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Dating After Divorce

Arguably the most lingering feeling after divorce is one of low self esteem. The loss of a partner, for any reason, leads us to question our own self worth. Not surprisingly, many people spend the first few days, months, or even years in quiet desperation. Friends become optional, the TV guide replaces all human contact and pyjamas become the new fashion statement. We never go out, and shun almost all human contact. While that may seem like a quick-fix solution to many, the truth is that human beings are by nature social animals. In the long run, we need that bit of human contact in our lives.

However, not all of us are ready to jump on the bus to dating-vile at the drop off a wedding band. Fear of rejection and history repeating itself can generally keep us out of everyone’s little black books for ages. The secret, therefore, is to treat dating like learning to ride a bicycle. You may fall off in the beginning, but you need to get up, dust yourself and get back on. Eventually, you will not only be good at it, you will even enjoy it.

Don’t expect to fall in love with the first person you meet. Sometimes people go on lots of dates with people they don’t even like. The truth is that there could be really nice people just around the corner. Think of it like preparing for a really important interview. You’d go on several ‘practice’ interviews just to see what it would be like and rehearse for the one you truly want to go on. Similarly, think of all the ‘bad’ dates as rehearsals for the really good one you’re about to have.

So what if you’re not looking at marrying the next person you see? Dating can be just about two people who enjoy each other’s company and like to live in the moment. As long as both parties know this, the pressure on a date can be lessened dramatically. If you want to have a good time, and let’s face it, who doesn’t, get out there and start pedalling. You may not make the tour de France, but you will enjoy the ride.

Besides not expecting the earth on every post-divorce date, the important thing is to feel good about yourself. Drop the ice-cream spoon and get on the treadmill. Now is the time for a little ‘pick-me-up’. Let’s face it, we know what makes us happy, better than anyone else. Get up, get dressed and get out!

Before you start dating, it might be a good idea to get rid of the tons of emotional garbage that you’re carrying around. As devastating or fascinating as your divorce may have been to you, here’s a little dating secret- nobody likes to hear you cry about it! Remember, people have problems of their own to deal with. They’re out with you on a date, not playing ‘psychiatrist’.

If you’re really that nervous about putting yourself out on a limb, try going out for parties and dinners in groups. It may not seem like much one-on-one time, but it will serve to ease you back into the game. Being out in a group will make you feel comfortable. There is safety in numbers. Besides, it will actually be a good way to meet new people, and yet avoid any forced commitments or unreasonable expectations. You will be able to enjoy yourself much more freely. It will also give other people a chance to see the ‘fun’ you, and talk about you to their friends.

You deserve to be happy. So start doing something for yourself. There’s a whole world out there. It’s filled with endless possibilities and promises. Enjoy it!

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