Tips for Getting Back in the Dating Game After Going Through Divorce
Dating After Divorce
Dear April Masini,
About one year ago, I went through a pretty bad divorce. I was upset about it for a long time, but feel like I might be getting better. All of my friends tell me I should get out there and start dating again, and some of them even have offered to fix me up, but I just don't know if I'm ready to date. How do I know when the time is right to try dating and a new relationship? I need some dating tips fast."
Thank you for your help,
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Divorced Dater,
If you've been burned by love before - particularly if there's been a divorce - the thought of dating again can feel daunting - if not nearly impossible. Why, you might wonder, would you put yourself through the torture of another relationship? Why should you ever make yourself vulnerable and open again?
The answers, though they may be hard to believe, are that you will date again, that relationships don't necessarily have to be as difficult as your last, and that despite your own reservations, you will likely allow yourself to be vulnerable again too.
Why would you? Because getting back in the proverbial dating game after a decent amount of time has passed is an important step toward taking control of your new life. And because, with the right partner, life is just better.
How can you? First:
LADIES, I recommend you pick up a copy of Think & Date Like A Man, a book written so that you can learn how to find the man of your dreams, get him, and keep him. GUYS, get Date Out Of Your League -- a crash course book that will take you by the hand and tell you exactly what to do to get the woman you’ve never thought you deserved. THEN follow the five steps below, designed to help you understand where you may have gone wrong before, how to not make those same mistakes again, and how to redefine what it is - or rather who it is, that would make an even better partner in your "new life."
5 Steps Towards Recognizing What Went Wrong (last time) - So You Can Do it Right This Time:
1. Make a list - You may have an idea in your mind about what you do and do not want in your next partner, but actually writing it down is another matter. First, making a list will force you to firm up any lingering questions you have. Second, the act of writing is a powerful one that in- and-of-itself can give you a new perspective. And lastly, once you've put pen to paper, it's hard to go back on your word (especially when that word is staring you right in the face in non-erasable ink!).
2. Learn from your mistakes - Let's face it, we all make mistakes. The difference is that there are some of us who keep making them over and over (and over and over...), and there are some of us who learn from them. Making sure you fall into the latter group is they key to not dating the same type of person who burned you last time, and simply to becoming a more mature person. As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!
3. Date lots of people - If you've been in a long-term relationship, it can be understandably tempting to jump right into another. But before you do, make sure you understand your own motivations. Are you really in it because he/she is the right person, or simply because you want to be comfortable again? Dating lots of different types of people is like your own personal security measure to ensure you know what your options are (and that you even have options) before making a final decision.
4. Allow yourself to be vulnerable - This is perhaps the most difficult step of all - especially if you were badly hurt in a prior relationship. But finding a way to trust again is essential to the health and survival of any future relationships. Of course, no one would advise you to go around trusting anyone and everyone willy-nilly, which is why steps 1-3 are designed to get you in a place and with a person who is worthy of your trust and vulnerability. It's always a risk, but you can be smart about it.
5. Know when you've got a good thing - Much like allowing yourself to be vulnerable again, recognizing a good thing when it's staring you right in the face can be more difficult than it sounds - particularly when you're always looking for something to be wrong with the person you're dating. And while it is advisable to have your eyes open and your "red flag radar" on, try and also be open to the possibility that there are truly good people out there who will treat you right, without ulterior motives or cruel intentions. Trust me, I know it can seem like they're few and far between, but they are out there. It's just a matter of knowing when you've found them.
Now put on your best game face, throw yourself back on the court, and play ball!