Dating after divorce – start a new chapter
Dating after divorce is a vulnerable time, and should be approached with care – for yourself. Going through a divorce can be devastating, but it also creates the opportunity to press reset and construct a fresh beginning on your terms. Louisa takes EliteSingles through the steps you can take to be both confident and careful in navigating your way through dating after divorce.
Before we kick off, take a deep breath and slow down. Dating after divorce is not something to be approached in a rush, dating too soon after divorce can damage yourself and others. Louisa explains, “The last thing you want to do during this vulnerable period is to further re-wound yourself by dating the wrong person for you. Don’t actively seek relationships to fill needs such as loneliness, or validation. Give yourself the gift of finding yourself.” And when you’re ready to move on, here are some useful steps you can take to start dating again on a positive and proactive path.
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One step at a time: start dating after divorce
There are no hard and fast dating rules after divorce. The only one you should always listen to is: do what is right for you, when it feels right for you, and whenever that is, it’s ok! Don’t allow pressure from others to influence how you start this new chapter. It’s yours to write. Louisa takes us through some of the most important things to keep in mind when you start dating after divorce.
- Leap off the right spot: Start on the platform where you’re most comfortable. It can be nerve-wracking to take the leap, and so ease into the dating scene in the spaces you feel most at ease – be that online or offline. Today more and more people choose online dating sites as it allows you to set your preferences and join the right community, but start where it fits you. Don’t put pressure on yourself, but remain open to opportunities.
- Meet earlier, not later: When you’re dating online, aim to meet your potential partner early on rather than engaging in lengthy virtual relationships. Extended texts and virtual correspondence can create unrealistic expectations. We’re far less inhibited texting than when we are face-to-face with strangers. If you meet and discover that your online romance is not what you thought it was, you could be in for heartbreak. So take the online flirtation and test out the real-life romance early on before you both invest too much in the process!
- Be patient: Wait for the right time – don’t rush. If you start dating too soon, you can risk tainting your new relationship with unresolved issues. Take the time to work through your own insecurities and hurt before getting back into dating. Take the time to rediscover yourself and who you are now as a single person. You’ve grown and changed since you were last single –check in with yourself before starting a new relationship.
- Family dynamics: Be cognizant that you may be encountering extended families with ex-partners and children. Recognize that this is a different family dynamic to yours. Do not engage with children and ex-spouses too soon. This is a vulnerable period and transition for them as well. Your relationship with extended family will have a better chance of succeeding if you tread gently into their space. In the same breath, be aware of the dynamics with your own children and ex-partner when you start dating again. It’s advisable to only introduce a new partner to the wider family once the relationship is more settled and secure.
- Be clear: Don’t enter into a relationship for the wrong reasons. The period post-divorce is vulnerable. Divorce can leave one feeling insecure, mistrustful, jaded and lacking in self- worth. It can also be a time of great liberation and an opportunity to explore new found freedom. Ensure that you have given yourself sufficient time to understand who you are and what your expectations are. Be clear how you want to move forward and what you want your new relationship to look like. You will find the right love for you, when you can recognize what that truly means for you.
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