Written by Jenny Erikson on CafeMom's blog, The Stir
Dating is rough, man. Well, sometimes it’s really good, but dang it if it doesn’t suck when that guy you thought you totally connected with doesn’t seem to return the feeling. Or maybe you’re getting along just fine, but then he says or does something that immediately snaps you to attention -- and not in a good way.
The fact of the matter is that if you’re dating after divorce, you’ve got baggage. It’s hard to go from a supposedly lifelong committed relationship to dinner with someone you met online, texted a couple of times, and maybe had a phone conversation or two with. It’s exciting, yes, but it can also be nerve-racking as all get out.
Here are some tips for surviving the beginning stages of a brand new relationship after divorce.
Remember that he’s not your ex: This is possibly the most important one to remember. Just because he mentions his mom doesn’t mean he’s a mama’s boy, and if he doesn’t text you for a day or two, it doesn’t mean he’s willfully ignoring you -- he may just be super busy. Of course he’s not perfect (neither are you) but he’s got his own unique issues that you’ll figure out eventually if the relationship keeps moving forward. For now, just enjoy the not knowing.
Don’t date to cheer yourself up: Date when you feel good enough about yourself to risk the rejection of, well, rejection. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll meet your next life partner two seconds after your marriage ended, which means that there are going to be some times where you’re just not that into each other, and of course the painful times when he’s just not that into you. Try to be in a healthy, emotional place before you open yourself up to that.
Play the field: If you’re fresh out of a divorce, chances are that you’ve been obsessing over your relationship with your ex-spouse for a while. The last thing you need is to obsess over one person again, which you may have a natural inclination to do if you put all your dating eggs in one basket.
Take care of yourself: Don’t expect a new flame to be an emotional crutch, or have anything to do with your honey-do list. This is the time to show him, but more importantly yourself, that you’re a capable lady who would like a man, but doesn’t need one.
Remember that men are like buses: Another one is always around the corner. Seriously, it’s ridiculous how many single people are out there looking for love just like you. If it doesn’t work out after a few dates with someone, don’t try to hold onto it with a death grip. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole never does anyone any good. Take a deep breath, tell yourself you just prevented your second divorce, and let it go.
What was your biggest challenge dating after divorce?
More from The Stir:
6 Ridiculous Divorce Stats That Will Scare Any Sane Woman
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20 Things Divorce Taught Me
10 Things I'll Do Differently in My Second Marriage
5 Real Reasons Men Leave a 'Happy Marriage'