Dating has changed dramatically over the years. Now more than ever before, the dating scene can be a strange place. It can feel especially foreign if you were married for a long time and this is your first time dipping your toes back in the dating scene. Whether you just want some quiet companionship at the local coffee shop or you’re looking to eventually get into a serious relationship in the future, there are some important factors to consider. Getting back in the dating scene after divorce is entirely possible. And once you get your mojo back, you’ll find that dating can be fun and exciting once again. Here are some of the top things you should do when you’re getting back in the dating scene after divorce.
Whether you were the cause of the divorce, or it was truly your ex’s fault, it’s important to get counseling. A good therapist can help you work through some of the issues that the old relationship left behind. You don’t want to carry any heavy baggage into new relationships, so it’s important to deal with your emotions and any of the habits that may have led up to your marriage’s demise. Additionally, counseling can help you avoid dating people with similar habits as your ex. While they might feel familiar, if they were part of the reason for your divorce, it’s best to avoid people like that.
Don’t Rehash Your Terrible Divorce
It’s important to keep the early stages of your dating relationships free from the drama that ended your marriage. You don’t want to get into the weeds of how awful your ex was. While mentioning the divorce is okay, it’s not okay to spend all your time talking about it. This will kill any spark that you might have with someone and can send them running, and fast.
Keep Things Casual
Dating again can feel overwhelming. You don’t need to feel the pressure to force a relationship to go somewhere. Keep things casual. Go on fun dates like to an amusement park, hiking on trails, or going to paint parties. Go out to dinner once a week. In the early stages, try not to spend all your time with this new person. You still need your life outside of this relationship and setting clear expectations and boundaries can help you keep it casual early on.
Trust Your Instincts
If something feels off, it is. Don’t assume that because you came out of a back situation that your gut is wrong. Don’t brush off your own feelings as if you’re imagining something. Sometimes people give off a vibe that tells us that something isn’t right. It may not be that the guy is a bad guy, he just might not be the guy for you. And even if you have no evidence of anything, trust your instincts. The timing might not be right for you, and that’s okay.
Don’t Ignore Red Flags
Have you heard of love-bombing? It’s a tactic that some people use to manipulate others. They may give you expensive gifts early in the relationship, or text and message you all the time. If you’ve only started going on dates recently, this can be a bit much. When you first start dating after divorce, you don’t need the pressure of committing to a relationship right away. If someone is overly needy, demands your attention all the time, or doesn’t want you seeing your friends, these are huge red flags that you should never ignore.
Get Ready for Dates Quickly
Unless you are going to a 5-star restaurant, you can easily get ready quickly. Don’t take all night or make you and your date late for your time together. Put on a cute pair of jeans and nice shirt, some heels, and throw on a 5-minute makeup routine. You can also add a spritz of one of the most popular perfumes. Try not to go crazy on the makeup or perfume. Being overdone can make you appear very high-maintenance, which is not always appealing.
Use Safe Habits
When you first start dating someone, it’s important to meet at public locations and not to let them take you home. Until you know the person is safe to be around, protect your privacy as best as possible. Limit your alcohol consumption. This goes for males and females. Drinking clouds your decision-making skills. When you’re just getting into the dating scene again, you want to have a clear head so that you can get to know someone for who they are. The drunk version of a person is not the real one.