Divorce: Divorce Recovery
Letting Go, and Loving Again
The hardest part of divorce recovery is already
behind you: the adjustment to life on your own, without your spouse. You have done your share of crying, gotten
through the sleepless nights, and worked out your issues of anger and resentment with a trained professional (if
not, stop reading this and contact us for help ASAP!). Now you feel healthy
enough to look forward in life, and welcome the opportunity to begin dating after divorce. There's only one
problem: it's been so long since you found yourself on the dating scene, you don't know how to get
The following article is designed as a shorthand primer and set of guidelines for getting yourself back in the
dating pool after divorce recovery is all but certain.
Remember What Fun
You worked so hard to get through the stages of divorce recovery, you may have forgotten what it feels like to
simply relax and enjoy the company of someone new. Whether that person is a friend or a potential mate, the
important thing is to feel comfortable with yourself before undertaking any sort of new relationship.
Dating after divorce will turn into a series of
self-fulfilling prophesies if you allow yourself to be overcome by fear and doubt. Some sort of post-divorce
"baggage" is normal, but your divorce recovery will be delayed if the fear of being hurt again becomes the
driving force in your creating (or avoiding) interpersonal relationships.
Your concerns about the impact of another failed relationship, or worse yet, another divorce, may be holding you
back from dating after divorce. If these fears still feel too overwhelming to you, we recommend that you talk to a
Life Coach who is equipped to help you work through them.
Am I Ready?
To help you decide if you're far enough along in your divorce recovery process to consider the possibility of
dating again, the following checklist may help:
♦ Emotional stability - When you've progressed enough
through your divorce recovery so you're free from fits of rage, extended crying spells and other signs of
volatility, you may be ready to begin dating after divorce.
♦ You no longer see your ex-spouse as a romantic partner - You've
stopped imagining that your former husband or wife will return some day. Better yet, as a sign of a successful
divorce recovery, you now see the father or mother of your children as a friend. In this case, you might very well
be ready to start dating after divorce.
♦ Life has returned to a new sort of "normal" - You know where
you're living, how you're paying your bills, and how your children, if you have them, will be reared and cared for.
There are no logistical "loose ends" to your divorce recovery.
♦ You're OK being alone - You'll be ready for dating after
divorce when you've developed a comfort level with yourself. You now have friends, activities, and hobbies - a full
life by any measure. Welcoming someone new into your life in order to enrich it - not to give it value - is a
healthy sign of divorce recovery, for sure.
Boost Your Self-Esteem and
This bears repeating: the key to successfully dating after divorce is to love yourself - inside and out. A
well-developed, dependable circle of friends, family, and a supportive Life
Coach can help you understand that you deserve to be loved. A healthy divorce recovery means
accepting the fact that you are not forever marked by failure, only because your marriage didn't work out.
However, as important as it is to look after your mental health, you should also take pride in your appearance.
When you arrive at the point where your divorce recovery is all but certain, you'll still want to know that you're
The end of a marriage can be a great time to make other changes too. Dating after divorce can be an opportunity
to embrace a whole "new" you - someone who can take on all that life has to offer. The following suggestions will
help you regain your physical, mental, and emotional confidence as you're getting ready to start dating after
Join a Gym - Physical exercise will provide great benefits for
your mental, as well as physical health. And here's an added benefit too: taking classes at your local gym can be
an easy way to meet new people with similar interests.
Get a New Haircut - Are you still sporting the same hairstyle
that appears in your 10-year-old wedding photo? It may sound silly, but during the divorce recovery process, it can
be empowering to break from the past in more ways than one. Look through fashion magazines or talk to your local
stylist for some trendy looks that suit your features - and your new lifestyle.
Eat Well - We have all heard the saying, "you are what you eat."
Well it's true! The end goal of divorce recovery is a healthier you - in every way possible. Resist the temptation
to use food as emotional compensation. Trade that doughnut for an apple. Not only will you feel more energetic, but
a person who takes good care of themselves is bound to get attention.
