You may find it difficult to re-enter the dating after separation or divorce. A couple key considerations when you are contemplating re-entry into the dating scene:
- Are you ready to date again?
It’s okay to take a time-out, before you start dating again. You might feel a sense of urgency, for example, you may want to “compete” with your ex, who already has a girlfriend lined up. However, in fact, there’s no need to rush, and it’s probably better if you allow yourself time to grieve and time to heal before you head back into the singles market.
You’re not ready to re-enter the dating scene if:
- You break into tears every time you talk about your marriage;
- You go into a rage when someone mentions your ex-husband;
- You spend your evenings recollecting happy or sad memories of your marriage;
- Your mood goes up and down, depending upon your interaction, or lack of it, with your ex;
Another consideration- if you are separated… you’re still married – becoming involved in a secondary relationship may have legal consequences for you.
Finally, if you are nervous about dating because “it’s been so long”, that should not be a deterrent. This is a natural and understandable feeling, but it shouldn’t stop you from getting out and hopefully, finding a new best friend that will cherish you in the manner you deserve.
- What are you looking for?
When you feel that you are ready to date again, you should ask yourself what you are seeking. For example, do you want a casual acquaintance or a serious boyfriend.
- What qualities are you seeking?
If you’re restricting yourself to a casual relationship, it’s not particularly important to focus on the qualities that you are seeking in a serious relationship. However, it is very important that when you are progressing towards a serious relationship, you are doing this with the person who has the right qualities for you. On a basic level, choose a person who has respect and compassion.
- What have you learned from your last serious relationship?
In some cases, there is little to be learned from a severed relationship – this is evident in a situation in which your ex underwent some sort of mid-life crisis, and suddenly and with no warning, decided that he wanted to be a “free man” after being a perfect, responsible husband and father for 20 years There’s not much to be learned from this scenario, other than the basics of protecting yourself financially “just in case”. However, in other scenarios, one can take away a life lesson. If there is a lesson to be learned, apply it in recognize the signals that will identify this quality and stay away from a man who exhibits the signals!
- Try to have a positive outlook on your past relationships!
Nobody wants to date a person who is whining about their past relationships or who coddles personal baggage. Take away the lessons that you learned, dump the personal baggage as best you can, and move forward. Think about how you will answer when you are asked, “what went wrong in your marriage?” When you are able to talk about your past relationships in a positive manner, you are definitely ready to go on your first date!
Are You Date-Ready?
Your divorce is final and you are considering taking a dip back into the singles scene but you’re not sure if you are ready to date again. Take our quiz below and evaluate your score to see if you are indeed “date-ready”.
1. Your best friend mentions over dinner that she knows a nice, attractive man she would like to introduce to you.
What is your reaction:
(a) You run from the dinner table in horror.
(b) You ask your friend for the man’s resume and a recent photograph.
(c) You ask your friend to provide the man’s cell phone number directly to you.
2. You are having another tedious day at the office. You slip into fantasy-mode. Your fantasy consists of the following:
(a) You are the winner of a worldwide ping-pong tournament.
(b) You are attending a party hosted by P. Diddy.
(c) You are having a romantic dinner with a handsome and gallant mystery man.
3. Your sister invites you for a night out with a group of friends. You accept the invitation. How do you dress for the occasion?
(a) You wear a loose sweater and casual pants. You might as well be comfortable, after all, you have no one to impress.
(b) You choose casual pants and a tailored blazer, but you wear no make-up and don’t bother to wear your contact lens. Although it’s a “night out” you are accompanied by ladies only.
(c) You select a snazzy but event-appropriate outfit, which flatters your figure, and you apply make-up and some shiny hoop earrings- even though you’re going out with the girls, you never know when or where you might meet Mr. Right.
4. You receive an invitation to a singles event. What is your response?
(a) You ignore the invitation and pretend it never came to your attention.
(b) You delay your RSVP during which time you attempt to find at least 3 girlfriends that will accompany you to the event.
(c) You confirm your attendance.
5. You have spent considerable time on an Internet dating site. You finally “connect” with an interesting potential date. He asks you for an e-mail address. How do you respond:
(a) You consider his request… and decide he might be a psycho and it’s best to never communicate with him again.
(b) You refuse his request but ask him to provide his e-mail to which you may respond, in due course.
(c) You create a web-based e-mail address which is safe and confidential which you can delete at a later date, if need be, and provide it to him.
