9 Powerful Reminders For Your First Date After Divorce

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man and woman on a date

Are you thinking about dating now that your divorce is final? Your first date after divorce doesn’t have to be stressful. It can be the first step toward a new life with someone who is a better match for you.

You may feel apprehensive about getting back into the dating scene.

Have the rules for dating changed? Do you have to download an app to meet someone? Are you worried about being taken advantage of? Do you have fears about opening your heart to someone again?

You don’t have to overthink the whole experience. Taking a few commonsense steps and discovering a new approach to dating can make your first date after divorce easy and enjoyable.

RELATED: Mastering Dating After Divorce (Even If You’d Just Rather Give Up)

Here are 9 powerful reminders for your first date after divorce.

1. Make sure you’re dating for the right reasons.

Dating should be fun. You’re looking to meet new people and have new experiences. You can get out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons.

Your first date isn’t going to change everything. Don’t look for validation of your worthiness or lovability. Dating again isn’t a solution to feeling lonely or brittle from your divorce.

If you're still hurting or feeling angry from your divorce, take time to heal your heart and focus on feeling better. Put off dating until you feel more grounded and positive.

You attract what you are, so you want to feel good about your life as it is when you start dating.

2. Learn new tools for dating.

Dating itself hasn’t changed but the tools used to meet people are constantly evolving. It can feel intimidating and a bit overwhelming looking through the newest technological options.

Online dating, dating apps, and other technologies are just tools for meeting people.

You can try to avoid the apps and hope that you accidentally bump into to love of your life at Starbucks. Or you can invest a little bit of time to educate yourself about using the tools properly.

You wouldn’t expect to find a new job without using a tool like LinkedIn. There’s a much better opportunity of meeting people who are single and interested in a relationship when you use dating apps — these tools were created to bring single people together.

3. Create unique rules for dating.

You get to set the pace of the dating process. You’re in charge of how much interaction via text, email, or the telephone you need to have before you feel comfortable meeting in person.

Maybe you want to see if someone can string a few interesting sentences together in an email. Or maybe you're curious about the sound of his voice. Is it important that you see each other on a video chat or are you cool just to meet in person first?

These are your rules. You get to decide what you’re comfortable with and how you want to approach your first date. The key is to set up your rules so you feel comfortable and confident about your approach.

4. Don’t look for your soulmate in a profile.

It’s easy to get hung up on finding someone who's a match for you by looking for clues in their online profile.

Creating a strict set of rules about what someone writes about themselves isn’t going to prevent you from wasting your time with the wrong person. If you approach dating with the right mindset, very few experiences will be a waste of your time.

Most people don’t know how to write an effective online dating profile or don’t really know how to take a good picture. You don’t have to waste your time on Google or Facebook screening potential dates like you’re a detective.

Ultimately, you will not identify an ideal match through a dating profile. You’ll need to embrace the dating process and discover the fun of meeting new people.

Before scrolling through an app, set yourself up in a good mood with a mindset of curiosity. Most importantly, look for reasons to say, "Yes."

Don’t hold the unrealistic expectation that your first date will be with "The One." You’re just looking to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with someone — that’s it.

5. Keep your first date short and sweet.

This is just a first meet. Planning something elaborate and romantic before you know the person will set you up for disappointment. Ultimately, it’s just a date. You’re not committing to anything by agreeing to meet up for coffee or a cocktail.

Keep your first meeting to about an hour. Use this time to see if you have anything in common or if there's any attraction between the two of you. Be open and curious and do your best to show up authentically.

Have plans afterward so you avoid extending the date. On a first meeting, never leave the first location and agree to go to a second location. Leave him wanting more.

If he's interested in you, he will ask you out for another date. He may wait a day or two to ask you out again, so don’t be surprised if you part from that first meeting, not sure where he stands.

RELATED: 12 Tips On Dating After Divorce, According To A Professional Matchmaker

6. Be curious.

It’s easy to get frustrated with dating if you have a critical and judgmental mindset. You will meet people who have different approaches to love and dating.

Some of them may clash with yours. For your first date, don’t take anything too seriously — the goal is to have fun.

If you know you have a loud critic inside of you, do your best to cultivate curiosity instead.

This will keep your focus off of yourself and on getting to know this new person. Plus, curiosity is attractive.

Everyone likes to spend time with a person who's interested in getting to know them.

Approach your first date with a curious mindset and you’ll be sure to have a pleasant experience.

7. Focus on the positive.

Many people like to bond over negative experiences. You’ve likely heard the phrase: Misery loves company. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sharing about your divorce or what went wrong in your marriage.

Your first date isn’t an opportunity to trash your ex or share how badly you screwed things up. Keep any information about your divorce or your ex to a minimum.

If the two of you hit it off and things become more serious over time, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share about the past.

8. Don’t get hung up on chemistry.

You may feel a lot of chemistry on your first date, or you may not feel any at all. This doesn’t mean anything. Just because you feel chemistry doesn’t mean you’ve met your soulmate.

If you don’t, that doesn’t mean that you won’t ever find love again.

Chemistry is just one ingredient of a healthy relationship. It is not the most important thing that you are looking for to make love last.

Your first date is an opportunity to get your feet wet and start dating again — that’s all!

Let go of expectations and allow yourself to be present in the moment and enjoy yourself. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to hone your dating skills.

9. Be prepared for mixed emotions.

You got married thinking that it would last and certainly did not expect to be single again. Dating after divorce is the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

You may feel a lot of mixed feelings about the experience and that’s OK.

Whatever you feel is appropriate. Allow yourself the experience of getting out there again and let yourself feel all of your feelings about it, whatever they may be.

The more you get out there, the more confident you will feel in your ability to create the kind of relationship you’re looking for.

Instead of stressing about your first date after divorce, keep things light and fun.

You'll feel good about taking your first step back into the dating world.

Then, you can embrace this new chapter in your life and feel energized by the opportunities coming your way.

RELATED: The 3 Biggest Dating Mistakes Women Make After Getting Divorced

Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s "The Millionaire Matchmaker." They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with If you're looking to find your soulmate, download their free report, "7 Steps To Soulmating" from their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love On Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.