Divorce often leaves us in a social vacuum, we no longer have the social circle we once had as singles and it is difficult to socialise with our married friends as we usually share these with our ex.
Divorce also often leaves us with diminished confidence and the years of marriage have blunted our dating skills. So how do we get back out there and start dating again?
Here are 5 tips for dating after divorce:
1. Embrace being single
You have decided you want to date again, you are sick of being single and get lonely in the evenings, so why am I telling you to embrace being single? When you are single and lonely it is all too easy to start going out with entirely unsuitable people just to fill the gap. Once you start to embrace being single you will see that it allows you the choice to pick carefully who you are going to date. What I mean by this is not to love being single or determine that you are destined to be single forever but see it as a positive step toward finding someone new, you are now single and have all the time in the world to find Mr/Miss Right. It’s better to go out with your friends or stay home with a good book than date someone just for the company, it saves a lot of heartache.
2. Positive Self Image
So during your marriage you got into a rut and swapped the sexy clothes for baggy sweaters, you dye your own hair now and you simply no longer feel attractive. So why would a date be attracted to you, not because of the sloppy sweaters but because of the negative self image you have. Next you need to deal with your self image. Buy a book on positive self image, get your hair done professionally, dig those sexy clothes out of the back of the wardrobe and when you can stand in front of a mirror and smile then you are ready to date again. I repeat, it’s not about the clothes or the hair they are just a confidence building tool, it’s about having and projecting a positive attitude about yourself.
3. Social Circle
Build a new social circle before you consider dating again. Friends are a great source for bouncing ideas off, they will let us know if the person we are thinking of dating has also dated every man/woman in a 5 mile radius and they help to build our confidence again. A social life away from dating will also stop us feeling desperate to find someone to fill those lonely evenings and dates can spot desperation a mile away (it’s not an attractive quality in case you haven’t realised).
Ever fancied salsa dancing, pottery or archery? Now is the time to give it a go. Never thought of having a hobby, then it is time to try one. Everyone says to newly single people “get a hobby” but there is much wisdom in what is usually a throw away comment. It doesn’t even have to cost you any money, most libraries have a book club, most areas have free classes for single parents and even in the middle of nowhere you will find a rambling club. This will get you out of the house, making new friends and increasing your positive self image. Do not tell me you don’t have any time, a friend of mine is a single mother, works 14 hours a day mon-fri and is the most socially active person I know, forever going sailing, playing sports, taking the kids to museums, etc – it’s all about positive mental attitude.
5. Join the Girl Guides or Boy Scouts
Silly joke, however the boy scouts and girl guides are “always prepared” and you need to be too. There are known patterns to online dating sites, with Christmas and the New Year being the busiest time of year because this is when singles feel most lonely. Think ahead to your anniversary date, your ex’s birthday, holidays and plan for them. You will probably feel sad or lonely at these times so arrange to visit family or friends, book a weekend away or do something special for yourself that you always enjoy and will take your mind off your situation.