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Dating at any stage of life can be a challenge, but when you’ve recently re-entered the singles market after a long marriage, it can be particularly tough. After all, the dating world changes as time goes on. New technology is introduced, people approach courtship differently, and the status of “being single” takes on a whole new meaning.
Before jumping into the dating pool, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Take Time to Get Over the Breakup
You may be eager to meet new people, especially if your marriage was a long and difficult one. But before you enter the singles scene, make sure you allow time to heal. Married people often do activities that their spouse is into. Over time, you may even forget what you really like and don’t like. Give yourself time to adjust to being single by enjoying activities alone again.
Dating Is Not Therapy
Too often newly divorced singles want to talk about their pain with the new people they date. The problem is, of course, that when you first meet someone you have to get to know them. Only then should you get in to the details of your marriage and any painful memories.
When you do go on the first few dates, try to keep the conversation in the present. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk about how long you were married, why you left, and what you’re looking for now in a relationship. But make sure you put a positive spin on your story and don’t belabor the point.
Practice First Date Conversation
The ability to converse easily is the single-most useful thing you’ll take with you when you go on a date. If you’re nervous and think you might be stumped for what to say, practice good first date conversation with a friend. Then, when you’re on your date, put yourself in the mindset that you’re talking with your pal, rather than someone you’ve just met.
Acknowledge Your Fear, But Date Anyway
It’s natural to be fearful of dating again, especially when you’ve been away from it for a good number of years. New methods of meeting people, such as online and speed dating, may seem frightening if you’ve never experienced them before.
Allow yourself the feelings of apprehension that will come after your divorce, because they are perfectly natural. However, remember that every dater out there feels that way too, from time to time. Don’t let fear hold you back from getting out and meeting people.
Embrace Dating as an Adventure
Attitude means a lot in the dating world. It’s more important than experience, wealth, or looks. You may not have planned to be a divorced single at this time in your life, but remember you are not alone. Embrace this new life you are about to embark on, and all the positive aspects that accompany it.
When you meet new people, remember that being happy is the most important gift you can give yourself. Seek out encouraging relationships that will build you up rather than tear you down. Don’t settle for anything less.