Advice for men on rejoining the dating scene after the divorce
Does this sound familiar to any men out there? Your divorce has been final for months, you’re spending yet another Saturday night home alone, and you are sick of watching Sports Center. Yes, gentlemen, it’s time to start dating again. The idea of meeting someone new might sound terrifying, but it doesn’t need to be. Follow the tips below for diving back into the dating pool.
- make a list of the qualities you are looking for in a partner
- stay on neutral topics that allow for conversation
- be honest on dating sites
- communicate by phone too, not just text
- put the word out to friends, family, and co-workers you’re ready to date
- talk about your ex on the first date
- assume dating is the same as it was before you got married
- have sex on the first date
- be surprised if your emotions are all over the place
- introduce someone to your children until you are in a monogamous, exclusive relationship
Do make a list of the qualities you are looking for in a partner
Getting clear on the type of relationship you want will help you focus more quickly on finding the partner you prefer. Think back to what qualities you liked in your ex, if anything, or identify what you didn’t like about her and look for the opposite.
Do stay on neutral topics that allow for conversation
Before you head out on a first date, have a few questions ready. “Do you like to travel?” Or, “What is your favorite place to visit?” A few more: “What do you like to do on weekends?” and “Have your always lived in this city?” These are easy strategies to keep the conversation going in a way that allows you to get to know each other and find out what you have in common.
Do be honest on dating sites
Honesty is important in a relationship so don’t start off by portraying yourself as someone you’re not. If you don’t want to date someone who has children say that so you aren’t wasting their time or yours.
Do communicate by phone too, not just text
It’s important to connect and you can do that in a more meaningful way by actually talking on the phone than the quick, abbreviated way texting occurs. It also helps avoid miscommunication, as tone can be misunderstood in emails or text messages.
Do put the word out to friends, family, and co-workers you’re ready to date
Often men are more guarded about the topics of love and relationships. Your friends or family may think you don’t want to talk or not know how to broach the subject. If you are up for dating, tell them! They just might know someone great for you to meet.
Do not talk about your ex on the first date
If she asks, you can respond that you are divorced but then ask her a question. See “Do” #2. Chances are your mood will change negatively if you are talking about the past instead of focusing on the future and getting to know the person you are sitting across from.
Do not assume dating is the same as it was before you got married
Social media and smartphones have changed the dating landscape. Facebook and apps like Tinder and Hinge may make the process “easier”, but your personal life may be more exposed than you’d prefer.
Do not have sex on the first date
Take time to get to know someone before you jump back into an emotionally charged situation and be sure to practice safe sex when you do. Having sex on the first date can send the wrong message.
Do not be surprised if your emotions are all over the place
You got divorced for a reason and whether it was for the best or not, you will still feel a range of emotions at some point including grief for what you had or what you thought you had. Going on dates may make you miss your ex, may make you wish you’d left that relationship sooner, or frustrated you have to start over. Confide in a close friend or see a therapist for a few visits to sort through these feelings if they are impacting your daily life.
Do not introduce someone to your children until you are in a monogamous, exclusive relationship
It goes without saying that divorce is tough for kids and so maintaining stability is important. Having your kids meet different women you are casually dating can be confusing and stressful for them so unless it looks like something serious, don’t introduce her to your children.
Dating after divorce can be a daunting idea but it doesn’t have to be awful. Taking time to get clear on the kind of relationship you want before you start can pave the way for this exciting new part of your life.