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After a divorce, many people make the mistake of getting back too fast into the dating game. They jump into a new relationship before they’ve had time to process their feelings about their divorce. Others feel so much anguish, they refuse to get into another relationship. Since going through a divorce is highly stressful, take the time to reflect on your life, understand what happened, and grieve over your loss. Only after you’ve taken the time to mull over your feelings should you date again.Here are 6 tips to ease into the senior dating scene again.
1. Wait for the divorce to be completed.
It may take as long as a year for all the legal paperwork to finalize and for you to recover from the shock of your divorce.Don’t rush into dating just to escape your despondent feelings. If you date too quickly, you’ll be doing it for all the wrong reasons. You’ll only be dating to get positive attention to feel good again.Dating too soon will prevent you from doing all the healing work necessary to create a healthy, meaningful relationship.
2. Trust your intuition.
It’s often difficult to know if the person you’re dating is the right one for you.Naturally, almost everyone is on their best behavior when dating. Since they go to great lengths to hide their flaws, it’s often difficult to discern if the person you’re dating is the way they come across.Still, there’s one thing that you can trust—your intuition. Your subconscious mind can detect red flags that your conscious mind missed. If you don’t feel right about someone but you can’t put your finger on it, trust your intuition and stop dating them.
3. Increase your self-awareness.
Dating isn’t always about understanding the other person. It’s also about understanding yourself better. Just because all your friends consider someone you’re dating wonderful, it doesn’t mean they’re the right person for you. If you were seeing a therapist during a divorce, resume therapy to increase your self-awareness.You can also increase your self-awareness through regular journaling. Reflecting on your thoughts and feelings several times a week will help you notice unconscious, limiting beliefs.
4. Go slow.
You may find the “perfect” person after your first few dates.You’re excited because you’ve found someone that’s easy to talk to on the phone for hours, someone who appreciates you, someone who shares your values.In fact, you're convinced that you’ve found the right person because when you go out, you always have a wonderful time. However, it’s a mistake to think that you’ve just stumbled upon some extraordinary good luck.You may not be not seeing things as they are, but as you would like them to be. Since you’ve been through so much emotional pain, you may have projected qualities onto them that they don’t actually have. It’s also possible that you have found the right person. The only way to make sure you’re seeing things realistically is to slow down. You need time to understand what’s going on in your new relationship. Sometimes your strong feelings can obscure your clear reasoning.
5. Be cautious about online profiles
Be careful when using an online dating app. The person you’re dating may be sending you earlier pictures of themselves, pictures taken when they were younger and happier. They may also exaggerate everything about their lives to improve their online profile. Similarly, you may be tempted to do the same. Everyone can look stunning with a little Photoshop. And it’s only too easy to succumb to the temptation of exaggerating our virtues and downplaying our weaknesses.
6. Be honest when you meet in person.
After talking to someone online for a time, you might decide to meet in person. Just as your date is doing their best to show you their best side, you are probably doing the same. While it’s fine to be on your best behavior, it’s possible to be unintentionally dishonest, covering up mistakes you’ve made in your past and hyping up how well things are going in your life. You owe your date the truth. They, too, have to make a realistic decision about you. If you’re too skillful at hiding your flaws and too adept at highlighting your strengths, the truth will eventually come out and things will end badly. In conclusion, if you are not ready to date, don't rush into it. It’s fine for you to take your time, reflect on your experiences, and give yourself all the alone time you need. Only date when you are ready.
Photo: Jacob Lund / adobe.stock.com