Starting over in the world of ‘singledom’ can be a daunting experience for some of us. Dating after divorce, or even after ending a long-term relationship, is a whole new ballgame than it was if the last time you were single if that was several years ago.
Luckily, or unluckily depending on your perception, there are numerous men and women in the same situation in this day and age. That doesn’t mean dating again in mid-life is easy.
There are still issues that make it more complicated than the first time (or times) around. You may have children and an ex-spouse, social circles with all married couples, stigmatism around being single at a certain age, time and energy constraints, and many other challenges to pursuing a healthy romantic relationship at this time in your life.
With all of the seeming difficulties, there are also many upsides. After surviving a breakup, most of us are stronger and more aware of what’s important to us in a relationship. There are also many more options to meet people such as the Internet or social media and a wider circle of connections through business and other parents that may not have been available to you before.
If you are venturing into the dating world after divorce or a long-term relationship, do so with a positive attitude with the knowledge it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be single and dating. It might even be fun and exciting!
Here are some tips to help recover from a breakup and start dating again.
Take as Much Time as You Need by Yourself
Ending a relationship is emotionally and physically draining. It’s OK to take some time to nurture yourself in order to re-group and re-charge. One of the worst things you can do is try to be actively dating or socializing to look for a new relationship when you haven’t taken any time to recover from the breakup. I know it’s hard for some people to be alone; but if you can’t feel good in a relationship with yourself, then there’s not much chance of one working out with someone else.
Think about what You’ve Learned
Dwelling in the past for too long is never a good thing. However, it is essential to process any lessons you have learned through your last relationship. All experiences, even painful ones, are a great help in growing, increasing your self-awareness, and becoming a better person – if you choose them to be.
Go Out on a Limb & Try Something New
There are only so many hours in a day, and being in a relationship takes time and energy. Look into a hobby or interest you didn’t have time to devote to when you were in your previous relationship. Check out healthy options you now are able to explore – a book club, speaking classes, a different form of exercise, or traveling. You never know who you’re going to meet when pursing your own passions. Finding something you love to do could end up being the way you find someone to love.
Find Your Tribe
Once you have taken time alone to re-group, finding a group of like-minded peers is helpful in starting over. It may be some of the same people you associated with before, or it may be all new people. What’s most important is that you share positive and upbeat thoughts, actions and experiences. Being around negative or toxic people is damaging to anyone, especially when you are still vulnerable from your breakup and trying to start anew.
Heartbreak can be gut-wrenchingly painful. You can’t avoid the pain. Unfortunately, it is a necessary part of life. I have found watching or listening to something hysterically funny in the morning when I wake up or right before bed helps balance those emotions just a little.
You can always find a funny movie or Youtube video to provide of burst of laughter or even just a little giggle. A few short minutes may be all you need to balance out the grief, make you laugh out loud, and begin to uplift your energy.
Keep an Open Mind
Many dating sites ask you to put a shopping list together with exact characteristics and qualities you want in a partner. While I understand the point in narrowing down your choices, you also need to be open to meeting people in general. What a shame it would be to pass up on meeting the love of your life just because he was 5’9” instead of 6’0”.
Keep the Kids Top of Mind
Single and parenting don’t seem to go together; but for some of us that’s the reality. Dating when you have children at home can be tricky. I always found it best not to get them involved in any way, unless it was a serious relationship.
There are other schools of thought that say introducing the children right away can be an important step in figuring out if you both want to take the relationship to another level. It’ definitely a personal decision based on the ages of your children and your feelings and views about what’s best for them.
Don’t Worry, be Happy
Again, being single is not always a bad thing. Finding ways to feel incredibly happy while you are alone is really the best way to attract a partner into your life. Please don’t listen to other people telling you ridiculous things like “you’re not getting any younger” or “why can’t you meet someone.”
Relax. Stressing out or worrying about meeting someone gives off a negative vibe and can scare a potential partner away. No one ever said I met the most fabulous and desperate person the other night!
Dating after being in a relationship can either be a negative challenge or an opportunity to learn more about yourself and open up to a whole new wonderful life. It’s your life and your choice – make it a good one!
Maureen Keyte is a Certified Personal Coach and Professional Writer with a passion for helping others through life transitions in order to become the best versions of themselves. Her writing has been published in several regional and national print and online publications. She is also a grant and marketing writer for non-profit agencies and businesses that focus on empowering women and young girls. Contact – Website – Facebook – LinkedIn – Pinterest – Twitter
Photo Credit – stockimages