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Allow Yourself to Grieve
A divorce is very similar to a death in many ways. It is the end to a part of your life and can be an extremely emotional time. This will partially depend on the reason for the breakup – some people will find that it is just the closure that they need while others will focus on where their relationship went wrong.
You need to give yourself the time to grieve over the breakup. Get angry over the situation, be upset and cry, talk to your friends about it but at the end you need to accept it. Once you accept it, you will be ready to move on and take the rest of the steps for dating after a divorce. If you can’t accept it, you will never be able to make a future relationship work.
By not accepting that the relationship is over, you will struggle to move on. You will constantly compare the new person in your life with your ex-partner. You will want the same spark or the same feelings.
Make Sure You Are Ready
You don’t have to start dating right away. It is important that you are ready. Even after accepting the divorce, parts of it will be fresh on your mind and will affect the way you treat other potential partners and the dates. If you are not ready for love, you will not find it and will start to self-sabotage all your dates.
Don’t feel pressured to get yourself out there. Only you can tell if you’re ready for dating after a divorce. Of course you may feel scared, but make sure that fear is genuine and not because you’re not ready. If you are scared, talk to friends and see if they can help settle your fears – many may be willing to be there for you at the end of the date to share your experience.
Avoid dating because you want to fill that void your ex-partner has left. Date because you want to find someone special.
Build Your Confidence
Remember the mention that you’re going to be scared? Well, to battle this, you need to build your confidence. This will help prepare you for the dating pool. Building the confidence is harder for some than others – it depends how long you were married for, how comfortable you were in that relationship and how you feel about yourself.
If you’re not happy about your looks or weight, do something about them! Get a new haircut, go on a diet or try out new makeup. These will instantly offer more self-esteem. However, they are slightly superficial – you need to build the way you see yourself and be happier in yourself as a person.
Make a list of all the good things about you – the things that you can do, the best parts of your body, parts of your personality you love. These will help to show you that it’s not all bad and will help show off those parts when it comes to dating after a divorce.
Should You Opt for Online Dating?
There are many dating sites specific for divorcees, but should you opt for them? Online dating doesn’t have the same stigma that it once did but it still isn’t widely accepted – and definitely isn’t for everyone. If you’re trying to build your confidence levels, meeting someone through online dating could really help. You get to see a couple of pictures but you will be able to learn more about them before meeting. It removes the awkward silences and gives you time to think about how to reply – as you get to know them, then you can meet in person and you will already have lots to talk about.
There’s no need to be a tech-savvy person to benefit from online dating but you do have to be careful. People hide behind computer screens and you may be worried that you have no idea about who you’re really talking to. This puts many people off. The good news is that the bad parts are in the minority – you just hear about it more!
Don’t start dating until you’re really ready for it. You want to be over the divorce and ready to move on. This will stop you comparing all your dates with your ex-partner. Once you are ready, you can choose the way you meet people. Online dating could be an option for you if you want the safety net of getting to know someone before meeting but it is entirely up to you. No one else can make a decision for you – only you know if you’re ready to start dating after a divorce and how you’re going to do it.