Socialising after separation or divorce is not something that people think about, especially since this time is one of the hardest for families to go through.
However, if you or your partner is unhappy in the relationship, then often, it’s best to split up before the fighting gets any worse. There is no right or wrong time to start going back out on dates but there are a few things to keep in mind.
Even if dating is the last thing on your mind right now, one day you may want to get back out there.
So brush up on your skills now with these tips:
1. Don’t date until you are ready.
Have friends that are dying to hook you up with people they know? Or, are your single friends pushing you to get back out there with them? If you’re not ready, then don’t do it. You may not be sure when you are ready to get back out there but if dating seems like it could cause you more harm than good, then wait a little while longer. It takes a long time to heal after a divorce, and the best person to look after you – is you. So be kind to yourself before you think about opening up your heart again.
2. Don’t force your friends to take sides.
If you have a lot of mutual friends that you used to double date with, then the divorce is going to impact them, too. Rather than trying to keep the circle alive, step outside for a little while. Keep in touch with your friends but don’t make them choose between you and your ex or try to introduce a new partner into the group too soon. This can make everyone, including your new guy, uncomfortable.
3. Step outside your past dating life.
Try to avoid doing things and going to places that you and your ex visited a lot. This can bring up past memories and you may find yourself comparing the two men, even if you don’t want to do it. Make new memories and step outside your comfort zone. Try new restaurants, new beaches, new movie theatres, new bars and see where it takes you.
Also don’t fall into the trap of contacting old boyfriends (pre-ex husband). Remember you broke up then for a reason.
4. Test the online dating waters.
There are so many more ways to meet people these days than just connecting at a bar. You don’t have to spend your only time away waiting for Mr Right to stumble up to you after a few pints. In fact, this is probably the most useless way to meet people these days. Online dating is something worth trying, especially when you are trying to step back into the game. There is little commitment and you are more in control. Furthermore, you don’t have to call in a sitter or spend your Friday nights at the pub to meet singles in your area.
5. Don’t involve the kids.
Even if you think your kids are still too little to really understand divorce, it is important that you put them first. Most divorced parents agree to only introduce their new partner, or date, to the children after they know it is going well and is getting serious. Watching mum leave the house every weekend with a new guy or waking up with a new man in mummy’s bed is not exactly the ideal situation. Furthermore, try to not involve your ex into your dating life. He doesn’t need to know what you will be doing on the nights when he has the kids, and the less he knows, probably the better, especially until things become serious.
6. Don’t expect too much.
When dating again, keep an open mind. Rather than trying to find the one, look for people that make you laugh and that you have fun with. Try to see the lighter side of dating rather than expecting a full blown relationship right away.