Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
Once the divorce is final, you may decide at some point that you are ready to date again. There will inevitably be fear and doubt. You may have been out of the dating game for an extended period of time. You have changed, you may have children and you definitely do not know what to expect.
The important thing is to be comfortable in your own skin. Also do not expect too much of yourself. Become involved in activities you enjoy. That may involve sports, a book club, a wine club or any other number of activities. You may find a friend that you feel comfortable talking with and spending time together.
You may have friends who want to set you up with a date. Make sure you know something about this person and it may be better if you meet in a group. It can permit both people to be more comfortable.
You may also want to join a social network or an Internet dating site. These can be great ways to meet people, but please be careful. Find out about the person. Agree to meet the person for the first date in a public place. Make sure family members or friends know where you will be meeting this person.
Your first date should be relaxed and fun. Do not have too high expectations. If you approach the situation as an opportunity to meet a new friend and enjoy his or her company, there will not be a lot of pressure on either of you. Do not dwell on your divorce. Do not spend the night bad mouthing your former spouse. It will not be healthy for you or for a new friendship.
If the relationship progresses, make sure he or she knows about your children, if you have them. Be honest if you need the relationship to move slowly. Make sure you are comfortable before you introduce someone new to your children.
The relationship may progress into a deeper relationship. On the other hand, you may find that either you or the other person are not ready to date or are not compatible. That is fine, as well. Hopefully, you will have made a new friend.
Enjoying yourself and feeling confident about meeting new people is important to your long term healing process. Embrace this part of your life, believe in yourself and have fun.