Dating after Divorce is written by Ian Shann who is the principal mediator and director of Move On. Ian’s commitment is simple – to help keep separated couples out of the Family Court and minimise their need for lawyers, saving them time, money and anguish. You can find his website and social handles at the end of this post.
What you need to know about dating after a divorce
When it comes to dating after divorce, it might feel like a minefield. But it doesn’t have to be scary – here are 9 things to help you navigate your journey when it comes to dating after your divorce.
1. Make Sure It’s For The Right Reasons
When it comes to dating after divorce, you might be tempted to just throw yourself into it, but this probably isn’t the best way to approach dating.
Know why you want to start dating again and know what you want the outcome to be once you start.
Are you looking for distraction, or are you looking for someone you want to ultimately share your life with again?
2. Forget About ‘Your Type’
All our lives, we can be absolutely convinced we have a “type”. Tall, short, blond, brunette, athletic, long-hair, bald, bearded, you name it.
But after divorce, forget it. By sticking to “your type”, you are ignoring a whole world of possibilities and could easily completely overlook someone who could be your perfect match, all because they don’t fit your supposed type.
3. Have Realistic Expectations & Clear Intentions
Be realistic when you start dating again. You’re probably not going to find your soulmate on the very first date after your divorce. It’s not impossible, but it’s not exactly likely either.
Set your intentions along with your expectations to make sure you don’t end up hurt or disappointed or, if you do, it doesn’t last for long.
4. Join A Group Or Take A Class
Don’t just hop onto all the dating apps and websites – there are plenty of other ways to meet people.
By signing up to a class or group activity, you will meet heaps of new people who already share an interest with you.
This makes it super easy to strike up a natural conversation and get to know someone through a common hobby or interest.
5. Be Honest
With yourself. And with your dates.
Don’t hide the fact that you have kids. Don’t hide the fact you’re recently divorced. Be honest and upfront about your situation, your expectations and your standards throughout your dating life.
6. Enjoy Yourself
Remember that this is supposed to be fun – so enjoy yourself! Don’t take it too seriously to start with and enjoy meeting new people, forging new connections, and seeing where they go.
7. Take Precautions With Online Dating
As with everything online, take precautions when dating online.
Always meet new people in public places and don’t share your home address with them unless you are comfortable and trust them completely.
In terms of online communications before meeting, Dr. Diana Kirschner author of the bestselling book Sealing The Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide To Lasting Love,) doesn’t recommend chatting for more than a couple of weeks before meeting. Dragging out online chatting can distort your idea of who they are so meeting in real life can help you decide if there is any chemistry between you.
8. Only Introduce Them To Your Kids If It Gets Serious
Your kids have gone through the pain of divorce as well. Meeting a potential new step-parent is a big deal for them and is likely to impact on them.
Consider this before introducing anyone you date to your kids. Make sure it’s someone who is going to be around for a while and they can forge a relationship with.
Talk to your children first before letting your new partner meet them. Ensure they are comfortable enough to meet someone new and let them ask questions if they have any. Just don’t give them every last detail – they really don’t need to know it all.
9. Remember To Take Time For Yourself
While dating can be fun, don’t forget to look after yourself. Keep time aside to enjoy the things that you love doing – catching up with friends, spending time with your kids or just taking time out to sit on the beach or read a book.
You’ve been through a divorce and are rediscovering who you are – don’t let your dates make you forget who you are and what you love in life.