If you’ve gone through a devastating divorce, it can be tough to imagine saddling up on the saddle of love for another rodeo. But to fully recover and move on with a healthy and fulfilled life, there’s no other option than to get back on that horse. Check out the following mistakes widespread amongst post-divorce daters and find out what you can do to avoid the same pitfalls:
Dating Mistake #1: You compare everyone to your ex.
You find yourself caught up in the beginnings of a new relationship and that’s when it hits, out of nowhere—you are critiquing everything about your potential new partner on elements that your ex had but this person lacks…anything from their career, where they grew up, to even the way they brush their teeth.
When you start to go into ex mode, stop yourself and think about what you’re doing. In most cases, it’s probably not your ex-spouse or the new person in your life, but instead you getting into your own head and focusing on the past. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and let it go…remember—the past is the past and your ex is an ex for a good reason. So throw away that list of qualities you’re looking for in a new partner that are identical to those of your ex—it’s time for a fresh start. You’ve changed and grown so now it’s now time to move on, live in the present and
enjoy the new people and experiences life is throwing your way.
Dating Mistake #2: Anxiety has taken over. So you’re feeling a bit nervous about going out with someone new? Who isn’t?
Dating is nerve-wracking in general, no matter who you are or what your situation—everyone is nervous. Rather than backing away and avoiding meeting new people altogether just because of a few butterflies, think about it like this: do you really want to continue sitting home alone on Friday nights with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and bad late night TV? The answer is probably no. Like anything worthwhile, there is risk involved in dating, but to develop a meaningful relationship with another human being that has the potential for a big payoff, it’s going to mean getting up
off that couch and going on that date.
To get your feet wet in the dating pond and build some confidence, take things slowly at first. Mini-dates like lunch, cocktails after work, or even a trip to the coffee house with someone you’re interested in are great ways to ease into the whole dating scene—without the pressure of an elaborately planned date. And if things go well, you can always schedule another outing.
Dating Mistake #3: Dating for the wrong reasons. It’s not right…but we all do it. We spend nights lying awake in bed plotting and hatching a twisted plan—a plan guaranteed to make our ex sick with jealousy. When these emotions take over, sometimes we find ourselves pursuing someone new not with the purest of intentions in our hearts, but rather with the agenda of proving something to our ex—or even of proving something to ourselves.
Sometimes, post-divorce daters feel the need to show that they are desirable and the need to validate their attractiveness and self-worth—without fail a rampage of disaster dates always ensue. To avoid a rebound situation where you end up worse off than when you started…just slow down! There is no need to feel the pressure to make up for lost time—consider new hobbies and activities that will open doors to meeting new people. This way you are getting out and being social without the pressure of one-on-one dating.
Dating Mistake #4: Dating before you’ve recovered. If you are fresh off the wings of your divorce, it’s probably not in your best interest to put yourself into another relationship right away. You need to take the time for the wounds of your ex to heal before embarking upon a new journey with someone else. Take some “you” time to clear your head and get your life back on track. Once you are at peace with yourself and are truly happy, that is when you are able to make someone else happy as well—and a good relationship is bound to follow!
Amy Reynolds is a relationship expert from Best Christian Dating Sites who shares with us this guest post on post-divorce dating advice.