How to Start a New Relationship After Divorce


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Now that the divorce papers are signed and you’re finally free, you’re likely considering your next move. Divorces aren’t easy, and sometimes, they can be downright messy. Yet, ending a marriage can provide a fresh start and completely change your outlook on life.

Some people decide to remain single after a divorce, whereas others can’t wait to jump back into the dating scene. There’s nothing wrong with establishing a new relationship after divorce — but make sure that you’re ready.

1. Wait Until You’re Ready

Friends and family might encourage you to hit the dating scene again, and they might offer to set you up on a blind date. While they mean well, it’s important that you wait until you’re ready. If you ended a long-term relationship or dealt with an ugly divorce, dating and starting a new relationship might be the last thing on your mind. Don’t let anyone force you into a new relationship. Take time to heal and regroup. Besides, you don’t need a relationship to be happy.

2. Evaluate Your Mistakes

It’s easy and convenient to blame a divorce on another person. However, we all have bad habits and annoying traits. And whereas the other person may have greatly contributed to the relationship breakdown, some of your actions might have contributed to the divorce as well. You need to take an honest look at yourself and determine what you could have done differently. The sooner you acknowledge your mistakes in the relationship, the sooner you can move on. Thinking that you’re perfect and innocent can affect future relationships because you’re likely to bring these annoying traits into your next relationship.

3. Be Choosey

Before hitting the dating scene after divorce, create a list of things that you want in a partner, and a list of things that you don’t want. Dating after divorce is scary. You might fear falling for someone like your ex or repeating past mistakes. However, if you know what you want from the beginning, you can avoid people who don’t meet these expectations. I’m not suggesting super high standards that are impossible to meet. You might want someone who likes to travel, eat out or try new things. On the other hand, you might want to avoid people who smoke, curse or hang out all night.

4. Network

When you’re ready to date again, ask around and get names of single people from your family or friends. You can always meet a random stranger at a bar or club. However, you don’t know anything about this person. Don’t frown at the idea of getting set up by a friend or family. Your family and friends know what you’re looking for and they can screen guys or girls on your behalf. You can avoid a bunch of duds and find Mr. or Mrs. Right quicker.

5. Listen to That Little Voice in Your Head

It’s important to keep your guard up when dating after a divorce. You might feel vulnerable and lonely after a divorce. This is normal, however, feeling this way can cause you to put on blinders. You can overlook annoying habits or undesirable traits and repeat the past. Bring a chaperone on your dates and then get this person’s opinion. Friends and family will tell you the truth and help you determine whether a person is good for you.

Getting it right the second (or third) time around is the goal. And if you follow these tips, you’ll not only improve yourself along the way, but you’ll weed out a bunch of people who don’t measure up.

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