Dating after divorce is a daunting experience if you aren't prepared — especially for those of us who were in long-term marriages. Sharing space and time with a member of the opposite sex is nice — something most of us long for, even if we are too busy to get busy.
If you are divorced and longing for the company of a man, that means one thing: Dating.
To help alleviate some of the anxiety of your first date, I've put together a few tips that will help you get back into the dating game and enjoy your newly found freedom.
- Become one with the church mouse. Women like to communicate, and I'll be the first to admit we do it well. On a first date, it's important to you show your date that what he has to say is important to you. No matter how well you communicate, the first date is for listening. The more you listen, the more knowledge you will gain — which helps to decide if there will be a second date.
- It's a date, not a therapy session. Don't reveal too much, especially about past relationships. Selective is the keyword when discussing your past. If the subject of your divorce comes up, keep it brief and steer the conversation back to the present. Be open and honest, but don't spill your guts until you are sure he is ready to hear the gory details. (Or, that he is someone you even want to share those details with.)
- Don't take it too seriously. It's a dinner invitation, not a marriage proposal. Loneliness and fear can cause us to become attached too soon. No swooning allowed on the first, second or third date. Give yourself permission to date around, to meet new people and have some fun before looking for your next serious relationship. It will keep you from jumping out of the frying pain into the fire!
- How the date ends — if it ends at all — is up to you. If you've had a great time and want to get to know more about your date, inviting him in for a drink is your call. Do what feels right for you and your date. If all you can think about doing is beating it to the nearest exit, then you are free to make that choice. It's important though to remember that your date is human, has feelings and deserves respect no matter how the date goes. So, be gracious and courteous before making that quick exit.
The key to successful dating is to have fun, not to take it too seriously. You are an attractive, desirable woman who deserves attention from the opposite sex. Get out and enjoy yourself and all that attention.
Click the following for more tips and expert advice on sex and dating after divorce.
Cathy Meyer is the head of About.com's Divorce Support channel. To hear more from Cathy, go to: divorcesupport.about.com