Dating after divorce can seem scary. Perhaps you’ve had your feelings hurt in your marriage, and are nervous about trusting someone again. Perhaps it’s just been a while since you dated, and you’re scared about meeting people, or aren’t sure what dating is like now. It’s natural to feel nervous. Here are some tips to help you date after divorce with confidence.
Know That Chemistry Doesn’t Always Mean A Long-Term Connection
Lust can trick us into feeling an attachment, so be very careful who you keep in your dating pool and who you throwback into the pond.
When you return to dating after a long-term monogamous relationship, especially if it ended badly, craving a spark-filled, exciting romance is understandable. Don’t discount a slow burn.
When dating after divorce, it’s easy to look for immediate chemistry. Remember that chemistry can grow over time, and it might take a few dates to grow.
Make Sure You’re Actually Over Your Ex And Ready To Date
You might have signed your divorce papers, but that doesn’t mean that you have completely moved on. This is perfectly understandable, but if you still can’t stop talking or thinking about your ex, whether you’re praising or hating them, you might need some more time to process your feelings before you get back onto the dating scene.
You must give yourself enough time to heal, let go of any lingering resentments, and come to a healthy place emotionally before you can be open to a new relationship. You need to be patient with yourself and take all the time you need. Don’t let friends who mean well push you into dating before you’re ready to get back out there.
Take It Slow On The First Date
You don’t have to be a prude or play games with people. However, if you’re looking for your next relationship, it’s important to consider every step carefully. Anyone can hook up, but really enjoyable sex usually requires good communication and feeling safe with your partner. Remember that you deserve good sex. Asking someone to wait for sex can show you a lot about their character and their motives, depending on how they react. If you decide to sleep with some different people when you start dating, remember to look out for your sexual health, with regular tests through an adult health service like Tarrant County.
It’s especially important to take sex seriously if you’re a woman who is in perimenopause or menopause, as hormonal changes can make sex more difficult. This is why having a partner who is patient and loving and is focused on your own pleasure as well as their own can be such an important part of the process of moving on.
Watch Out For Anyone Who Seems Too Perfect
You’re never more in need of validation and affection than you are after a serious relationship has ended. This is completely natural, but it can put you at risk of being victimized. One of the red flags that you should watch out for that can suggest that a date doesn’t have good intentions, is that they seem flawless.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but if someone checks every single one of the boxes on your list, shower you with gifts, texts, or calls all the time, pushes for a quick commitment, makes incredible promises, or wants to be the only person in your life, then you could be dealing with someone who is seeking to control you.
This might sound a little overdramatic, and of course, there is a chance that you really have landed someone perfect, but the reality is that there are a lot of people out there who aim to take advantage of women, and being older doesn’t make you immune.
A good way to stay safe is to ask a friend or other loved one to give you a regular reality check. An outside perspective can help.
Draw A Relationship Map
Knowing where you have been and where you want to go is just as needed for relationships as it is for road trips or your career. A lot of people jump immediately into new relationships only to find themselves making the same mistakes. Avoid this by looking at what worked and didn’t work for you in the past, including the part you played in your divorce, and identify goals.
Visualizing your journey can help to see things more clearly, so take the time to write out a relationship roadmap. You can also talk it through with a trusted friend or a therapist.