With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, there seems to be this sudden urgency to connect and find a date for this so-called "holiday." For many, it is troublesome to be alone and this holiday becomes the catalyst for singles to re-enter the world of dating. Here are some practical dating tips which are meant to provide guidance before you take that plunge.
1. Take Off Your Blinders
Dating at any time can be a challenge, but dating post-divorce/break up can sometimes almost feel impossible. For this reason, many people who find themselves suddenly single have a tendency to date the same kind of person they've always dated or worse, the person they just divorced, in order to stay within the comfy confines of familiarity. However, if you happen to have found yourself on the verge of jumping into the post-breakup dating pool, you are going to have to get used to the idea of splashing around a little bit. Sitting around in stagnant waters and avoiding the fun out of fear will only bring about boredom, frustration, and dissatisfaction in the love department.
So don't be afraid to bust out of your comfort zone (no matter how awkward you may feel while doing so) and try on something new for size! There is a saying out there that says, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". Don't be insane. Give the person you would normally write-off as "too young, too old, too stuffy, too wild", etc. a chance for once...you never know whom you might meet and fall for!
2. Don't Divulge
It is no secret that divorce and breakups are not pleasant. Even individuals that want a divorce still have a difficult time with the process. Then it happens. You meet someone who also went through a divorce (or a terrible relationship that ended) and misery loves company. Before you know it, you are using all your telephone and dating time to talk about your past relationship, sordid details and financial ruin.
Just because you have a couple of drinks at dinner, are feeling a little vulnerable, and are under a lot of financial stress does not mean you can start spilling your guts to your unassuming date. This is not the time or the place to get into the nasty details of your financial problems or horrible sex life during marriage. No matter how kind this person seems, she or he will run from you!!
Your problems will still be around in the morning, but if you don't shut up about them, you're date most definitely will not be.
3. Don't Allow Yourself to Be Cynical
All your friends have been there and they have bashed every whore and jerk off on the planet. But the truth is that everyone has been burned at some point in his love life. As a divorce attorney, I can tell you that not everyone has been screwed in their divorce or cheated on by some slut or narcissist.
But if you did get burned, it stings, you pout, and then you need to pick up the broken pieces of your heart and move on. As we are constantly told, life waits for no one.
Learning to trust your heart in the hands of someone else after a divorce can be one of the most terrifying challenges out there, but it is necessary to remind yourself daily that not every person you begin to get close with is a con-artist, man-eater or a gold-digger. Letting go of your fear and releasing the inhibitions that are holding you back from new love is 100% necessary to the success of your future love life. If you are not ready, then take time to heal.
4. Don't Rush Back Down the Aisle
This is perhaps the most treacherous of all the potential mistakes that you could make while dating post-breakup. Why, you ask? Allow me to explain...
As everyone should know by the time he is a functioning adult, marriage is not something to be entered into lightly. It is a serious commitment that two people make to each other in the hopes that it will last forever.
Upon re-entering the dating circuit after a failed marriage and a brutal divorce, it can be easy to cling to the first person we connect with in hopes that they can be our proverbial life raft that will keep us afloat in a sea of uncertainty. This is a bad idea. Getting hung up on just one person right out of the gate, and then continuing on to marry this person as a means to feel safe is just asking for trouble. You need to allow yourself plenty of time, space, and freedom post-divorce so that you may come to know what it is you truly WANT and not just what you instinctively think you NEED.
5. Get to Know Yourself--and Love Yourself--Before Getting Serious
The messy, distracting, frustrating, and heartbreaking process that is divorce can often cause people to feel like they are not in control of their own lives and sends them into a tailspin of despair and life-long passivity. Don't be this person. Don't be this desperado who lets his failed relationship define his life. We can be our own strongest advocates for change in our own lives when we put our minds to it. So make it your goal to take your life back into your own hands.
Try to remember the last time you felt truly invigorated by something in your life and then replicate that moment to the best of your ability. Allow yourself to feel the spark within you that lights your passions and reminds you of your own personal priorities and aspirations. Fill the void with your own love-not the love of some hot piece of tail. As corny as it sounds, fall in love with yourself.