Are you divorced and wondering how to go about dating again?

Your marriage leaves an indelible imprint on you and it's sometimes hard to move beyond the failures and successes of that relationship. Too often bringing over those moments into a new dating scenario can lead to a disaster of a date, similar to the sinking of the Titanic or crashing of the Hindenburg.

Before attempting another date, you need to lay some ground rules for yourself. These simple fundamentals will help you breeze through the dating scene as a dating pro giving you the peace of mind, enjoyment and possible relationship you are seeking.

Moving on, Staying in the Past

Not all guys/gals are your ex

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is making comparisons when you are dating to your ex-spouse. Good or bad, this behaviour can seriously hamper your evening and a potential match. The distrust or hurt you felt at the hands of your ex needs to be purified. However you want to do that, either by some photo-burning ritual, drunken night at the pub or whatever, as long as you do not bring those feelings to your first date.

Establishing rules for the Rebound

Dating after a major relationship shakeup like divorce can play havoc on your emotions. Too many fall prey to the rebound. Being able to establish the purpose of your dating can help you realize if you are simply rebound dating or are truly ready for your next great relationship. If you are dating to have fun, fool around or avoid being lonely; it's time to recognize it for what it is, a rebound. If you are ok being alone or your date is someone you can see being with over the long term; welcome to true after-divorce dating.

Do you need a baggage train on a date?

Bringing the baggage of your marriage on a date can be a real problem. How do you know if you have baggage? Simple, everyone hurt in a long-term relationship has baggage. The only way to let go of it, is to be self-reflective and think about the causes of the failure. Blame is one of humanities great self-destructive failures; we either blame ourselves or others. Instead of focusing on blame, you need to own it. Change your discussion to an internal one about what you would do differently and what your ex did that made you feel a certain way. Only by answering your baggage questions can you check them.

Rules to Date by

Start Sooner

So many things are like riding a bicycle; so is dating. You will need practice for when it truly matters, the sooner you get in some practice the better you will become.

Stay Connected and Positive

Stay in contact with your friends for support. Going out in the dating world is like a jungle; there are some great cuddly animals and other ruthless hunters. Staying positive about the opposite sex in spite of your divorce will help you see the good in your dates, while staying connected will give you the support you need.

Be a Leader, not a hunter

Hunting can be exhilarating for both parties, but can also get tiring and boring very fast. Instead set yourself up to be a leader, a person with intrinsic value. You bring your personality and positive traits forward and offer them in a relationship, making you a great catch. The cliché works here: be yourself and have fun.

By dating others that are also divorced you know you are on equal footing. There are no surprises because you both understand the hurt, issues and joys of a previous long-term relationship, even if it ended with a widow or widower.