Going back to dating after divorce is one of the more serious dating life challenges that a person can face through their dating life. Many, if not most people, who go through divorce are terrified by the idea of having to date again after being out of the “game” for so long. They are concerned that they no longer know how things work and they are completely out of touch with the current dating culture, and therefore simply won’t be to connect with the new people the meet. So, how does one start dating after being away from the game for five, ten, fifteen or more years?
If you have been recently divorced and your self-esteem and motivation to date are not quite up where they need to be, and you feel that your dating skills are out of sync with the current generation, you might find the following five simple tips to be useful to your own journey toward jump starting your love life after divorce and enjoying dating again the way you used to and the way you should today:
1. What You Feel After Divorce Is Absolutely Normal, And You Should Not Feel Guilty about It
Accept the fact that it’s ok to feel lonely, sad, and depressed after divorce, especially if your spouse was the one who initiated the divorce, and if you didn’t actually want to separate. You have been used to a certain lifestyle with your partner , and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed by your new life, new schedule, this new absence of your former spouse in your life, and all this available time and (mental) space that you now have. The longer you have been together, the harder the transition will be. It would have been more surprising if you didn’t feel sad and if you didn’t feel at some point like giving up on the opposite sex and dating altogether. It’s an anomaly if you feel like you are not needed. It will take time to get over this past divorce emotional plateau, and it’s absolutely normal.
2. Divorce Does Not Equal Failure and Neither Should Dating After Divorce Be
Some people believe that divorce is a failure, regardless of the reasons for it. You may think that you divorce is your personal failure as a human being, as a lover, and as a spouse. You might think or maybe you are told by your friends or parents that you should have been pickier and wiser, choosing someone else, or that you should have not done one of a hundred things that possibly lead to your separation. Maybe the people who are close to you urge you not to split up no matter what, because, according to them – you should be committed to each other no matter what.
The above is simply not true. If you or your spouse, or both of you, are unhappy in your marriage, your relationship deteriorates, and you see no way to fix things between the two of you, the real failure would be to stay together and continue making each other miserable. And you can be sure that the longer you stay together and more unhappy you will be come. Divorce can lead to a positive change for both of you. It can and it should be liberating, as it opens up time and potential for meeting someone who you are more compatible with, and you are also doing a favor to who you are divorcing from as you let them be with someone who they will get along better and who they will be happier with too.
I am not suggesting that every single little friction between you and your spouse should make you think of divorcing them, but some differences are in fact irreconcilable. You can only try to fix things for so long, until it becomes clear that there simply isn’t or even shouldn’t be a solution except going your separate ways. Recognizing this is not a failure; on the contrary – it’s a personal success of accepting something that’s difficult to accept and moving forward.
3. When You Don’t Use It, You Lose It, At Least for a While
Don’t expect to be very “smooth” when meeting new people or talking to strangers in casual situations, or asking someone, who you might be interested in, out on a date. If you haven’t practice your flirting skills in years, it’s going to take a while to get up to speed. It’s going to take getting reconnected with your old friends who you have been neglecting while being married, and making new friends. It’s going to take reassessing the dating scene around you that surely had changed since you have been single last. It might even take picking up a few books and programs on dating to brush up on meeting people and going out on dates at this stage of your life. As they say – when you don’t use it, you lose it, and this certainly applies to dating and flirting skills. The good news is that like with all the other skills and abilities, this is something that you can work on, and if you give it the right amount of time and effort, your confidence, your social skills and you ability to communicate with other single people will improve and be where it needs to be for you to start enjoying dating again.
4. Don’t Do It Alone
You shouldn’t be getting back into the dating game after going through a divorce all by yourself. This is not the time to be James Bond and play solo. Reconnect with old friends or co-workers who you remember to have great energy and whose company you enjoyed. You might think that it’s kind of awkward to call someone out of the blue after not talking to them for a long time, but I assure you that most people are pleasantly surprised to get a surprise call from a long-lost friend, and you would be surprised how many of them will be happy to hear from you and meet up with you. From then on, you can start slowly build a better social life and become part of the kind of group of friends that is both fun and supportive, in case you don’t have one now.
5. Learn How to Enjoy the Process of Dating after Your Go Through a Divorce
Dating after divorce sounds like a daunting idea, but it can and should be fun. The fact that it will take a while to get back into the dating game should not discourage you but make you excited. You have something to look forward to now. Exciting opportunities, new love and new romance. Surely it will take work, time and patience. You will face various challenges disappointments and failures that you didn’t anticipate or might have not even experiences with the opposite sex before getting married. But this should make the whole process all the more exciting, and above all, it should make you feel young again.