse to rush into sex with an almost stranger if you really aren’t ready.
6. Try not to think too much. Never mind what we said just before, you should try to maintain a level of spontaneity. If you are too analytical about things you could come off as being a kill joy or boring. This does not have to be your next marriage in the making. Have a little fun. Within reason.
7. Keep the children, if you have them, out of this. This is especially important if you decide you want to throw caution to the wind and behave like a hoochie mama with the first couple of guys you meet. It sends the wrong message to the children and they could lose respect for themselves as off-springs of yours.
8. Don’t project your feelings for your ex into this new relationship. Your ex is front and center in your mind and you may be tempted to look at each new person through that same lens that you looked at your ex. Resist. This is a new person. Leave the baggage of your past behind you and give the fresh, new ones a chance.
9. Rediscover the young person inside you. Dating is for the young and the young at heart. It is not for the old and the old-thinking. And why? Because of that element of fun, daring and experimentation. Get back in touch with the person you were before marriage. The longer you’ve been married, the more important it will be for you to be able to do this.
10. Be open. Try something or someone new and different. Don’t fall into the trap of dating your ex all over again – but just with a different face. Go against type. You may surprise yourself.
11. Think short term. Being divorced, hopefully that means that you are not in a rush to head back to the alter right away. Hopefully you want to enjoy your freedom a little bit and don’t want to make any binding, long term decisions and settle down again just yet. Take it one date at a time for now. See what happens.
12. Go shopping. You don’t have to break the bank but now that you are divorced you should think about adding a few new items to your dating wardrobe. You don’t have to do what Kate Winslet did and wear short little black dresses up to there. But one or two sexy staples won’t hurt either. It will make you feel fresh and new and that is exactly the feeling you should be after.
13. Avoid rebounding. This goes to the point about desperation. It’s okay to not want to be alone. But take things slow. You have nothing to prove. Nothing at all.
14. Avoid booty-calls with your ex. Unless you want to complicate your life and confuse the issue, avoid sleeping with your. If there is going to a reconciliation, then by all means, go ahead. But if it’s over, let it be over and focus on your new life and meeting new people instead.

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15. Celebrate your single-ness. It is nice to be single. In some instances, singles live better and longer than marrieds. It’s nice to be a part of a couple too. But definitely there are joys and freedoms in being a single person. Enjoy it while it lasts. Go out there and mingle and meet new potential mates. It’s all good. But while you’re waiting for Mr. or Miss perfect, enjoy your life as a single, whole, worthy and happy human being.