Many men and women who have recently gone through a divorce are reluctant to enter into the social arena again. They often have negative feelings about themselves. First, they are older now than when they last were single and out socializing, so their looks have changed. This can cause consternation. There are often suffering from feelings of low self-esteem due to the failure of their marriage. If there are children involved in the family separation that can exacerbate the situation.
It’s important; however, if you should find yourself in this situation that you not become isolated, especially if you are a single parent. It’s easy to feel guilty leaving your children at home with a babysitter while you go out. After all, they are also dealing with the stress of the divorce. It’s true you do need to give extra TLC to your children, but you can’t forget that if you become lonely and depressed, you will not be as focused on them as they need you to be. Take some time for yourself and get out of the house. It’s okay to have some fun. You will probably be a better parent for it.
If you are not going out because you feel dreadful or unattractive, you can change that. Start by eating healthy and exercising. Plan fun activities. Make sure you get outside every day for an hour.
Money might be tight after a divorce, so you might not want to, or simply cannot, spend it on a babysitter. There are solutions. Perhaps you have a friend or family member who would enjoy helping you out by watching the kids. Another idea is to find, or start, a co-op babysitting group. Friends take turns watching each other’s children. Kids often look forward to spending time with other children, and you can enjoy the time away knowing they are safe and happy.
Finally, remember you are still a special person!
Get together with friends and family. If you have children spend quality time with them. When the time is right, get out there and start dating again. Life goes on!
The Dating Advice You Should Ignore
The process of divorce is challenging enough, and then you find yourself living an entirely new life with new rules. The post-divorce adjustment can be quite challenging, and we’ve seen plenty of our Riverside clients struggle to make the transition easily. Here are a few pieces of advice!
Jackie at Divorced Girl Smiling names three things you should NOT struggle with:
- Guilt: Many post-divorce parents feel guilty leaving their kids for a short time to go on a date. Let it go! Divorce doesn’t mean you should no longer enjoy life. Find a decent babysitter and your kids will be completely fine without you for a few hours. Don’t punish yourself by not letting yourself have some fun too.
- Money: Post-divorce or separation finances can be tough, especially if you’re a single parent or co-parenting. Instead of letting money stop you, bring the child to a friend’s house to be watched. Your friends want you to date and they’ll be more than happy to help! Or meet your dates on your lunch hour at work when your kids are already being watched.
- Fear: Many people will tell you that if you’re scared you must not be ready. Not true! Everyone is going to be scared of dating, that’s also what makes is exciting. It could go well, horrible, fantastic… you never know. But don’t let the fear hold you back. If you made it through a divorce, you can make it through a date!
Dating Mistakes to Avoid Post-Divorce
These tips can help post-divorce dating avoid some major speed bumps:
- Take it slow. You might think you’re over your ex, but that may not be true. You might think being single is awesome and you’re not lonely or looking for companionship at all, and that might be false. You might think jumping into a relationship with the first great guy/girl you meet is a great idea. It’s not. Taking it slow is always the safer, smarter way to go.
- Move past the past. Not everyone is going to be like your ex. Don’t stereotype all people of one gender, because that’s not fair. You won’t run into all the same problems, so have a positive attitude. But know what you’re looking for and what you’re not.
- No pity party. Allow yourself the time to heal and then be HAPPY being single. If you can’t learn to be happy on your own, odds are you aren’t ready to date.
- Do not settle. This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are ready to put a ring on the first person they meet in Riverside after the divorce papers are signed. You do NOT want another divorce, so wait until you couldn’t be surer you’ve found the right one.
- No games. Even if you only had a 72-day marriage (hey Kim K), you’re too old for games no matter your age. Be authentic, honest, and communicate with the people you’re dating. This will make the dating world exponentially easier and less complicated. No one needs complicated after a divorce.
Finally, the best way to meet someone is through other people. Let your friends, family, coworkers, etc know that you’re looking to date. They know you BEST and they’ll only set you up with people they think would make a great match for you.