It is daunting to consider dating after experiencing divorce, especially after spending ten or more years with someone. By implementing the tips in this article, I am certain you will become more comfortable and even enjoy dating because dating is a process and can be structured to fit your needs.
The Right Time to Start Dating
Being ready to date is less about a time line and more about how you feel and how ready you are to have companionship in your life.
For example: if you are harboring negative feelings about your ex, are angry or resentful, are going through a difficult legal battle, or find yourself obsessing or talking about your divorce with your friends so much that they are sick of hearing about it, you are not ready. Get busy and do things you enjoy. Try doing something that you have always wanted to do but did not because you were taking care of the household and your family like taking classes to explore what you want to create in your life now. Take your time meeting new people and learn about them over time. Put less focus on dating and more focus on you experiencing new things and people with the goal of creating a new you and your new life.
On the other hand, if you are considering the following questions, then you may be ready to start dating:
- What do I want my dating experience to be like?
- What is my description of the perfect first date? Second? Third?
- What criterion has to be present for me to consider a second or third or subsequent date?
- How soon will I have sex when dating?
- When will I introduce my date to my children/family?
- When will I feel comfortable with my date knowing where I live?
- How do I want to be treated during the date and by my date?
Dating is a healthy choice when you are madly in love with your-Self, know how you want your dating experience to look like, are complete with your past relationship(s), and feel excited about your new found freedom and life.
Three Stages of Dr. Dar’s Dating Process
Stage 1: Intentional Dating
Instead of just going out and meeting people who you are interested in or who are interested in you based on instant attraction, what I call ‘Accidental Attraction’, why not be INTENTIONAL in your dating experience? Intentional Dating involves being clear about what you are looking for and what you want. Yes, it is time for you to make a simple list that will help you screen prospective dates and save you time, energy, and even money.
Here are the keys to making your Simple List:
- Get a sheet of paper and make a line at the top and down the middle so it forms a T.
- Above the horizontal line write these headings: Left side: I no longer want Right side: I deeply want. Now it is time to start making your list.
- List what you do not want on the left side. You may be asking: why would I have a list of what I don’t want? Trust me; the simplest path to get to a solid list of what you do want is to make a list of what you don’t want.
- List what you deeply want on the right side next to each item that you no longer want. Now, cross out the item you no longer want.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have at least 50 items on your list (no longer want and deeply want). Do not rush, take your time with this – this is the foundation of the Dating Process.