Dating after Divorce

Tips
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You walked down the aisle with someone you thought you'd spend the rest of your life with, only to find yourself single years later. Moving on to a new life takes a lot of courage, but you want to build a life with someone new. Dating can be an overwhelming prospect. Where do you even begin?

There are so many ways to meet people - including online dating. But if you've never done it, maybe to you it seems like taking out an embarrassing personals ad. But it doesn't have to be. The majority of single people meet others through online dating sites. In fact, it's one of the biggest online industries out there, with more and more sites popping up each week - and more subscribers every day looking to meet people like you.

I've put together some tips to help you ease in to the online dating experience if you've been out of the dating scene for a while. The main thing to remember is, take your time. There's no rush, and it gets easier the more you do it.

Start with research. Since there are so many websites out there, how do you know which one to choose? Chances are, you'll like some formats better than others but this is after you've tried them out for a while. Most sites offer free trial periods so you can check them out with no obligation. The key thing to determine first is: are there any non-negotiables for you? For instance, do you only want to date people of a certain religion, age, political persuasion, or anything else that might be important to you? There are niche sites for these specific parameters. On the other hand, if you are open to meet many different types of people, you may want to try some of the larger, more popular sites like Match.com.

Don't overshare. There's no need to divulge all the details of your divorce or past relationship in your profile or over email messages with your matches. Think of dating like forming a new friendship. You're getting to know each other to see if you'll enjoy each other's company. Focus on the present - what you want, how you envision your life, and who you are.

Be safe. If you're on Facebook or Twitter, don't friend your dates until you've started going out with one on a regular basis. People you meet online don't need access to such personal information, especially when you don't know if you'll continue to date. Arrange to meet in a public place for the first few dates; don't agree to be picked up. Let a friend know where you are. These are some basic safety rules for online dating worth mentioning, because it's better to keep yourself out of harm's way when you're meeting someone new.

Have fun. Dating isn't a chore, it's a way to meet people and try out new places together. If there's a museum exhibit you'd like to see or a restaurant you'd like to try, invite a date out with you. Have a friend check your profile to help with your photos or descriptions of yourself. Most importantly, take your time and focus on meeting people and enjoying yourself rather than the end result.

Happy dating!