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Dating After Divorce – 5 Simple Rules

Once the dust has settled and you’re over the major hump of getting divorced, it’s natural to start considering dating again. But how can you really know if you’re ready? How can you make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again? Most importantly, how can you protect yourself from getting hurt once you put yourself out there again? Well, there’s no magical formula for making dating after divorce perfect every time, but there are certain rules you can keep in mind to improve the chances of being successful as you begin dipping your toe back into the water.

Don’t do it just because your ex is doing it.

Dating after divorce isn’t a competition, and everybody moves at their own pace. Just because your former spouse has started playing the field again doesn’t necessarily mean you should too. Make sure you’re absolutely ready before you take that first step, otherwise you risk jumping into a rebound relationship, which rarely ends well.

Learn who you are as an individual.

You may have been part of a couple for so long that you’ve forgotten who you are as an individual, but until you make time to rediscover yourself, you won’t be able to contribute to a new relationship. Spend time alone, discover and foster some new hobbies, and just learn how to be comfortable in your own skin before you begin dating after divorce.

Be honest about your needs.

Before you even take the first step in dating after divorce, ask yourself what is it that you hope to get out of a new relationship? In the beginning, this may just be companionship – not necessarily true love. And that’s ok, as long as you’re honest with yourself and your new partner. Take things slow and don’t get ahead of yourself. There’s plenty of time to become serious about someone else, but if you expect too much out of a relationship too soon, it’s probably not going to turn out well.

Be mindful of your children.

You may be head over heels for that new special someone in your life, but don’t expect too much from your kids, at least not right away. Just because you’ve made peace with the divorce and have begun to move on doesn’t mean your children aren’t still struggling. Understand that it can be difficult for them to accept the fact that their parents are no longer together, and give them time and space to ease into this new reality.

Set aside some time for just you.

It may seem selfish, but it’s important. Pick one night a week that is set aside for time that’s just yours. Spend time with your kids, go out with friends or just enjoy some quiet alone time. You’ve already put the time and effort into learning who you are as an individual, so now make sure you nurture that by committing to “you time”. It’ll make you that much more valuable of a partner.

Dating after divorce can be challenging, and there’s really no guarantee it’ll all go smoothly, but if you follow these 5 tips, you’ll have a much better chance of easing into your newfound singlehood with poise and confidence.

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