Divorce sucks but divorces happen. Some would even argue that divorces are happening more and more these days. We certainly hear about it more, especially with people in their 30s and 40s. Some people don’t even want to get married for fear of divorce.
Relationships end for many reasons – the breakdown of communication, having separate goals, money problems, growing apart, betrayal, infidelity, and the list goes on. This propels divorcees back into the volatile dating world, one, most likely, much different than that one they left several years back. It’s challenging, but divorce isn’t a death sentence.
Divorce Isn’t a Death Sentence
I can speak from personal experience. I got married, then divorced, then plummeted back into the crazy world of dating almost immediately. It wasn’t easy (to say the least). That’s what inspired me to share my story and my journey (over the past seven years) to find “happily ever after”, and, guess what? I DID! I found my own happily ever after! How? I persisted and I kept trying (and failing) over and over again, dating over and over again, bad date after bad date, disappointment after disappointment, getting used, getting several broken hearts in the process. But I persisted and 6 years after my divorce I met my “happily ever after” and now I’m remarried with a baby (in my 40s no less!).
I’m not the only one. Many people go on to find their “happily ever after” post-divorce. Recently, we’ve witnessed what many are calling a true fairy tale with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (who would have ever thought he’d ever settle down?!). Love can be found in the most unlikely places as well, I shared a real true love story after divorce right here: A Journey Towards Love. It’s not impossible to find love after divorce.
If you’re divorced and feeling down about starting over, remember that divorce isn’t a death sentence. It is possible to find love again, true love, real love … it might take some time BUT you can’t give up. It most likely won’t be easy, I won’t lie, but what’s seems impossible IS possible. The following are some tips to help with your journey.
Dating After Divorce – Things to Keep in Mind
Here are some essential things to keep in mind, from my own experience, when dating after divorce:
Take care of YOU – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually
When you start dating, you want to put your BEST self out there because the dating world is a VERY competitive one. Be that ideal partner in order to find an ideal partner. Make sure you have taken care of all the bitterness and baggage, ensure that you’re emotionally available and not vulnerable. Live a healthy lifestyle and you will look good and feel good which will help you project confidence. Know who you are and what you have to offer. If you want quality you have to be quality. Also, be happy and grateful.
I transformed myself by exercising, eating healthier, being more grateful and becoming the best version of myself. It made me more confident and attractive. However, for the longest time, I was attracting the WRONG people and I thought I had bad luck but it turned out that it was because I was CHOOSING them due to my emotional unavailability after my divorce, so make sure you have your emotions in check before looking for lasting love.
Get out there and do stuff. There are so many activities and events around that there is no excuse not to get out. Grab a couple of friends or even go on your own. You will meet so many more people and you won’t feel as lonely anymore. Some great places to find out what’s going on in your town is Facebook Events, Meetup, as well as local event calendars in your local newspaper.
After my divorce, I started connecting with more people and getting more involved in my community. I joined some networking groups that led me to other social outings. I ended up meeting lots of people, I met my husband at a fundraiser. Online dating is great but meeting in person is so much better. So get offline and be social. At the very least you’ll make new friends and connections.
Keep Intimacy in Check
Leaving a bad situation can leave you very vulnerable, needy and desperate. While you may think you have it all under control, you may end up in a situation of being used. Your need to feel wanted and loved may cloud your judgment. Have fun and enjoy yourself, but be smart about it. Don’t jump into anything (or into bed) too fast, before you have dealt with all the emotional baggage left over after your divorce. Be happily single first THEN you will make better dating decisions.
I definitely did not keep my intimacy in check after my own divorce and fell prey to some unsavory characters. I made a lot of bad decisions but I quickly learned my lesson. I just wanted to feel loved, wanted and desired after many years of a passive aggressive marriage so I chose unwisely. I thought I was unlucky in love but I was making bad choices.
Don’t Define Yourself By Your Divorce
Divorce is something that happened to you, not who you are. Don’t bring the divorce with you wherever you go. While it may feel good to talk about your ex and all your challenges, don’t do it. You are more than what happened to you. Don’t be one dimensional. Talk about life, world issues, your city, your experiences, your growth … but don’t bitch and complain about your ex or your challenges or how much it sucks to be divorced. People don’t want to date baggage. They don’t want to help you carry your baggage, nor should you expect it. People, especially the older they get, want a stable well-rounded person. Be that person.
I once went on a date with a recently divorced guy who started talking about his ex and crying. He obviously wasn’t over her and the situation that’s for sure. Don’t be that guy. I was also tempted a lot to talk about my situation, sometimes I gave in and sometimes I didn’t, but I noticed that when I didn’t talk about it I had much more positive dates and dating experiences.
Those are just a few tips, but keep in mind that if you’re divorced and feeling down about starting over, remember that divorce isn’t a death sentence. It really isn’t. There are many examples of divorced people starting over and finding their true happily ever after. You can too. Be patient. Have hope. Be grateful. Be happy.
READERS: Are you recently divorced or divorced and dating? Share your thoughts & perspective in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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