If you have just recently come through a divorce, or are in the process, you may be starting to think about dating. As a dating coach for women over 40, I meet a lot of people in this situation.
Many women are concerned about being vulnerable again. Some are afraid all the men will be cheaters or liars. Some are desperate to find love again to heal the pain of their recent rejection. But still, many recently divorced women need help knowing how to get back into circulation.
Step 1 – Do Some Healing First
My advice is to start with some healing work. Before you go out there, it helps to be on solid more ground emotionally. This might require the passage of time and therapy. You might want to join a divorce support group. Other healing methods include body work such as massage or Reiki, or energy balancing. Prayer, meditation and visualization can be very productive as well for healing. All of these techniques will help you recover from the emotional pain of divorce.
Why do this first? Well, if you are not healed to some point, you will be at risk of low self-esteem. This can translate into making poor choices regarding prospects. Sometimes people choose partners that have similar flaws. Or you might not know how to maintain proper boundaries for your own self-preservation. When your self-esteem is intact, you can handle rejection better as well.
Step 2 – Relax and Date Casually
The next step is to get out there and see what’s going on. Think about what personality characteristics might be a good match for you. Notice the types of people you meet and feel attracted to. Discover who is attracted to you. Get comfortable striking up conversations, flirting and interacting with men.
Do all this with a more relaxed and casual attitude rather than launching into a serious search for “the one.” Hold off until you get your feet wet. This continues to promote your healing process and allows you to make better decision as you learn about the new single you.
Where do you find the men? Online, at singles dances, singles events, singles volunteer groups, speed dating, matchmakers, blind dates, singles meetup groups, etc. Going to bars or taking classes will not offer you the quantity of single men you need to meet. I’m not saying not to do things you like. But, you will need to attend singles-oriented events to find plenty of single men to sample.
Step 3A – Get Clear on What Qualities Will Work and Stick to That
Be discerning about who you date in this next phase. Now that you have a better idea of what may work for you as a good match, date men to get to know them and don’t be afraid to let a man go when he doesn’t meet your needs or treat you well.
Step 3B – Be Clear on What You Want, But Give Men a Chance
Sometimes women get crystal clear on what they want and this can be too limiting. That’s why I have created two angles on this step to address both extremes. If you are too picky, you may never find the right guy because you are looking for perfection. There is only one Donald Trump and one George Clooney.
Most men can’t measure up to this standard, so you may need to loosen up a bit and be more realtistic to meet more men. The more men you meet, the better your chances of finding a good match – someone who has an open heart to love, who is honest, loyal, financially stable, attractive, fun, communicative, etc.
Dating After Divorce Can Be Fun!
Dating at any time can be trying depending on your attitude. If you truly believe that you will find love again, your chances are excellent. On the other hand, if you think all the good men are taken and everyone else is a loser – you will find that to be true.
The best advice I can offer as a dating coach, is to get out there, relax and have fun. There are always more men. So, if a good one gets away, relax and know there are plenty more where he came from. Smile, be friendly, and enjoy dating after divorce. If you’re enjoying yourself, you will be far more attractive!
photo credits: Donald = Eric Rhoads, George = Sebastian Neidlich
4 thoughts on “Dating After Divorce – I Don’t Know Where to Start”
I admit it is very difficult to believe I will actually meet someone good but I have been optimistic about it in the past and still met nobody great.
So does believing you will meet someone make any difference or am I just setting myself up for dissappointment.
Believing means everything! Staying optimistic and believing you will find love makes you more attractive than someone who has given up or has a bad attitude. You are doing the right thing absolutely! That’s why I created the I Beleive in Love audio program – to help people keep the faith that finding love is possible. Keep your positive atttitude, smile as much as possible at as many men as you can. Get out there often and have fun!
Very nice advice. I agree, taking time to heal and process feelings is a very important first step that often gets too quickly over looked. It is always easier to just numb our pain than try to embrace and learn from it. What you can feel, you can heal, as my mentor would say :). Thanks for the article!
Thanks Mikko for chiming in. Your mentor sounds like a very wise person – how lucky you are to have a good one.