Divorce is a stressful process. After many years of marriage and spending your life with one other person, you are now on your own. You are living by yourself and working, making your own money. If you have kids, you likely share custody with the other parent. You may be rediscovering yourself, surrounding yourself with new friends, and engaging in new hobbies.
After you settle into your new life, you may discover that you want to find love again. You may be feeling lonely and you yearn for a relationship again. However, the thought of dating again may sound daunting. The dating scene has likely changed since you have been married. Dating is primarily done online nowadays. Gone are the days of sitting in a bar and hoping to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right.
You are likely feeling vulnerable after a divorce. Being out on your own can seem scary. However, once you get back into the groove, you may enjoy dating and meeting new people.
Go online and you will find hundreds of rules for dating after divorce. Which ones should you follow? Here are eight good rules to consider.
Date at Your Own Pace:
There is no set rule for how long you should wait before jumping into the dating pool. Some people wait six months. Some wait a year. Others wait several years. Whatever you do, do not start dating before your divorce is final. This could impact your divorce settlement, as you will be seen as a cheater. In any case, you do need to give yourself time to heal. Divorce is a stressful and emotionally draining process, so do not be in a hurry to date again. Spend some time thinking about what you want your next relationship to look like.
Find the Right Dating Site:
Not all dating sites are created equal. Some are geared toward certain interests (like religion), while some are for hookups (like Tinder). Others, like eHarmony, are geared toward long-term relationships and marriage. Research various sites and choose the ones that best fit your needs.
Do not go on your first date after a divorce thinking you will get married. While marriage can be a long-term goal, it is not something that has to happen right now. Your focus right now should be on discovering who you are and what type of person you are pursuing. Every relationship you are in will have its own challenges. You do not want to make the same mistake again.
Determine Your Priorities:
Before dating for the first time after a divorce, you should determine what you are looking for in a partner. Why are you dating? What values do you admire? What qualities are absolute dealbreakers? Think about these questions ahead of time so you do not waste anyone’s time.
Take Things Slow:
You do not have to fall in love with the first person you date. In fact, you should not. Take the time to get to know a person before falling head over heels in love. Go on a variety of dates. Spend time doing different things. There is no hurry. Plus, there is no reason to rush into another marriage so soon.
Do not lie about your age, interests, whether or not you have kids and other aspects of your past. We all have baggage, so there is no use in denying it. While you may think lying or withholding the truth may make you more attractive to others, at the end, you should want a person who accepts you for who you are. Your secrets will come out eventually, so it is better to be up-front and honest.
Think About Your Children:
While the thought of falling in love again can be exciting, remember that you have kids this time around. Your children should come first, so think about their feelings before introducing them to a new person. Ideally, you should wait a minimum of six months. That gives you time to develop a relationship with a person and really get to know them. If you are introducing your children to a new boyfriend or girlfriend every month, it can be confusing to them. It can also cause anxiety when you should be doing what you can to provide a stable home life for your children. When you do introduce them to a new partner, reassure them that they are your priority and that they can express their feelings and concerns with you.
It is natural to be scared and expect the worst when going outside your comfort zone. Plus, you have probably heard a lot of horror stories about dating disasters. However, thinking negative thoughts will only hurt your chances of finding the person of your dreams. Think positive and open yourself to new experiences. Dating will not be perfect, but you should not limit yourself.
Seek Legal Help
Dating after divorce can be a scary experience, especially if you had been married for a long time. However, by following these tips, you can be better prepared for the dating scene and meet quality people. You might even find love the second time around.
Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can give you the advice you need to live a better life after divorce. Whether you need legal or emotional guidance, he can assist you. To get started, schedule a consultation. Give our office a call at (954) 346-6464.