Dating After Divorce? The 5 Need-to-Know Mistakes You’re Making
For many, divorce it a liberating experience, for others it is a depressing one. Where do you I go from here? How do I date again? What will my life now look like? More than anything, the uncertainty of the future is what troubles new divorcees. The journey ahead can be a fantastic one, if you know which path to take.
Focusing on getting to know men, not getting to know you
Who are you? No really, who are you? Marriage can be a wonderful thing, but it does alter who you are. Areas of yourself merge into your partner, you adopt traits you never had before, the characteristics that once belonged to you are now shared. This is great and all, it develops who you are a person, making you a richer, more intricate version of yourself. Yet, when you’re cut off from that relationship those areas of your personality become quite confusing.
How much of who you are and how you act is actually you? How much was a temporary change because you spent so much time with your partner? How much has now been adopted by your very self, so much so that you’re unable to see the line between you and not you? These are the questions you must answer before dating after a divorce. Start understanding you, the real you. Is a hobby of yours actually something you’re interested in, or just something you happen to do because your partner did it? Find yourself acting in a particular way that now seems alien to you, was it ever part of your personality or just a mimicry of your ex? It’s amazing how others can have an impact on our lives, but if you don’t spend time distancing yourself from people who are now out of your life, that impact can still remain. How is a new partner supposed to get to know you if the person you’re being isn’t actually you?
How do you do this? Time is the most important factor, these traits will naturally disappear with time. It also helps to acknowledge them, take some time to yourself to observe how you act and behave, think carefully on whether this is me or just a shadow of your ex.
How has your life changed after your divorce?
Not recovering from that hit to your social life
For many divorcees, one of the biggest changes they notice is how their social life alters, how it starts to disappear. Don’t worry, this is very common. When you were married you made friends with other married people, many of your connections were through your partner, many of the activities you took part in catered to couples.
The friends you had when you were married are not necessarily no longer your friends. It’s important to remember your marriage didn’t dictate your relationship with these people, it may have instigated it, but it wasn’t an essential part of it. With that being said, you may have to put in some effort in continuing those relationships. Force yourself to reach out to these people and strengthen the bond you already once had. For your friends nothing has really changed, they’re still in their relationships and still have most of the same friends. That means it’s up to you to make contact and ensure your friendship doesn’t disappear.
In doing this try and introduce ‘non-couple’ activities. It’s very easy when you’re in a relationship to fall into a routine of doing couple based hobbies. Branch out and bring in a little innovation to your friendship circle.
Your sole focus is ‘how can the people around me help me‘
In difficult times we look to others for help, but many times we should be doing the opposite and helping others. Have other friends/family members recently become divorced? Did you reach out to them during what may be a difficult time? If you did, great! If you didn’t, you can understand how support is a two-way street.
To enrich your friendship circle, offer help instead of ask for it. Meet new people by volunteering and helping worthwhile causes. Reach out to people who you lost contact with because they were going through a difficult period. It’s surprising how the wonderful feeling of helping others can in turn help you.
‘Hi, I’m Jane, I’m divorced’
Does it sometimes feel you walk around with a name badge that says something like that. Relationships are universal, nearly all cultures have marriages and divorces, millions are divorced and millions are currently married. When a relationship status is so common, does it necessarily need to define you?
You are the same person you were before you were married. Yes, experiences and time may have changed you but it has not removed who you are. We apply categories and groups to understand different people, but we are never just the qualities of those groups, we are so much more complex. That is why assigning yourself as a divorcee, thinking of yourself as a person who is divorced, is a poor mindset to have. You are who you are, you are the same person, you just happen to also have a previous marriage. You must remember it does define you, it is just a small area of the multifaceted person that is you.
Dating has changed
With so many new dating apps, sites, rules, codewords, mannerisms, it may seem impossible to branch out back into the dating world. To get over that fear, simply remember it isn’t a bad thing to now know something. You are new the dating world, you are unfamiliar to many things, enjoy the experience of learning how people now meet and date. Remain open to new experience, enrich these experiences with the insight you’ve gained through your marriage.
Dating sites and apps aren’t a scary place to be. They are also not a one solution fix to your problems. Try these services with an open mind, be aware there may be things you don’t like, but be ready for the experiences that will enthral and delight you.
Toyboy Warehouse has been providing love, lust and romance for 10 years, we have seen how difficult divorce can be, we have seen how freeing it can become. We’ve seen thousands of individuals regain their life and experience joy they never thought they would have when married. Learn to not make the mistakes many new divorcees have and remain open the exciting world that is now in front of you.