Starting Over: How to Date After Divorce and Why You Should
Putting yourself out there to date again after a divorce is scary. You are hurt, gun shy and the dating world as a whole has certainly changed. It may have been 20 years since you’ve been out on a date or just 20 months. As tempting as it can be not to put yourself out there again, to give up on relationships or to be negative about finding someone to share your life with can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Depending how your marriage and subsequent divorce played out factors a lot into how you perceive your potential dating partners. If your marriage ended because of infidelity issues, you may find it hard to trust others again. If your marriage ended because of a difference in opinion on how to parent the child that you share together, not only do you have to take into account your child but the parenting style of your future partner.
Perhaps for you, it feels like you are the only person in the world not in a relationship. You may have feelings of jealousy when you see happy couples post on Facebook. You may feel like all of the “good ones” are taken or that there might be something wrong with you. You know the old cliche “it’s not you, it’s me”? The funny thing is that when someone says that to us, it usually does make us feel like it was our fault. You may even be resentful that you have to put yourself out there again or angry at the turn of events that your life has taken.
But guess what? It is common to feel alone, to feel like you just aren’t enough. It’s common to feel anger toward your ex-partner. It’s common to want to blame someone, something. But you aren’t alone in this.
It’s hard to be vulnerable again after experiencing the pain of divorce . However, If we can learn how to put ourselves out there in a productive way , we can find happiness in a new relationship. When we learn to date mindfully, it is entirely possible to make dating less scary. Keep reading for 6 tips on dating after divorce so you can start feeling empowered today.
BY NOT SEEKING HELP AFTER DIVORCE, YOU’LL NEVER MOVE FORWARD
The biggest downside of not moving on with your life is that you will remain alone, even bitter. You’ll only get angrier with time and start blaming others for things that they had no control over. What friends you kept after going through your divorce may not want to surround themselves with such negativity and eventually fade away.
At the very least, you will find yourself pulling away from friends and events because you don’t want to be the only single person there surrounded by happy couples. Living this way is extremely isolating. Humans are not meant to live in isolation. We crave companionship, we need a sense of belonging and community. It is why humans have always preferred to live in villages instead of solitude.
THE POTENTIAL THAT YOUR LIFE HAS BY SEEKING HELP AFTER DIVORCE IS ENDLESS
Although you struggle with the idea of opening yourself up again, you have the potential to find love again. You should take advantage of that. By grieving your past relationship, learning what went wrong and identifying your role within the relationship ending you have the possibility of finding a more fulfilling relationship.
Michael McMillian once said “You cannot start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one”. Sometimes we find ourselves so focused on the past that we can forget about living in the present. But how do you go about stepping into the dating world again? Where do you even begin? How do you know if the time is right? Keep reading for my 6 steps on how to start dating again after your marriage has ended.
6 STEPS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS AFTER DIVORCE
You should never be afraid of starting over. Starting over may give you the opportunity to live the life you are meant to live. While it is true that you may be feeling depressed or bitter about the ending of your relationship, the key to achieving happiness is letting go. Once you realize that you deserve better, letting go of your past relationship will be one of the easiest decisions that you will have ever made.
Even though you may be angry about the way your relationship has ended, if you choose not to move on and begin dating, you’ll only remain alone. It can, and will, be hard to start over, but you may find the person you were meant for all along.
Take a look at these 6 steps to see how you can start dating again in a positive way and achieve happiness.
6 Tips On Dating After Divorce and Preparing Yourself for a New Relationship
- Take time to grieve your marriage. While you don’t want to permanently avoid new relationships, you also shouldn’t jump into a new partnership too quickly. Take the time to mourn your old relationship. It’s okay to feel sad that you aren’t going to grow old together with that particular partner. It’s okay to wish things had turned out differently.
- Take an honest look at your role in your marriage ending. It’s easy to blame your partner for the end of the relationship. But as it takes two people to make a marriage work, it also takes two people to let a marriage fall apartment. Be willing to look at your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them. Be introspective. Think about what could have been done differently.
- Explore what was missing for you in your marriage. Take a look at your needs. Explore what worked for you and what didn’t work for you in your marriage. Are you a social butterfly who ended up with a partner who would have rather stayed home on a Friday night? Did you feel overwork by having to do all the household chores while they drank beer?
- Based on what you discovered about yourself in the previous step, create a deal breaker/must have list. These are thing that you HAVE to have in your relationship and absolutely will NOT put up with. When dating, filter through your deal breakers/must haves. Don’t make excuses or convince yourself to stay with someone just because it is better than being alone. While you shouldn’t be as specific as stating that you new partner but have brown hair and be a bank teller, you could put that a must have is a job or that they have pride in their personal appearance.
- Meet people. Put yourself out there by living life (as mentioned before it can be tempting to pull always from friends and social situations but don’t). Identify the things you enjoy and find activities that match. Say yes to socal event where friends can introduce you to others or where you can meet someone new.
Also remember, if you are meeting people online, be honest about who you are. You never want to start a relationship on a lie. Let them know that you may have baggage. Someone who truly wants to be with you will understand that and help you would through your issues.
Overall, it is possible to put yourself back out there after going through a divorce and finding yourself in a successful relationship. Don’t view your first marriage as a failure, view it as a training opportunity. Sometimes people just simply don’t work together for one reason or another. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn and grow from the experience.
If the idea of doing these steps on your own feels scary or intimidating don’t do it alone. The therapist’s at Solid Foundations Therapy are available to help you grieve and learn how to date mindfully going forward. Contact us today to make your first appointment.