8 Mistakes You’re Making When It Come To Dating After Divorce
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By Dalila Jusic-LaBerge, LMFT, Guest Author - April 26, 2017

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You didn't expect to wind up back in the dating pool when you exchanged vows in front of your family and friends. Now you are alone again and longing for a new relationship. Whether you are happy or sad about it, it's definitely not easy. Are you still hoping to find love again? If so, don't despair. There is a great chance of finding just the right partner for you. In order to get to that goal, you will most likely have to go on a few dates.

Avoid these 8 dating mistakes in order to give yourself the best chance of dating success.

1. Not taking time to heal is one of the costliest dating mistakes

This is one of the most important dating mistakes that you need to avoid. Due to feeling panicky, you may wind up jumping into the dating pool right after your divorce in order to reassure yourself that you will not spend the rest of the life alone. This, however, can lead to fiascos and disappointments and make you feel even worse. There are three aspects of emotional healing that you should address prior to considering dating after divorce. This will help you avoid many other dating mistakes.

2. Being coy in terms of what you truly want can deter good men

I've seen many women in the dating scene trying to fit in and avoid showing their true colors. This is not because they are fake, bad personalities,  or liars. Many women are influenced by societal norms to think that they are not good enough the way they are. They've read articles that say "Don't come across as too desperate to hop into another relationship." So, they go on dates being shy to express what they are truly after, a committed, loving relationship. And, you shouldn't be too desperate. But, dating should be purposeful. This is the place to show your true authentic self so that you can find a guy who will be thrilled to be with you.

Avoid this dating mistake by being clear and assertive about what you are after. This exudes confidence and helps you eliminate the guys that are not on the same path as you are. Men love this anyhow.

3. Taking the dating process too seriously leads to high expectations

This dating mistake can lead to making you feel and possibly come across as desperate. Dating is meant to be fun. Although your goal is to find a life partner, your agenda for a specific date is to have fun, enjoy dinner, and getting to know the person you are meeting. With this approach, you will feel less anxious and you will be able to pick up important information about your date. You will be able to get a better sense of how this particular man relates to you.

4. Not dating more than one person at the time

If you date only one man, you don't get a chance to open yourself up to various opportunities. This dating mistake can lead you to put all your eggs in a wrong basket. Consider dating as a job interview where you are the interviewer who is selecting the candidates. Think about how many candidates a company interviews for a position. You are selecting a life partner. I think you get the picture.

5. Jumping too quickly into another committed relationship

Committing too early can strip away the joy that comes with initial courtship. Why not allow this process to unfold naturally? Put some brakes on. Allow the men who are courting you prove to you that they are worthy of your heart and commitment. Doing so will allow you to make an informed decision regarding your life time partner. When you allow more time to pass, you will be able to see the guy in potential crises situations and how he reacts to your ups and downs, etc. It's reassuring to see when he is able to handle these kinds of situations with grace. After all, you are not seeking to have just any relationship, but you are seeking to find the one that you will be stoked about.

6. Expecting that happiness will come one day when you find “the right one.”

Going on dates with this mindset will only turn away good prospects. Remember, the law of attraction? If you are happy, you are more likely to attract and be attracted to a happy person. If you are not basically happy within yourself, it's not likely that your relationship will be a happy one. Besides, this expectation puts a great deal of burden on another person and it leads to failure. The quest for making someone else happy can't be fulfilled and relationships based on this attraction (depressed person and someone who will rescue and make them happy) often lead to frustration.

7. Giving up too early if you don't see initial sparks

This dating mistake stems from the notion that we need to have an epic initial attraction in order to continue dating someone. You have to remember that you are not 17 anymore. With divorce under your belt and your hormones being more mature, you may not be able to have the same kinds of reactions as when you were younger. This is a good thing actually. Being less excitable will allow you to build a bond based on deeper attraction and compatibility.

So, give it a chance. See how it develops. Enjoy the friendship and dating the person for a while before you throw in the towel.

8. Being stuck on the same selection criteria as when you were in your 20t's 

You did your best to find the right partner for your marriage when you were young. You two seemed like the perfect pair and everyone wondered why you divorced. Usually, when we are getting married the first time when we are young, we rely on specific criteria. We want to find a compatible partner, and we look into his education, job, looks, cultural background, etc. These are very important aspects, but it's evident that we may not be a good match in spite of all these aspects aligning well.

At this point of your life, what matters is that you can have good supportive friendship and that you can enjoy a lot of time spending together. This discussion goes back to healing process where you determine what works for you at this time of life. You've changed who you are, and you will not have the same values in life. Even if your new partner is not on the same academic level as you are, you two may be able to have the most interesting stimulating conversations and a great emotional connection.

Avoid these dating mistakes if you want to have successful dating life after divorce. Start with healing, and when you are emotionally ready to date, enjoy the process of dating without too serious agenda. Go get to know people and have fun! 

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