When I learned I would soon be diving back into the dating pool (well, looking back I didn’t dive willingly, I was shoved) I wasn’t thrilled. After all, if I had been really good at dating the first time around I shouldn’t have to date again, right? Wrong, life changes and we need to change with it if we are to remain happy and healthy! Besides what is the worst thing that could happen?
So here is what I have learned so far in that ever elusive, contact sport of dating after divorce.
1. Join an online dating site, men aren’t going to walk through your living room so you need to get out there and find them. There are so many sites to choose from and lists of the best ones all over the internet. I must admit I was kind of disappointed when I learned that I too old for Tinder, but that may have been a good thing, swiping right or left is no grounds for a relationship! There are also a lot of articles out there to teach you how to write a good profile. A word of caution, on one site I used a name that I thought was humorous and while most of the men got the joke, some didn’t and I may have lost out on meeting someone special.
2. For a first date meet for something simple like coffee. It is a more casual and less stressful setting than dinner or drinks. Safer too as everyone looks better and seems funnier after a glass of wine. Offer to pay the bill or at least to split it, it’s a new dating world out there! If it is obvious that you two are not hitting it off, an hour for coffee will not be as awkward as sitting through an entire dinner!
3. When you set up a date, don’t be late! Being late for a date is just as bad as being late for a job interview, (and just as stressful) and the other party assumes that you don’t care. During your time together keep the conversation light, and steer clear of serious subjects like politics and your ex.
4. Pick out an outfit in advance, something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. This will help alleviate any stress over choosing an outfit at the last minute and you will arrive feeling more relaxed. I actually had a favorite one that became my “date uniform”.
5. Don’t ignore red flags. If he reminds you of your ex or someone else you don’t really enjoy spending time with, listen to that voice in your head, it called “women’s intuition” and is rarely wrong. I am proud to say that I have finally learned to listen to it!
6. If you had a good time tell him, men are not mindreaders. On the flip side if you do exchange phone numbers and he doesn’t call just chalk this meeting up to experience.
I have realized that it can actually be fun dating again. I’ve met a lot of interesting men and I have heard a lot of great stories. I have also realized that these experiences have helped me to know what kind of man I am looking for. I won’t settle for anything less (this time around) and you shouldn’t either!