Here’s some sound advice for anyone trying to get back into the dating game, regardless of gender.
Holding onto the baggage of a broken relationship can continue to harm you long after the divorce papers are signed. It’s easier to place the blame of a failed marriage on your ex, but an honest self-assessment will probably reveal the part you played in its destruction as well. Placing blame means you haven’t forgiven, but forgiveness will set you free to move on, baggage free. It also will allow you to be the great co-parent your children need.
Make sure you have healed any wounds left from the divorce before jumping back into the dating pool. Take your time to get to know yourself and what you really want in life first. Then you will know what you are looking for in a new relationship
Now here’s a few more tips to newbie singles to avoid some common mistakes made after a marriage has ended.
- Once you are single again, giving in to playboy/girl -itis is not in your best interests and definitely not your children’s. If you do date, make the children your priority, not your libido. Despite your innate fear of being friends first (code for no sex) with another person, it’s not a bad idea to get to know someone before intimacy, whether you’re a parent or not.
- Is the person you’re dating looking for a companion or a project? If you get the feeling they want to make you over to suit their needs … run.
- Feeling desperate? Don’t act that way. Neediness doesn’t come off well.
- Honesty is always best and builds respect — a good foundation to build a relationship on.
- In the age of technology, phoning is still the preferred way to follow-up on a date.
- No talking about the crazy ex. That’s for your therapist, not yourdate.
- No matterhow nice, how great your date is, keep it to yourself — absolutely no sharing with the children. If you feel like you really need to talk about the new friend in your life, call your buddy or BFF. And keep it out of earshot of the kids. They may not consider your reentry into the dating world as wonderful as you do.
- Don’t compare every date to your ex. In doing so, you are dooming all chances at a relationship from the get-go. If you can’t get the bad breakup mojo out of your head, you aren’t ready to put yourself out there.
- Rebound relationships can be disastrous to your fragile psyche so soon after a divorce. It’s easy to do something foolish on the rebound, so beware — and be aware.
- Dating should be fun, not a road map to marriage. Relax, be your true self, and don’t worry about the end game.
If you do find a significant other, don’t introduce them to your children too soon after the divorce. Be sensitive to your children’s point of view when bringing someone new into their lives, especially if the whole package includes other kids in the mix.
Finally, don’t rush to remarry too soon. Allow yourself time to build a new life and deal with the old in a constructive way. Common sense and good, honest reflection can give you a fresh outlook and a new foundation to build your single life upon — for yourself and your children.