How to Get Back into Dating After a Divorce

August 15, 2017

By Sarah Kathryn Walmsley

Believe it or not, my favorite clients are often those folks who are recently divorced. They are so relieved to have the pain and drama behind them that, generally, they bring a good, refreshed attitude to their dating game. They just want to be out there and have fun (and look for someone opposite of their ex!).

Divorced folks have had to be patient. They’ve had to go through separations, legal battles, custody schedules, and, when the ink dries, they are ready to go! After many years in the dating industry, here is a little advice from my perspective:

One: Wait until you’re officially, OFFICIALY divorced. There’s nothing worse than going on a date with someone who’s going to get it finalized “any day now.” It’s even worse when separated folks fib on their Internet dating profile. It is painful for an earnest person to find out that they’re on a date with someone who’s still “officially taken.”

Two: While you’re waiting, take a longggg, hardddd look in the mirror. How is your style? Are you in the best shape you can be? Use this time on the bench to stock up your house with the right supplies, because, once you’re excited and ready to date, you won’t have time for much else!

Three: Don’t talk about your ex. Seriously – not at all. Come up with a quick one-sentence reason for why you’re single. Only use it if someone asks. Here are some positive examples – pick one to say and, after stating it, CHANGE THE SUBJECT! On dates, your history does not exist. People don’t need to hear about your baggage in order for them to understand you. Only show the good, fun things about your personality.

“We had a great relationship – it just didn’t last.”

“I have only good memories and learned a lot.”

“We had good times and bad, but that’s life – and we still get along well.”

Four: The fastest way to get in front of millions of singles is the Internet. Sites like Hinge, Tinder, Match, and others are wonderful ways to put yourself out there and see what’s waiting for you. Realize that some people lie (get over it) and some post misleading photos (get over it). People often say they don’t want to Internet date because there are weirdos there. Guess what? There are weirdos everywhere! (So, beware!)

Five: When you’re ready to date and want to just dip your toe in, consider off-line options that will get you face-to-face with others. Church groups, political groups, hiking groups, dinner clubs, and Meetups. They won’t be super-tailored to your preferences, but they might be a nice warm-up.

Best of luck to you. There are lots of wonderful single people and, for many folks, the second time is the charm. You likely know a lot more about yourself than the first time you were in the dating world. “You 2.0” starts now – so go have fun!