4. Are You Ready For Step One Of The Dating Two-Step?
Once the majority of your anger, sadness, and shame have subsided, and you are feeling more like yourself, it is time for Step One of the Dating Two-Step. Step One is called "Recreational Dating". Recreational dating is all about just having fun — not looking for a committed relationship. This is the perfect type of dating to do when you want to go out but have not yet gotten your life completely back on track.
For this to work, you must be upfront and honest with the women you are dating. Let them know that you are recreationally dating and not looking for a committed relationship. Be forthright and say "I've recently come out of a divorce. I'm just looking to meet new people and have fun." Let them know you will be dating other women at the same time. Women may translate just having fun into wanting to have sex (which may or may not be on your agenda). Be prepared for some women to turn you down since they may be looking for Mr. Right and don't want to waste their time "just having fun." It makes your life easier if the women are on the same page as you are.
It is important when recreationally dating to have boundaries — emotionally, psychologically and physically. Decide how much time you need in between dates with each woman in order to keep your boundaries and keep you from becoming attached. Decide if you're going to go "dutch" or if you are going to pay. Clearly communicate this before the date begins to avoid uneasiness at the end of the evening.
Recreational dating can be very informal, for example: meeting for a cup of coffee, a walk, a bicycle ride or hanging out with a group of friends. Remember the goals of recreational dating are to have fun, experience different types of women and to get back into the dating world as you're getting your life back together. If a relationship is starting to develop or you stop having fun, you need to stop seeing each other as both of these are not part of recreational dating. With time, you will be ready for Step Two of the Dating Two-Step: Long-term committed dating.
Being a divorced man and starting over after 50 has its challenges but they are not insurmountable. It isn't about seeing whether you can get into a new relationship faster than your ex; you have 30 to 40 years ahead of you! Take your time and create a better relationship the next time around. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time to heal and forgive. Delve into your new life purpose and vision. Develop and enhance your relationship skills. Finally, use recreational dating as a tool to have fun and ease yourself back into the strange, exciting, rewarding world of dating.