Solutions to Your Post-Divorce Dating Dilemmas
Dating can be daunting, especially when you've been out of the game for a few years.
"Being in a relationship for 20 years means you have no idea what the dating scene is like today," says Dr. Bronwen Lichtenstein, a University of Alabama researcher who studies women recently divorced or widowed. "There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in returning to the dating scene...nobody knows what the rules are because everything's changed."
If you're wondering how you'll navigate the singles scene - at your age! - you'll need this advice.
Ready or Not?
Dating can be especially intimidating when you're recovering from divorce or the death of a spouse. Don't let your friends or family rush you back into the singles scene. You should feel like you want to meet someone new, not like you should. When you catch yourself noticing cute strangers, being tempted to check out online dating sites "just to see what's out there" or even flirting in the checkout line, you're on your way!
Where Is Everyone?
You've outgrown the bar scene - and that's a good thing. According to Lichtenstein, the most successful singles explore their hobbies and build their own satisfying life (and find they meet other like-minded people along the way). Try things that interest you, but don't overlook opportunities in your day-to-day activities. "[Singles] told me they often meet people in grocery stores. There's a whole dating scene for this age group going on in Wal-Mart and Publix," she says.
What Do I Wear?
Many singles of a certain age feel like they're stuck between dressing too young - or too old - for their age. You don't want to dress like a teen, but you're not ready for elastic waistbands and sensible shoes. Look for something that makes you feel good, and adapt current styles to suit your taste.
How Much History Do I Share?
At this point in your life, you're definitely carrying a little emotional baggage. It's tempting to unload it on a new date, but resist the urge. Keep your date conversation positive. You can always shed light on your divorce or the loss of your spouse once things start getting serious.
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