Movie actress Gabrielle Union was recently quoted as saying, "After I got separated from my husband, I got a
trainer, got a meal delivery service, and went back to church. I felt like I needed some direction."
Keep in mind the old rule of divorce recovery: looking good can be the best revenge!
While working through the stages of divorce recovery, it may have occurred to you that you possess 20th century
skills in a 21st century world. It may have been awhile since you last "played the field," and it's
only natural to feel some level of anxiety about dating after divorce.
The following tips will help as you work through your divorce recovery, while you're preparing yourself for
dating after divorce:
1. Try to Achieve Balance. While you're thinking about the world of dating after divorce is a
closed chapter in your life, don't neglect your work, your friends or your family - and especially your children.
Keep in mind that you may not yet have reached the stage in your divorce recovery where it's healthy to date -
especially if your need for companionship is solely driven by loneliness or desperation.
2. Not Every Person You Begin Dating After Divorce has to be "The One." It's critical for your
divorce recovery to keep in mind that not everyone you date will be compatible. Don't let the unpredictability of
dating stop you - or cause you to look at yourself negatively. In fact, if you go out with the expectation that
each date must lead to something, you may end up spoiling all the fun. A healthy divorce recovery means learning to
enjoy new experiences and new people - without the pressure of "making things happen."
3. Look Out for the Most Important Person - You. When dating after divorce, it isn't necessary
- or even appropriate - that you share every detail about your life with a new friend. Don't feel the need to talk
about your divorce recovery with a relative stranger. Keep the past in the past and not only will your date find
you more intriguing, but you'll find yourself relaxing more as well.
4. You Don't Have a "Type." Many people who begin dating after divorce trip themselves up by
repeatedly pursuing the same type of potential partner. Are you thinking about someone who's the complete opposite
of your former spouse? Divorce recovery can be a perfect opportunity to open your mind. Maybe that guy you see at
Starbucks in the morning - the one with the tattoo on his arm - is a classically trained pianist. Maybe the
waitress you flirted with is a few months away from her law degree. How will you know if you never ask?
5. Ladies: Don't Wait to Be Asked Out. In the modern world when dating after divorce, it is no
longer inappropriate for a woman to ask a man out on a date. Once your divorce recovery is behind you, if you sense
that spark of interest, why wait for him to come to you?
6. Before You Get Intimate: Get Tested. This is last item on our list of "dating after divorce
tips," but it's also the most important one on the list! Nearly 30 years after the AIDS epidemic started, we teach
our children to practice safe sex and get regular HIV and other STD screenings. It is critical to remind ourselves,
even as older adults, that when we decide to have intercourse with another person, we are also sleeping with
everyone who came before us. You didn't get through your divorce recovery just to compromise yourself. Familiarize
yourself with the latest contraceptive options.
In keeping with our theme that times have changed, online dating (for example, eHarmony and
Match.com) is now the newest and the most common way for people to start dating after divorce. Almost half of
all single adults are now members of the Internet dating community.
Online dating provides more options than traditional ways of meeting singles. The ability to create a
profile and post photos gives you a chance to look through an enormous catalogue of potential dates
- screening for common interests, hobbies, and other criteria.
A Life Coach can help you get ready to date again. It's important that you understand the nuances of online
dating, especially learning how to design a dating profile to attract appropriate partners.
Dating After Divorce
There are many things to consider as you go through the divorce recovery process, and open your mind to the
possibility of finding love again. Before dating after divorce, be sure that you're emotionally strong enough and
well enough to do so. Not only is a healthy person more attractive to potential mates, but you should be fair to
yourself throughout this process too. If you rush into the dating world too soon, you'll risk compromising all the
inner work you've done throughout your divorce recovery by opening old wounds before they've had a chance to
Many people struggle with uncertainty when they think about dating after divorce. You are not alone.
Contact us and we'll help you get through this.
We're just a phone call or email away!
Call for a free coaching session today
The first call is free and there is no obligation.
Call (805) 964-6574
help is just a phone call
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