Dating after divorce advice: Some Pitfalls to Avoid
Dating after divorce is supposed to be fun! But if you are sloppy, you can fall into some pits
First it was sex after divorce that you are worried about but then you realized you are putting the cart before the horse since you don’t even have a prospect gnawing at the line and so now it is dating after divorce you are obsessing about.
The thing about dating after divorce is that it really is not that much different from dating before you were ever married. Dating is dating is dating. At least that is how I see it. It is all about communication skills and being open-minded and taking calculated risks and presenting yourself in the best possible light, isn’t it?
The thing that might be different, or certainly one thing that might be different is that you will be considerable more “mature” the second time around. If the average marriage lasts about 5 years then you will be at least 5 years older (more if you had a long courtship before you married) so this will make you approach dating with a bit more reserve and circumspection, maybe.
The thing is you don’t have to feel all intimidated. Dating after divorce is supposed to be just as fun as dating at any other time in your life!
- When dating after divorce, don’t feel like you have to hide your age to impress anybody. For a lot of people who are fresh out of long term marriages, obviously, they are not going to be spring chickens. But they may think they have to look like a spring chicken in order to find a new mate. That often results in making some very questionable choices about style, attitude and personality. Don’t fall into this trap of being a fake you just because you think that is the only way you will find someone who will be attracted to you. Be yourself.
- Forget everything in the first tip if it means letting yourself go completely, all in the name of “being yourself.” Yes, but with an eye to reality around you as well. Don’t try to be the youngest whipper snapper there is, but also, you don’t have to go out of your way to “act” age if it only ends up making you look and sound and seem even older than you are. Be a youthful version of yourself.
- Be careful about bringing your past into the new situation. It is so easy to use your new love interest as a shrink and sounding board to get clarity about the old situation. This is a trap you need to avoid at all costs. The truth is, the new person does not have enough perspective and will just dismiss you as neurotic, angry and shrill. So shut up about your past.
- Think about the role your children, if you have them, will play. How much do you want to bring them into this new situation and how soon?
- Resist the urge to compare yourself to other people and exes in the new person’s life. Unless you are dating a virgin, everyone has a past and there will always be things about the people your current love interest used to date that will be interesting – and maybe even superior to you in some way. The thing is, you should not fixate on comparing yourself to others and especially in dating you need to focus on the now, not the past and not the exes.
- Don’t forget that sometimes it is only polite to go dutch. At first, of course, one of you can pick up the tab and maybe even most of the tab. But at least once in a while, if you have not been picking up tabs, you have to offer. If you don’t you will seem like a bad date and worse, a bad risk for marriage.
- Control your hang ups about your appearance so as not to put off your date. Even if you are a little bit overweight or your nose is not perfect – especially in the beginning dates – do not spend the whole time talking about these imperfections. It is not going win you any points.
- The final dating pitfall to avoid is being too much of an open book in the beginning. Leave a little bit of mystery. Do not tell all your secrets right out of the starting bloc. Do not reveal every single thing about yourself either. Just because you do a great clown imitation does not mean you need to wow your date with your performance on the first date. Exercise a little bit of reserve.
Is this list exhaustive? Of course not. But these are a good place to start.