Guest Post: Getting back on the Dating Scene

If you have recently divorced, the thought of dating may well be the last thing on your mind. Having gone through the turmoil of a marriage breakdown, your confidence has probably taken a knock and it can take a great deal of courage to dust yourself off and think about new relationships.

Out of practice

Depending on how long you were with your previous partner, it could have been a number of years since you last went on a date with someone new. Whilst it’s exciting to go out with someone for the first time, it can be very intimidating if you’re not used to the protocol of dates. Where do you go? What should you wear? How do you act? Well, fear not, even if you’re been out of the dating scene for years, you can make a good impression and enjoy yourself, if you pick the right person.

Online dating

This has become increasingly popular in recent years and it’s a great way to get to know someone before you meet them. With dating websites, you can usually upload as much or as little information as you want and photos will help to give you more of an idea about immediate attraction. Of course, there is the occasional chancer who uploads of photo of themselves when they slim, gorgeous and 15 years younger but it’s in
everyone’s best interests to be honest and open. If you do find someone you like online, you have the opportunity to ‘chat’ to them and find out more about them before you commit to a date.

Friends of friends

This can be a great way to meet new people. Whilst no one wants to be the singleton at the dinner party, or the obvious set-up for a friend’s divorced colleague, there’s a lot to be said for someone you know well already having done the initial vetting process on your behalf. A total stranger is exactly that, whereas someone with a few ties closer to home can be a safer bet for a first date. Your friend can give you the low-down on this potential partner and you can go on your date armed with all the background information you need.

Social clubs

Everyone’s far too busy these days to make eyes at each other over a supermarket shelf – plus, a lot of busy singletons now do their shopping online. But sports or social clubs, evening classes and school PTAs are all good potential meeting places. You never who you might hook up with at the book club or wine tasting evening. And, even if you don’t find Mr or Mrs Right, you might make some other new friends and give your confidence and your social life a hefty boost. It’s important to get out and about after a divorce; it’s all too easy to become insular and
withdrawn.

Planning the first date

Choose somewhere you both feel comfortable with; somewhere lively but not so noisy that you can’t hear each other. A restaurant is always a good option as there’s lots to talk about with the menu, décor, wine choices etc. If you prefer a daytime date, then a museum or gallery can provide a low-key backdrop to your date and again, should provide plenty of opportunities for discussion. Parks and open spaces suit some
people, or you can keep it very informal and just meet up for a coffee somewhere.

Times and places

Before you leave home, double-check the address and the meeting time – you don’t want to be late and create a bad first impression. Check that you have each other’s contact details, in case there’s a problem and make sure you know where you’re going. Let someone else know where you’ll be and arrange to call them when you get home, just for extra security and, if you’re going to be driving home late at night, check the petrol gauge and make sure the roadside cover for your car is in date. Most important of all, however, is to try and relax and enjoy yourself. Even if you don’t meet the person you want to settle down with, you can have a pleasant time and give your confidence a boost by getting dressed up, going out and meeting someone new.

By:   Isabella A. Woods

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Filed under Divorce, Post Divorce, Relationships, self-esteem

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