How to evaluate your score:
For each answer marked (a), score 3 points.
For each answer marked (b), score 2 points.
For each answer marked (c), score 1 point.
If you scored 5 – 9 points: you are definitely ready to enter the social scene. Best of success on the man-hunt!
If you scored 10 – 12 points: you are almost ready to re-enter the social scene. Try reading a few racy romance novels to give you the motivation to “get out there” and meet your soul-mate.
If you scored 13 – 15 points: you should enjoy a little more time getting to know who you are and what you want. You’ll know when the time is ripe, for you to start dating again. When you are date-ready, there will be an incredible man waiting to share time with you.
If you’re just coming out of a divorce or a long relationship, it can be beneficial to know some good and bad places to meet men. Let’s look at common ways to meet men.
Best and Worst Places for Newly Single Women to Meet Men
Common Interest Groups
Join a club or sporting league of something you are interested in. Unless it’s knitting, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter some single men through this activity. Go to concerts of musicians you really like. It’s okay to go alone, maybe you’ll meet an interesting guy. The best part of this approach is that you know you have at least one thing in common before even knowing their name.
This can be both a good and bad way to meet men depending on if you know what you’re doing. Realize that probably 95% of men you’ll encounter online have one or more of the following negative traits: an interest purely in sex (player), a crappy personality that renders them needing to use the Internet to find women or someone who doesn’t even check their dating profile. But if you can filter out the 95% and get to the 5%, online dating can be a pretty good way to meet men.
This is a very popular method; the matchmaker method. Be careful, though. Dating friends or friends of friends is certainly convenient but it can also cause drama. Sometimes it’s a good idea to keep a delineation between your friendships and romantic interests.
I strongly advise against dating co-workers. A lot of people do it because it’s very convenient and also kind of sexy in a way since it has a “forbidden” element to it, but there are enough downsides to this approach that it should be off-limits. Things will go well at first, but after you reach the “comfortable” stage, dating a co-worker can be hell. You never get a break from that person since you see them at work and at home. Moreover, it can feel like you’re always at work since you basically never get a break from being around a co-worker. Leave these men alone. Keep a strong dividing line between co-workers and romantic interests. You are two different people: the professional you and the personal you. Don’t mix them up, it’s just not worth it.
At the Gym
Typically a lot of men you’ll encounter at a gym are single or at least available. People tend to have a stronger interest in taking care of themselves and staying in top shape when they know they’re on the dating market.
Dating a neighbour is another one of those trick dating methods where the downsides ultimately outweigh the convenience. Most people don’t realize this at first. While it’s easy and comforting to date someone who lives next door to you, it’s far from ideal. Ultimately you’ll find that it feels like you basically live with someone you just started dating. It’s an invasion of your space. You won’t be able to get away or feel like you’ve gotten away from the other person unless you take a vacation. Keep your home your personal “you” space and don’t let anyone into it on a whim.
To be sure, you can certainly encounter some good, interesting men to date at bars and clubs. You can also encounter a lot of douchebags though just looking to get laid. Usually the nature of the bar determines what the men are prone to be like. If it’s super trendy and a big “hot spot”, chances are a lot of the guys there are just interested in casual encounters. If it’s a little less pretentious and down to earth, who knows, maybe you’ll meet the next Mr. Right.
Fun Ideas for a Second or Third Date
You met a guy for coffee and the coffee date was great. You met him a second time, for an early dinner, and that went well, as well. Are you stumped for an idea for a third date? You could go for dinner again, with him, or you could do something unusual, that would give you insight into the person that he truly is.
Check out the following fun ideas below, perfect for a third date:
- Pick a couple recipes, prepare all the ingredients and challenge your date to a cook-a-thon, it’s a win-win situation because you both get to eat the result (just in case, keep the number for a take-out restaurant handy).
- Sightsee the tourist traps in your own city and especially a museum or a zoo
- If weather permits, enjoy a picnic
- Try a pottery or ceramic-painting class
- Try a yoga class together
- Attend a comedy movie on a Sunday afternoon
- Skip dinner and just go out for an ice cream sundae
- Surprise your new friend by playing a sporting event that you recorded for him, because you knew he missed it due to work commitments
- Pick an area of the city of which you are unfamiliar, but which is filled with small, unique stores and take the time to walk around and explore it
The good news is that, if you are with the “right person”, you’ll have fun no matter how you choose to spend the time together!