[Y]our divorce is final; you are exuberant over your new-found freedom. You plan to go out, celebrate with buddies, buy expensive clothes, maybe even a car, or take that exotic vacation you’ve been putting off.
Shoot, maybe you’ll do them all.
While all of that sounds great, it’s a release, not a solution. What about companionship? At some point, you’ll want to share your new life with someone long term, or maybe you’ll want to embrace your new bachelor lifestyle and ‘play the field.’ But whichever of these philosophies you try, you will soon have to face the daunting task of actually asking for a date.
The last time you did that, you drove a Volkswagen Beetle. So how do you get started? After all, the newly divorced make lots of mistakes.
3 Tips to Avoid Minefields in Dating After Divorce
1. Avoid jumping into a serious relationship immediately. You’ll probably end up making the same mistakes you did with your Ex. Instead, settle into your new world, feel comfortable in that lifestyle. Establish lots of ‘me-time’ and get reacquainted with yourself. What are your new goals? What kind of new environment do you want to create? Let the emotion drain; that might take some input from a close relative or family or personal friend. Sorting out those issues won’t happen in one or two sessions, it will take lots of discussion and time. Give yourself a month or two, then have an assessment session, and determine if you are ready to move on.
2. Avoid dating someone like your Ex-spouse. While this sounds logical, emotion and common sense frequently conflict. Whatever traits she had, you grew comfortable with them, whether good or bad. Again, making that decision might require some input from friends/family, but they can help keep you from making a (second) big mistake.
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3. Avoid dating a spouse nemesis. It would be easy to start ‘hanging out’ with one of your Ex spouse’s frenemies. After all, you start with a common interest and you can get revenge on her at the same time. For obvious reasons, this will lead to almost certain failure. And in a short time, you will find yourself having to break up with someone else, and months later, you’ll see you are in the same spot as immediately after your divorce. You began the relationship, in part, to move on, but you didn’t. You just caused yourself more heartache.
Relationship are an important part of life. Use caution and learn from your mistakes. You owe it to yourself to do wiser choices the next time around.