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Dating after Divorce
Dating after Divorce
Dating after divorce isn’t always easy. It wasn’t easy when you were younger, so it sure won’t be easy now that you’re a single parent. Where will you meet someone? Where will you find the time? Do you have enough confidence? How much do you tell your kids, and when? I’ve been there, done that, started all over again, and now I’m glad to share my best tips for surviving single parent dating with you.
Know what you want
After a break up or divorce you may be all about what you don’t want anymore in a relationship. That is one of the advantages of being older and having more experience. From experiencing what you don’t want, you know more clearly what you do want.
Now may be a good time to be aware of your language and focus. Instead of talking about and thinking about what you don’t want anymore, try to find words for what you do want. What’s the difference? When you are still ranting about what you don’t want, you are coming from frustration and anger. If you are able to change your focus, you come from hope and expectation. Which one makes you more attractive, do you think?
Make sure you are ready
Is it still hard for you to stop talking about your ex? Are you tempted to talk about what went wrong? Do you get emotional and caught up in what used to be? Chances are you are not yet ready to start dating again. What you need is a friend, who will listen to you and comfort you.
It is important to make contact with what you really need in your life. You are in a great position. You have done it all. You have had the marriage. You have the children. There is no rush, although it can sometimes feel that way.
I remember breaking up a relationship after ten years. I felt free at last, happy, enjoying myself in my brand new life… until he met someone. Suddenly, I felt this urge to start dating, to get a new man. Why? Only because he went so fast?
I stopped myself. Was this truly what I wanted for myself? Did I really want to throw myself into a new relationship after three months of being single? No, that was not my way of dealing with this break up. It was his way. It didn’t have to be the same for me. What I needed was a new social environment, new friends, people to hang out with. So instead of looking for a date, I took salsa classes.
Dates are not a bandage. If you are lonely, find friends. If you need comfort, ask for a hug. If you need passion, learn how to salsa!
Don’t be afraid to say no
You know what they say about there being plenty of fish in the sea. Well, it is true. Even though you might be under the impression that there are no singles out there, it’s an illusion. You just have to know where to find them. Get out and connect! You’ll see.
That being said, you know what you want, right? Now watch out for red flags. She wants to know what you do or where you are every minute of the day after a few dates? He wants to marry you after three weeks? Be patient. It is okay to stop, take a deep breath and end it.
Don’t introduce your kid(s) on the first date
Of course, you want to be open and honest. Most people will want to know if you have kids even before the first date. However, introducing them may not be the first thing you want to do.
On the other hand, it all should be a natural process. Imagine you have friends. They come to your house. They meet your children. One of them becomes more important to you over time, and you start dating. Your kids already know him/her, so how do you go about it now?
In my experience, everything depends on what you say, how you say it, and what age your children are. Older children might enjoy hearing about your dating adventures. They might even learn a thing or two, so be AWESOME! Younger children may not really understand what is happening. The whole dating process is honestly not their cup of tea. They don’t know what it means exactly, until they experience the consequences in their own life. When a stranger starts to get more attention then they do, or if Mummy is texting all the time, then they will react. They will ask questions, and may feel resentment. Explaining what is going on, in words they can understand, will help them adjust gradually.
Keep your kids’ mental state in mind
Another aspect to keep into consideration is the process your children are going through after the divorce. How are they coping? Are they still hanging on to the dream of getting mom and dad back together? Are they willing to move on?
You don’t have to wait until they are ready, of course. You might have to wait forever for kids to let go of that dream. Nevertheless, it is important to know how much confrontation with reality they will be able to deal with. Reality is: Mom and Dad are divorced. You having a new relationship will confront them with that reality. That is a good thing, but be considerate. And expect your new partner to be just as considerate.
So go now! Start dating! Or not… Whatever you do, never forget to be you. Always be you.
About the Author
Linda Nuyts is a single mother of 4 and inspirational writer. Living in Belgium and enjoying life to the fullest! Find out more about Linda at the links below (though you’d better be able to speak Dutch!).
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/levenmethartenziel
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