Dating After Divorce: Tips for Getting Back out There

Regardless of who initiated the split, divorce takes quite a toll on a person. And once you’ve completed the necessary grieving process, adjusting to a new way of life is your next task at hand. Even though getting back out there can be tough, keep at it. Happy looks good on you, and you deserve it. Here are seven tips worth following that’ll get you back in the saddle with ease.

1. Know when the time is right

Sad girl crying and a friend comforting her outdoors

After a divorce, you need to allow yourself time to grieve. |

Just because you’ve been divorced for a year doesn’t mean you’re ready to start dating again. The heart wants what the heart wants, so you may not be ready to get back out there. Even if you are, there’s no need to rush it. WebMD recommends going with your feelings, not the calendar. Don’t worry about sticking to some timeline just because you think it’s what you should be doing.

2. Determine what you need, and what you’re seeking in a partner

Happy romantic couple embracing on the beach

Determine the traits you’re looking for in a partner. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

While recognizing your own emotional needs is crucial, it’s important to determine what you’re looking for in a partner as well. According to Divorce Magazine, “[I]f you don’t take the time to know what you want, you won’t recognize it when you find it, or you’ll waste your time by looking in the wrong place or at the wrong people.” Being sure of yourself, and what you want, will give you the best chance at another shot at love.

3. Be honest about your past

adult couple has privacy problems

There’s no reason to keep your past from your partner. |

While divulging every detail of your relationship history on a first date isn’t advisable, you’ve been through a lot, and talking about it — in due time — is good, and healthy. No doubt your ex-spouse was a huge part of your life, a part of your life which has led you to this point. Redbook says it’s important to be upfront about your history. No BS, just honesty. If the person you’re seeing appreciates your willingness to discuss it all, he or she just may be a keeper.

4. Remember you can date whomever you please

Couple Having Romantic Dinner

Now’s your chance to date anyone you want. |

Age ain’t nothing but a number, something PopSugar mentions is important to keep in mind. Now that you’re divorced, you’ve no strings attached, and therefore have complete and total control to do as you please. See whomever you want. Date people you find attractive, insightful, and kind. There’s a certain sense of liberty that comes along with being divorced, and taking full advantage of your newfound freedom is A-OK.

5. Don’t compare people to your ex

Couple at counseling

Comparing everyone to your ex won’t end well. | Vadim Guzhva/iStock/Getty Images Plus

While you don’t want to date the “sticker,” you sure don’t want to be one, either. As you know, being open-minded is a huge part of getting back out there, and you don’t want to muddy the waters by placing your ex on a pedestal. Even if you think she’s the best mother in the world, or he’s the funniest guy you’ll ever meet, there’s no point in hanging onto these notions. Whatever the case may be, you and your ex called it quits for a reason, so looking for his or her exact clone isn’t really helping you to move on.

6. Don’t discount online dating

Woman wearing orange shirt texting on the smart phone

Online dating can be really great. |

Keep in mind, lots of things may have changed since your single days. Depending on how long you were married, or even the number of years you and your ex were together, you may be surprised at how different the current state of dating has become. Don’t expect to return to the same status quo of what once was. If you met your ex in college, texting probably wasn’t a thing and Tinder definitely didn’t exist.

Rather than discounting — what you think to be — unconventional methods of finding a mate, consider ditching your ways of the past. As a matter of fact, you may be surprised at just how many people take to online dating these days. According to Static Brain, more than 49 million people in the U.S. have tried online dating at some point. If you’re ready to get out there again, but don’t know where to begin, the internet could be a great place to start.

7. Get out there

Colleagues drinking after work

Happy hour is the best hour. |

As opposed to the aforementioned point, you may be more inclined to meet someone in person without doing the whole online thing first. If that’s the case, but you’ve been shy about it, it may be time to give yourself a swift kick in the pants. Easier said than done, but forcing yourself to go out to be social is crucial in the process. After all, you can’t get back out there without actually getting out. If you’re feeling anxious about it, give our tips to ease your nerves a try.