Post-divorce dating is a mine field. There are too many things to consider. How much are you supposed to say about your divorce? When should you mention the kids? Will anyone even want to go out with you anymore?
There’s no way to escape the circus but here are seven tips to help you get through post-divorce dating in 2017. Whether you’re thinking about dating again after decades off the scene, or you’ve been playing the field for the last few months, this advice will help you get the year off to a great start.
Honesty Is the Best Policy in Post-Divorce Dating
It’s really important that you’re honest with your dates. You have to be truthful about the fact that you’re divorced, you have to be honest about having kids and commitments to your family, and you have to be upfront about what you want from her. You probably don’t want a full-on relationship and that’s fine but you’ve got to tell her. If you’re looking for someone to hang out with and maybe fulfil those primal urges, be honest about it. You’ll be surprised by her reaction!
Don’t Spill Your Guts
Being honest will open doors for you. Oversharing will get them slammed in your face. By all means explain your situation to your date but she doesn’t need to know every last detail. You shouldn’t be telling her about the argument you had with your ex last night or how your marriage ended. Your date doesn’t want to hear about other women when you’re with her, especially not your ex. If this woman has just met you, she also doesn’t care about your son’s report card or your daughter’s recital. She’s trying to get to know you, not them. That comes later and only if you want it to.
Confidence and Arrogance are Very Different Things
A woman likes a confident man. That’s no secret. What she doesn’t like is an arrogant man. You should be telling her about your skills and achievements but don’t brag. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance and it can be difficult to find when you’re already nervous. If you’re the kind of guy who talks when he’s uncomfortable, beware. You need to make sure that you’re not boring her to death. Telling a funny story about work or describing your most recent half marathon is great but keep it to one story. Don’t bulldoze her with hour after hour of “I’m the most amazing man on the planet.” If nothing else, she knows BS when she hears it so steer clear.
Ask Her Questions (And Listen to the Answers)
The best way to keep yourself from appearing arrogant is to be interested in her. If you’re a nervous dater, have a couple of questions ready to ask her. It doesn’t matter if you ask every woman the same three questions, they’re not going to compare notes. Tell your story then ask a her a couple of questions. The trick is, you have to listen to her answers. Don’t start preparing your next question while she’s answering the first one. This is a date, not a job interview. You’ll quickly figure out if she’s worth spending the rest of the evening with. If the conversation is stilted after half an hour, it’s probably time to cut your losses and get the heck out of there.
Be Willing to Try New Things
Long-term relationships are comfortable. You and your ex knew each other well by the end and you probably had a routine. Maybe you kept going to the same two or three restaurants or you only every watched a certain type of movie. Whatever it was, you fell into a rut. When you start dating again, you’ve got to be willing to try new things. Your date might tell you that she wants to do something particular and you’ve got to be open to trying it. Ice skating isn’t exactly the manliest activity but if she wants to try it, what have you got to lose? If you like this girl, you can plan the next date and if you don’t, you’ve learned a new skill (or bruised your ass and your ego). Either way, no permanent damage.
Proceed with Caution
When you’ve been divorced for a while and you’ve had a few too many nights in an empty bed, it’s really tempting to dive back into dating. If you’ve set up your Tinder account and you’re ready to get out, have at it. You’re a grown man and you’re allowed to do whatever you want, but just think about it for a second. The women you date may get attached to you, even if they say they won’t. Are you prepared to handle that? If you’re not eager to deal with breaking it off with a woman who wants more from the arrangement than you do, maybe you shouldn’t be too quick to jump in the sack with her. It might be just sex to you but she may take it as more than that. Also, remember that safe sex is great sex. If you’re jumping back into the dating pool, it’s worth making sure your test results are all clear.
Yeah, Women Want You
Ultimately, successful post-divorce dating is about being yourself. Whoever that might be. After years of not dating, you worry that nobody will like you. Who wants to date a divorced guy anyway? More women than you think. Somebody liked you enough to marry you which means that there will be more women out there who like you enough to hang out with you. If you’re into gaming, be honest about that. If you’re a sports freak, talk about it. Women like authenticity and they can easily tell when you’re not being real with them. Just be yourself, it’s the fastest way to get a girl.
Bonus Advice: Deal With Your Family
Once you get back out there, you’ve got to tell your family what you’re up to. Your kids don’t need to know you’re on Tinder every night but they do need to know that you’ve started going out with women. There’s always a chance they might see you on a date or pick up your phone when one of your new lady friends texts you. You don’t want them to be caught off guard or, worse, tell their mother that you’ve got a new girlfriend.
Nobody has the right to say you can’t date, but they do get to be upset about it. There’s a good chance that your ex and your kids won’t be happy to see you getting back on the horse. That’s fine. They’re entitled to their opinions. Your responsibility is to keep the kids away from your dates until you know it’s something more than a fling.
One last thing…
Be yourself and you will find compatible women. You may not think that a woman will like you as is, but she’ll like you a lot more if she knows you’re being honest. Don’t pretend to be the guy you think women want, cut to the chase and be the guy you are.
What’s your post-divorce dating plan for the New Year? Tell us your tips in the comments below.
Parenting concerns? Check out What’s Holding You Back from Single Dad Dating: Telling Her You Have Kids. Don’t look back! 5 Reasons NEVER to Be Friends with Your Ex.
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