Depending on the exact circumstances, the day you got divorced was probably either one of the worst days in your life or one of the best days of your life, or possibly both. Either way, odds are the experience of being married and divorced has changed your perception of love and dating, and that is actually quite natural. Dating after divorce isn't necessarily better or worse than dating earlier in life, but it is different. If you understand how it is different, you can have a dating life that is as good or better than the one you had before you were married. The following tips will help make dating after divorce more fulfilling.
Jump Back in Before You Are Ready For a Serious Relationship
It is almost certain that after a year of marriage, or five years of marriage, or maybe even 30 years of marriage, your concept of dating has changed. You probably associate it with relationship building and maintenance. But dating is also a way to simply have a good time and the best way to return to dating is to embrace that aspect of it.
The simplest way to embrace casual dating is to go on dates with people that you don't intend to have a serious relationship with. A good choice is someone you flirt with but aren't particularly compatible with or someone who is a pretty good personality fit, but a little too old or young for a long term relationship.
Make it clear from the start that you only intend to date casually, so that there aren't any hard feelings later on. Then simply embrace the concept. Engage in activities and conversations that are simply a lot of fun, like going to carnivals or playing darts at the local pub until the wee hours of the morning.
Once you have embraced the concept of dating as fun, you will find it much easier to enter serious relationships later.
Odds are, after your divorce, you still have some ties to your ex. This is especially true if you have children. But even without children in the mix, you may live in the same town, have the same group of friends, work at the same place, or may even still be friends (rare, but not unheard of).
No matter how your ex is involved in your life, the one place your ex should not be involved is in your love life. Draw a line in the sand early and do not cross it. Do not talk to your ex about your love life in any way. It simply isn't any of their business.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Divorces happen for a reason. There may have been compatibility issues, you or your ex may not have been putting enough energy into the relationship, or someone may have cheated. Whatever the reason for the divorce, learn from it.
You need to acknowledge what you did wrong, especially if you engaged in infidelity, to ensure that you don't make those same mistakes again. And if there were flaws with your spouse, you need to make sure that those flaws aren't also in the person you are currently dating or intend to date.
Don't let your past failed relationship control all future relationships, but don't repeat mistakes either. Your divorce can actually be a boon to your dating life if you take what you learned from it and use that knowledge to make better choices.
Experience is Incredibly Attractive
Some people will be turned off by a divorcee, because they will think of you as damaged goods or question your decisions. That is fine. You don't want to date close-minded people like that anyway.
Instead look for the people who want someone with experience. Too many young pups think they know how to excite a lover, physically, mentally, and emotionally, but the truth is that experience is the key to a great relationship. You have it. When dating, look for others who understand the value of experience and want that in a lover. This is particularly easy if you engage in online dating where you can narrow your search to people who are looking for divorcees.
Look For Something New
Finally, the most important rule for dating after divorce is to look for something brand new. This doesn't just mean a new person in your love life, but new activities to share with that person, so that you form new unique memories with that person. It doesn't matter how much you love a particular pub, if you went on 30 dates with your ex to that pub, any new dates to that pub will inevitably dredge up memories of your ex.
Find a new activity, or a new restaurant. The new experiences will help to make sure that this new relationship isn't in any way held down by the baggage attached to the old relationship.