Ignorance is NOT Bliss
The papers are signed, time has passed. Everyone has settled into a new dynamic. Life has changed.
Some people are eager to jump right back into dating, get back out there and find a new adventure. Many are shy and apprehensive to put themselves out there again. Especially if they've been married for a long time. The idea of dipping your toes back into the ocean of dating can be a daunting task.
While the media would love for us to believe that dating is as simple as putting up a profile and waiting for the replies to roll in, the reality is far from that!
Here are the top 5 lies we tell ourselves about dating after divorce.
1. Dating is the same as it has always been.
Not true. In the age of online dating and social media hook ups, it is so much harder to find authentic people. People can easily post photos that aren't even remotely close to what they look like now. They can use a commercial photo of a model. They can photoshop the heck out of it and when you finally meet face to face, you don't even recognize them. If you are going to dip into online dating, be authentic. Use a recent photo of yourself that you love. Don't start out your dating being deceptive.
2. Whereever you go, there you are.
Work your own stuff out first! It doesn't matter if you think you are pursuing someone the exact polar opposite of your ex spouse. The reality is .... YOU are still the common factor. Invest in a relationship coach or therapy. Figure out what went wrong, what you hold responsibility for and how you can approach dating and marriage differently this time.
3. I'm just looking for something casual.
Be honest! If you are looking to find a significant partner again, quit telling yourself you are casually dating. Be upfront with any potential dates. If you aren't looking for a hook up or casual situation, say so! Why would you waste your time and energy spending time with someone who doesn't even remotely want what you want? The more authentic you are about what you want, the easier it will be to find the same in your dating life.
4. This time I'll marry for .....
If you last relationship struggled financially, chance are you are cautious about money this go around. If your last relationship struggled with intimacy, chances are you have a sore spot for it. You can't dictate who you are going to develop feelings for. If you have taken the time to work on your own issues, chances are, you will be fully ready to meet an incredible person when the timing is right. Making bold statements about marrying for love or money this time around will only come back to bite you in the butt.
5. I am ready to date again.
Are you? Have you truly found peace with your divorce and moved on? We wouldn't wanto date someone who was bitter and saying nasty things about their ex, so be sure you aren't that person either. Take some time to really decide what you want. Travel, go out with your best friends, start a new hobby, pick up a hobby you set down while you were married, join a fitness class, get a style makeover, journal, call your mom. Do what you need to do to BE ready to date again. Rushing headlong from one signficant relationship to the next robs yourself of the luxury of rediscovery. Cherish your time. Guard it closely and when you are ready to share those things you love with someone new, then start dating again.