Returning to dating in your 50s after a divorce can be daunting, especially after a long marriage. The only one who will know if you are truly ready to start dating after a divorce is you, but here are some things to think about before embarking on that first date.
1. Are you ready to start dating after your divorce? Take stock of your own emotions and what it is you really want by starting to date. What is it you want from a potential new relationship? Are you lonely and think that dating again will help fill that void left by your ex-husband? If this is the case you may not be ready, as it will be extremely difficult for most people to meet your expectations. Are you just looking for male company and looking to do things as a couple from time to time? Are you looking for someone to build a long term relationship with? Think about what ‘dating’ means to you
2. How confident are you feeling? If you have just gone through a difficult divorce you may be feeling fairly low. Are you ready to let yourself be emotionally exposed? In starting dating you need to prepare yourself for potential disappointments and rejection, are you strong enough yet to cope?
3. What kind of person do you want to date? Your instinct may be to try and find someone who is the polar opposite of your ex. Think carefully first- would someone so different really make for a happy relationship for you? Would you really be compatible in the longer term? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! Just because your marriage led to divorce doesn’t mean that some similarities to your ex would necessarily be a bad thing. Be open minded and accept people for who they are, not reject because who they remind you of. ? It will be difficult not to make comparisons to your ex. If you really like this new person in your life give them a chance, because what you see and think may not be what they intend for you to see and think. It is hard for them to overcome the demons of your past relationship if you’re not open to giving them a chance.
Are your expectations for each date too high?
4. Be prepared for disappointment. Don’t set your expectations too high for each date. If you are meeting through an agency or online dating site, remember the person you are meeting is likely to have several other ‘dates’ planned in the diary- as you may well have too. Think of each first ‘date’ as an introductory chat – you may well be meeting ‘the one’, but be prepared to meet people who, although being perfectly nice individuals, may not be somebody you would want to become romantically involved with. Don’t feel pressured into seeing someone again if your instincts tell you they are really not right for you. However, if you feel comfortable with someone on a first meeting, at least be open to a second date- often the first date can involve nerves on both sides- but a second date can be more relaxed and allows for the true personality to come through.
Don’t be afraid to start dating after divorce, but know who you are and what you want from dating when you start. Be realistic and trust your instincts!
Photo credit: jscreationzs