12 Tips for Dating After Divorce
The dating world can already be intimidating, but it can be especially daunting if you have just gone through a divorce.
If you feel ready to start dating after divorce but aren’t sure how to go about it, our experts have put together 12 tips to help you find love again.
How to Know If You Are Ready to Start Dating After Divorce
Wondering how long to wait before dating after divorce? There is no one-size-fits-all time frame for dating after divorce, but there are a few questions that can help you know if you are ready.
Here are some important questions to consider to help know if you are ready to start dating after divorce:
- Have you given yourself the time necessary to grieve your marriage?
- Do you still think about your ex a lot? If so, you may need additional time to process your feelings.
- Are you willing to feel the emotions involved in dating?
- Are you craving genuine connection or are you looking for validation from a new person or a distraction from your feelings?
- Can you look at the divorce and see both your ex’s perspective and your own and look at it objectively?
- Can you discuss your divorce without becoming highly emotional and reactive?
- Do you understand what underlying issues and dynamics contributed to your divorce?
For a more in-depth look at the question of “How do I know if I am ready to date after a divorce?”, check out our blog full of tips on how to know if you are ready for a relationship.
12 Tips for Dating After Divorce
If you are in a healthy emotional place and ready to start dating again after divorce, here are 12 tips to help you get back in the world of dating as seamlessly as possible.
1. Know What You Want out of a New Relationship
Determining what you want out of dating after divorce and narrowing your focus can help you avoid wasting time and pursuing a partner who is not compatible.
Remember, your relationship needs or wants may be different after divorce compared to when you were last single. Be open and honest with yourself and be willing to date outside of what you think is your “type”.
These questions can help you decide what is important to you in a new relationship:
- Are you looking for a life partner or a more casual relationship?
- What are your deal breakers?
- What traits do you value most in a partner?
- What is your preferred style of communication?
- What makes you feel loved by a partner?
- How do you show love to a partner?
- How do you feel about dating someone with children?
2. Build Up Your Confidence
A divorce can take a serious emotional toll on your overall well-being and self-esteem. You may blame yourself for the marriage not working out, feel like a failure, or feel that you aren’t worthy of a relationship.
To build your self-confidence, try:
- Spending time with close friends and loved ones
- Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people
- Finding a new hobby to devote time to
- Writing down your strengths and achievements
- Setting some small, realistic goals and working toward them
- Working on accepting compliments with grace
- Making yourself a priority
- Doing a new exercise or group fitness class
- Working on positive self-talk
3. Get In Tune With How New Partners Make You Feel
It is crucial to consider how new partners make you feel. Do you feel heard? Do you feel valued? Do you feel respected? Check in with yourself about new partners and make sure you are genuinely enjoying their company and that they add value to your life.
It can also be helpful to understand the difference between chemistry and compatibility when you are going on dates.
4. Don’t Rush Anything
After a divorce, you may find yourself tempted to seek out another serious relationship. Instead, remind yourself that it is okay to explore the dating world again without pressuring yourself to make any commitments.
As you begin dating after divorce, remember to:
- Make sure you are having fun and enjoying the process
- See it as a chance to learn more about yourself and what you want in a relationship and life
- Avoid rushing anything or pressuring yourself
- Remind yourself that the only thing you need to do right now is form connections and meet new people, not start a lasting relationship (although, if something organically turns into that, wonderful!)
5. Avoid Comparing Your Dates to Your Ex
If you want to immediately doom a new relationship, comparing your date to an ex is a surefire way to do so. If you find yourself mentally comparing a date to your ex, shut those thoughts down immediately.
Of course, if your ex naturally comes up in conversation, it is fine to let your date know you were married before. While it is important to be open and honest, avoid talking poorly about your ex, complaining about the divorce, or venting.
However, if you do end up in a trusted, established relationship with someone, you shouldn’t feel like you need to tread lightly around your past or hide anything.
6. Trust Your Instincts
After a divorce, you have likely learned a lot about yourself from your experiences and mistakes. This can help improve your ability to identify and honour your boundaries and spot any red flags.
If you just aren’t feeling a connection with someone or have a bad feeling in your gut, follow your instincts and move on. Trust that you know yourself well enough to decide what works for you and what doesn’t.
7. Be Honest With New Dates
When meeting new people and going on dates, do not be misleading about your life, your interests, your kids, or aspects of your past. This will waste both your time and your date’s time.
Instead, be honest with your partners about where you are at in your life and what you are looking for out of a relationship. Let them know about your divorce, but avoid dwelling on it or unloading every detail of it.
8. Wait Before Introducing a New Partner to Your Family
If you have children, it is important to take your time getting to know someone before introducing them to your family. Introducing a new partner too soon can be extremely stressful and confusing to a child.
Here are some tips for introducing your new partner to your children after divorce:
- Talk to your kids first and ask them how they are feeling
- Make sure your new partner is committed to the relationship and understands the importance of a healthy relationship with your children
- Consider waiting at least 6 months before introducing your new partner to your children
- Let your kids know it is okay to be sad, angry, nervous, or uncertain about your new relationship
- Assure your children that they will always be your priority and matter more than any other relationship
- Encourage them to express any concerns and ask questions
9. Be Proactive
Your ideal partner isn’t going to magically show up if you don’t put in the effort. If you are ready to meet a new partner and start dating after divorce, try these tips to be proactive and meet people with similar interests to yours:
- Expose yourself to new situations
- Attend local social events
- Enlist the help of an experienced matchmaker
- Get out of your comfort zone
- Join a local board in your community
- Check out any new restaurants or bars in your area
- Start volunteering
- Spend time doing a new hobby
10. Take Time to Work on Yourself
As you re-enter the dating world, it is important to work on your inner growth and make yourself a priority. Connecting with your inner self can help you understand more about your divorce and discover how to build a healthier relationship in the future.
Here are some tips for working on your inner self:
- Create daily rituals and add structure to your day
- Practice meditation daily or several times a week
- Spend time in nature (go golfing, hiking, biking, or walking)
- Do restorative yoga
- Create a gratitude journal or a daily journal and use it to help process your emotions and gain clarity
- Connect with a life coach, licensed therapist, or counsellor (more on this below)
11. Consider the Help of a Counselor, Licensed Therapist, or Life Coach
A divorce is a significant life event, making it essential to have a strong support system to lean on. If you do not have a close connection with family or a few trusted friends (or even if you do), you may find it healing to work with a counsellor, licensed therapist, guided healing programs, or a life coach.
You can gain perspective, get honest feedback, and learn tools for moving forward. Taking part in counselling or life coaching can also help you gain self-awareness, bring about healing, and help you attract a healthy relationship.
12. Show Yourself Patience and Grace
Forget the idea of ‘normal’. Normal right now is whatever works for you and feels healthy. There is no magic timeline of when you will be healed or ready to date again.
The healing process may take years, and that is okay. If you don’t want to date after a divorce, don’t pressure yourself. Continue taking the time you need to heal and move forward.
Do You Need Support or Advise as you Start Dating After Divorce?
We hope our list of tips for dating after divorce help you feel more confident and sure of yourself as you re-enter the world of dating. If you are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed about how to meet potential partners, our team of professional matchmakers is here to help.
As Perth’s exclusive matchmaking service, we can help guide and support you as you begin dating again after a divorce. Our team of matchmaking experts can help connect you with like-minded, successful people and help take some of the uncertainty out of the dating process.
From first impressions to initial meetups to feedback after any in-person dates, our matchmakers and lifestyle coaches can help you along every step of the matchmaking process. Contact us for more information or to set up an initial consultation to see if you would be an ideal fit for our services.