Getting back into the romantic world of dating after a divorce can understandably be daunting and you may feel very vulnerable at this stage. How do you meet new people, what apps to use, what to wear on a date, where to go, who pays…?
Following these 8 tips will help make post-divorce dating less terrifying:
Are you really ready for a new relationship? It’s not always easy to be absolutely sure that you are ready, in fact it’s sometimes it’s easier to know if you’re not yet ready. Just the fact that you’re actually interested in dating might mean you are at the stage where you could give it a try but if the idea fills you with absolute dread perhaps wait a little longer.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. It is quite normal to feel terrified at the thought of dating again – this is quite normal. Take it slowly, confide in a close friend that you’re interested in meeting new people and accept invitations. Maybe treat it as an adventure and the opportunity to have some fun. Instead of thinking that you are looking for ‘the one’, maybe relax a little and think that you are just meeting someone for coffee and see how it goes.
Personal safety. Have fun dating but do take some basic safety precautions. Always let a friend know where you are meeting and arrange to meet a date in a public place. Don’t give details of your home or work address, don’t leave a drink unattended, take your mobile phone with you and leave if you feel uncomfortable.
How to meet people. If the thought of sitting in a bar fills you with dread or everyone in your friendship group is coupled up, there are various options to consider. Online dating Internet dating may not have even existed when you were last in the dating game. This is now a mainstream way of searching for a new partner and there is a site for everyone, varying from free to a monthly membership fee. They use computer algorithms to match and this does rely on people being honest on their profiles. It can be time consuming and may feel a bit like a part-time job. Statistics show that 4 out of 5 people you ‘meet’ online will initially seem interested but just disappear. It’s just the nature of the online dating world. My advice would be to meet in person within two weeks of making contact online as there’s no substitute for meeting in the flesh and find out whether the chemistry is virtual or real. Matchmaking and introduction agencies Personal introduction agencies offer a premium service with experienced matchmakers who get to know you as a person and match you according to your search criteria. This can save you precious time and you have access to a consultant for support and advice. They may challenge you to change your approach and encourage you to meet someone who you might have otherwise disregarded. Whilst online your profile will be available for anyone to view, introduction agencies offer a confidential and discreet service. Join an activity group This can be a great way to get out there and meet people who share your same interests. Join a club or group meeting and get involved in something that inspires you – you’ll have fun and you never know who you might meet.
Don’t rule out someone who is taller, shorter, slimmer, larger, older, younger than your ‘type’ – character and compatibility count for so much more. Shared values, kindness, integrity, intelligence and someone who makes you happy is surely so much more important in the long term.
Don’t let your children stop you. Most children will want you to be happy but it is easy to hide behind your kids as an excuse not to date for fear that they will be upset or disapproving.
A first date. Maybe it’s an opportunity to revamp the way you look, have a new haircut, buy some new make-up or invest in a new outfit. Feeling good about your image will boost your confidence. Who should pay on a first date is always a tricky one – really it shouldn’t matter but there is never any harm in offering to pay.
Be patient. As much as you’d probably like to meet ‘the one’ straight away, this isn’t usually the case. There will be ups and downs, weeks with several dates, weeks with no dates, but keep going … patience, perseverance and positivity will get you there.