I was a nervous wreck the first time I went out on a date after my divorce. I had been with the same man for over 15 years and here I was, 35 and going out on my first date. I knew nothing about the dating scene; online dating wasn’t invented when I had met my husband. Yet, I can tell you that since I started dating again, I have always been asked out on a second date. Whether I have said yes or not, is another story. These 6 tips will ensure your first date after a divorce is a success and being able to decide whether or not you want that second date.
1. It’s all about attitude
I looked at dating as a new adventure. I went into each date with a positive attitude. Hey, even if the guy was a total dud, at least I got to try out a new restaurant, learn about a new hot spot in town, or at least get out of the house. Going in without any expectations but just seeing it as another life experience is key. After all, you are not going to know after one date whether this is hubby #2; it’s about meeting someone new.
2. Keep it light
The first date is not the place to bring up your ex, politics, or any other topic that can get heated. If he asks why you got divorced, keep the answer simple and then change the subject by asking him how his drink is. This is not the time to go too deep into finding out about each other. Learn about his hobbies, alma mater, or where he went on his last vacation.
3. Know your deal breakers
Deal breakers are those things that you need to decide before going into the date. For example, not having more than 1 or 2 drinks. Are you willing to kiss on the first date? How much do you want to divulge to a stranger? Where you live is probably not a good idea until you really get to know this guy. Know how much you are willing to share, how long you are willing to stay, and how far you are willing to go before you get there. That way, in the heat of the moment you won’t have to try to decide; you’ll already know.
4. Prepare your story
Conversations can get boring and stories don’t always come out the way you thought. Before you get there, think of a question you’ll ask him and how you’d respond. Prepare a story to share. For example, ask him where he went on his last vacation. Then prepare a story to share about something that happened to you on your last vacation; don’t just say where you went, but include a funny thing that happened to you or something exciting you got to do on your vacation.
5. Ask questions
There is this notion that women like to talk, but men like to, too. Show him you are interested in him by asking about him. If you met online, then skimming his profile prior to the date for something you want to know more about is a great way to show him you paid attention. Otherwise, it can be something as simple as asking what his favorite sports team is.
6. Smile. Have fun!
I went on a date with someone I met online. When I arrived, he was about seven years older and 30 pounds heavier than his pictures. I could have turned around right then, but instead I greeted him with a big smile, a hug, and sat down for a drink and appetizer we had agreed to have before. I used all the tips above and while I knew I would never say yes to a second date, I had fun. I learned so much from him and I got complimented a ton, which felt great to a woman who was just dumped by an ex who cheated. Remember, each new first date is another chance to try again. Smile, have fun and enjoy the date!
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