You've gotten divorced and you've gotten over it – now it's time to throw yourself back into the scary world of dating. Yes, it can be disheartening to jump back in to the dating world weren't you supposed to be done with this? Unfortunately, dating is really the only way to find The (Second) One — so here's how to make the whole experience more fun. It's an old saying, but it keeps getting thrown around because it's true: You have to love yourself before someone else can love you. Know that it's okay to be exactly who you are, says Erik Newton, a former divorce lawyer and the founder of Together, a magazine and podcast for couples. You've grown and changed you're stronger and wiser, and, yes, you also have some wounds. Divorce is not easy, but the challenges in life are what cause us to grow.
How To Start Dating After Divorce AskMen
You want your new dates to like you for who you actually are, not some fantasy. So let yourself shine. Dating and empowerment coach Laurel House agrees, suggesting that you need to get comfortable being alone as well. You don't need to feel like you 'should' be out doing things, she says. To get to that place of self-love, she recommends looking yourself in the eyes (in a mirror) and telling yourself five things you love about you, like 'I love my smile' or 'I love how I make others feel safe. ' When you're ready, the first thing to do, says House, is to physically get out there – no one will know you're available to date if you're staying inside your house all the time! But this doesn't necessarily mean joining every dating service and offering yourself up for blind dates with your coworker's cousin's friend's neighbor. If you're a gym junkie, get outside and learn something new: hike, walk, join a running meetup group, says House.
Trying something new will help you rediscover parts of yourself that might have gone missing — and potentially help you meet a new love interest. She also recommends switching up your routine, which could mean anything from taking a different path to your office to trying a new coffee shop instead of your old standby. Volunteer. Go to happy hour. Strike up a conversation with someone in the grocery line – whatever feels the most comfortable to you. House suggests digging deeper than you usually would in conversations to learn more about people, places, and things. Ask questions as if you're a tourist – we tend to be more social when on vacation, she advises. Don't avoid discussing the fact that you're divorced just approach it effectively. Be straightforward about your divorce, but don't burden your new dates/partners with the past, says Newton.
Dating After Divorce HuffPost Canada
There's nothing to hide or be ashamed of, and avoiding the topic sets the tone that you're afraid of something. Moving on from the topic is equally as important as addressing it in the first place, Newton adds. Make it clear you're willing to discuss it, but that you've also put it behind you. If your date wants to hear more, then elaborate. If the topic comes up, you might say, 'I'm divorced. I wish him or her the best, and we've both moved on. We can talk about it if you ever want to, but I want to make sure tonight is about us. ' No matter what the situation is, own up to it. Whether you're divorced, in between jobs, in debt, or really anything else that might make you feel weak, damaged, or insecure, don't be afraid to speak to it, says House.
Don't hide, don't flaunt, don't marginalize, or make light of it. Your past experiences made you the dynamic and layered person you are today. It allows someone to understand you and why you are how you are, and it contributes to three important dating conversations: where you were, where you are, and where are you going. Newton says it's extra important for divorced people to not compare their date to their former spouse. Notice when you're doing it, and acknowledge to yourself what's going on, Newton says. Then take a breath and ask yourself: 'Who is this person right here in front of me, and how does he or she make me feel in this moment? ' That practice can bring you back to the present.
Newton stresses the importance of breaking this habit: If you're stuck in comparison mode, you can't appreciate your date for who they really are – they'll just be a reflection of what worked or didn't work about your ex. If you've been out of dating for quite some time, it's okay to be rusty. Let yourself be a beginner, says Newton. You can't expect yourself to be a dating pro from the first moment you jump back in. Take it easy and take the process at whatever pace feels comfortable to you. But, Newton says, if you're experiencing inordinate amounts of fear about dating, that's a pretty good clue that you have some unresolved trauma from the marriage to work through. And if that's the case, it's actually good news, because you have a great big arrow pointing at what's next for you to work on emotionally! In my personal experience, I can tell you that second marriages are often far better than first marriages, Newton says.