The 7 D’s of Dating Direction Despite Divorce

by | Break ups. Dates

dating after divorce

 

“Hey, so I don’t mean for this to be awkward, but can I ask you a personal question?”

 

I had found out the night that we met that she had been married, but in talking with a mutual friend, I wasn’t sure if she was actually divorced yet. What added to the slight awkwardness of this phone call was that I was supposed to pick her up for our date…in an hour.

 

“Sure!” She bounced back.

 

“So are you actually divorced or just separated?”

 

“Oh…[stammer]…well I called the court today and the papers are in the mail. [silence] So as of this morning I’m divorced!

 

“Cool…”

 

I googled it. There is no website for what to do on a date with a girl that was hours divorced.

 

So we went to a restaurant…

 

Where she cried about her ex. (understandably)

 

I recommended some great therapists.

 

Our second date was postponed…indefinitely.

 

I am getting to the stage in life where if someone my age hasn’t been divorced–or at least a broken engagement–it is almost a red flag. *ALMOST* (I can already see the angry commenters for that one.)

 

But how do you get back into dating after a divorce, or just even a serious breakup? How do you actually put yourself out there again after going through one of the most awful experiences of your life?

 

Granted, I’ve never been divorced, so I had one of my good friends who is a divorced single mom help me out with this list.

 

  1. Don’t Rush. Time is base on heart, not calendar. Don’t say that you will date in 2 months or 2 years…just pray every day to be ready to date and then give yourself the time you need.
  2. Dress Well! Work from the outside in. The first thing she did was go out shopping with one of the straight gay best friends and got all new clothes. She had been reduced to “mom jeans” (in her words) and that just did not show of her curvy personality well enough. Don’t go all true religion on your closet, but still try.
  3. Date with ZERO Expectations. You just had your heart broken, give yourself a breath and don’t try to think if this is your new baby’s daddy. Just enjoy the ride.
  4. Don’t Disqualify. Beware the ‘I hate guys/girls’-syndrome. Know that not everyone is your ex. Give people a chance and realize the dangers in dating those not of your faith if you are looking to have an LDS-centric life.
  5. Deserve Love. Be CONFIDENT! You are beautiful, handsome and wonderful and deserve to fall in love…yes, even again.
  6. Destroy Discouragement. Realize it ain’t easy! It’s okay to be hurt and know that things aren’t going to always work out, but in the end they will.
  7. Date! Yeah…actually do it. Get your kids a babysitter, stop making excuses and date. Ladies, flirt. Gentlemen, ask.

 

But what do you think?

 

If you have been divorced, what advice would you give? And what advice would you have to people trying to date you?

 

If you have dated someone that is divorced, what is the best way you’ve found to approach the topic?

 

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  • Holly

    Divorce Conundrum- You want to go out with guys who don’t have the heavy baggage of a psycho ex-wife and three kids, but then you feel guilty about putting your own psycho ex spouse and three kids on a poor boy and so you don’t know who to date and so u just decide to be a cat lady.

  • Ryan Peterson

    Choose your love, love your choice.

    If someone has tried to commit to someone in their lives, then how can one label them with “broken off engaged/annulled/divorced” as some sort of negative?

    If someone is divorced, I applaud them for having the faith to love. It shouldn’t affect any future prospects or be treated any differently than any other breakup you’ve had in your own life.

  • Stephanie Selin

    My advice:
    1. Do create healthy boundaries.
    2. Don’t feel like you have to “confess” you’ve been through a divorce and tell your whole story on your first date/dates. (This is part of #1)
    3. Don’t smack talk your crazy ex. Guess what: you are likely your crazy ex’s crazy ex. Take the high road. This helps you to forgive them and yourself and lets your heart heal.
    4. Along with your #1, create a timeline that feels right for you. There are no rules besides that, though everyone will tell you otherwise. Once your divorce is finalized, if you feel ready to date, date. If you need some time, take it.
    5. Self care is uber important. Nurture your soul and love yourself. Go out and do things you enjoy. Take yourself on dates. Table for one please?