Divorce blows. Even people who have gone through the easiest of divorces can agree on that. The other person is a (insert your own colorful name here) and you can’t wait to begin your life without the ex dragging you down. The process of dating after divorce is different for everyone, but one thing is certain—it’s better to take things slow, rather than jumping in with both feet spread wide open.
You may think that statement seems odd coming from a guy, and you’re right. It is. Logic would dictate that we want the recently divorced ladies to get out there and get, uh, jiggy, with us. You are actually correct—we do want that, but it’s not what’s best for the rookie dater. Trust me. I know.
My first date, “After”, ended up being a very strange and wholly unique situation. The short version is that she looked hot and I was completely turned on by her, yet at the same time I was scared by her looks. Twenty minutes into our date, as I was filling my mouth with a bite of food, she informed me that I was cute and that she wanted to have sex with me, but she couldn’t because she had her monthly visitor. Seriously. It was weird.
I know that date is definitely the exception and not the norm, but date long enough and we all end up with our own individual horror stories. There are self-esteem issues that come into play and if you have kids that opens a whole different can of worms
Dating can blow after divorce (and yes, the good dates generally end up with oral) but there are things you can do to make your dates better. First and foremost, is setting realistic expectations. Just because you met your first spouse and you instantly knew they were the one, don’t expect it will happen again. Maybe it will and maybe it won’t. Either way, you set yourself up for failure if you expect to meet, “The next one” right off the bat.
Take time to think about what you really want. What were qualities you loved about your ex? What qualities did you detest? Take a few moments and make a list with things you want in a partner and things you don’t want. Live your life by that list. I don’t care how hot he or she is, if they have some of those qualities from the bad side of the list, keep looking.
A common after-product of divorce are kids, and let me tell you, they make post-divorce dating very interesting. Be prepared for last minute cancellations due to illness and get ready for the 15 phone calls you will receive during drinks and the appetizer. Dating is scary for you, but it’s also frightening for them.
It doesn’t matter how old the kids are, they will want to know what’s going on with mom or dad and whom you’re now hanging out with. Be prepared to sit down with them and tell them what’s going on. Dating after divorce is a huge thing for them and it will be much easier if they have a basic understanding of what’s going on in your life. You should probably use discretion and not tell them everything that’s happened, if you know what I mean. There is such a thing as TMI.
The bottom line with dating after divorce is to use common sense. If you have kids, think about how this new person may impact your family unit. If you’re childfree, think about how this person will fit into your lifestyle. If there are red flags, heed them, because there are plenty of fish in the sea and no one needs more drama.