The Huffington Post | By Brittany Wong
You have to be an emotional gladiator to go out there and date again after divorce. From getting swiped into oblivion by potential dates on Tinder to translating what he meant with that “want 2 hang out?” text, post-split dating is clearly not for the faint of heart.
But know that you’re not the first person to attempt to find love again after divorce — and you’re certainly not the first divorcé to feel shaken up and conflicted over the mere thought of it.
So to alleviate some of your fears, we asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter to share the one piece of advice they’d offer fellow divorced folks looking to date again. See what they had to say below, then head to the comments and weigh in with your advice.
1. “Think of it this way: You know what you DON’T want. Now go out there and figure out what you DO want.”
2. “Fix yourself first. When you’re able to tell your story and not cry then you’re ready to date.”
3. “The dating scene has changed since you were last part of it. It takes time to process that along with everything you’ve been through with the divorce. Be cognizant of that and try your hardest to take things slow.”
4. “Don’t cling to someone new just because you’re lonely. Be picky. Think long and hard about what you no longer want to invite into your life and once you have, don’t compromise those things for the sake of companionship (even if it is super hot companionship — sigh).”
5. “Only date when you’re ready and know that the time it takes to be ready varies from person to person. Once you’re open to dating, feel free to make mistakes and embrace this new phase in your life. I don’t mean be completely hedonistic, but feel free to be adventurous and get to know new people.”
6. “Date, date, date. But take time to make yourself happy first and don’t expect the people you’re seeing to help you get over your divorce. Dates are not band-aids.”
7. “Remember: Not everyone is just like your ex.”
8. “Find out who the person you’re dating is by asking questions — lots of questions.”
9. “Make sure that you are completely healed from all of your past relationships and that you’re no longer carrying around any sort of emotional baggage. If you’re emotionally unavailable, you’ll attract the wrong people, fall into the wrong types of relationships, and the vicious cycle will continue to repeat itself. Instead, go into any potential new relationship with a clear conscience and an open, pure heart that’s ready to give and receive joy.”
10. “The first one (or fifty) is not (usually) ‘the one.’ Have fun and don’t feel badly about that.”
11. “Take the time to heal yourself first; otherwise it’s not fair to you, or the person you date.”
12. “Don’t take dating too seriously. It should be fun! If it’s not fun, it’s time to take a step back and wait to get back out there.”
13. “Know this: If you’re going to try online dating, you need to develop some thick skin.”
14. “You have a better understanding of love now. Commit to loving yourself first and you’ll create an example of the love you expect from others.”
15. “Find strength in yourself. No man or woman will fill a void. Once you realize that, still go slow. Even when it hurts to go slow. Those were by far the hardest lessons for me to learn.”