“Life is too short to be divorced. But after divorce, life is too long to stay alone.”
On a serious note, everybody feels that a divorce is a tragedy. Especially in a country like India, and particularly in the life of a woman. I need not describe the feelings of hostility and contempt that divorced men and women experience. A marriage is supposed to be the ultimate source of happiness, love, and security, right? And now that the divorcees have failed to commit to the rules of marriage, broken the sacred vow, they need to spend the rest of their life in repentance.
Wrong. What people fail to realise is that sometimes, it is not individuals who fail, but the institution of marriage that fails us. And who said that we don’t deserve another shot at finding happiness, with another person?
The real question that bugs the divorcees is how long they should wait before dating.
How long should I wait after divorce before dating someone?
Honestly, there is no fool-proof suggestion. The period after the divorce is for self-reflection and healing. I mean, no one wants to plunge headlong into another relationship right after breaking from one. I’m sure your friends, relatives and well-wishers will immediately start looking at the best candidates for you. But you have to ask, “Am I ready for it?” Are you ready for a new relationship after your divorce?
Surely, as a divorcee, you need to heal from the scars of your marriage and the emotional and psychological energy you invested in it. Experts usually prescribe a two-year time period for healing. Use that time to find who you are and what you want. You can take as much time you want, but don’t wait for too long.
Meanwhile, you can take a look at these few signs that will help you know if you’re ready for dating.
- The very thought of dating surprisingly makes you happy. You look forward to it and are happy that you’re giving yourself a second chance
- Although you say no to dating, you have secretly started making a checklist of qualities you want in your next partner. Whether you observe him or her in a café, or as a colleague in your workplace, you start noticing them
- You bump into your ex at a mall or come across a post about her on social media. You aren’t angry or jealous. You are amazed to know that the murderous rage and hatred you felt is no more
- The thought of uninhibited sex with someone has started ruling your thoughts. You can’t help it
- You meet someone you can’t stop thinking about, maybe at a friend’s party or on a dating portal, and you exclaim, “Oh my god! He is so attractive. I would like to date him!
Before you join back in the race, there are a few things you need to keep in your mind.
Dating rules for divorcees
Getting back into the dating game is not that easy. You are used to having a spouse. The whole game of dating once again makes it unsettling, especially when you are in the mid-30s and 40s. Although it makes you young and wild all over again, with the butterflies come terrible bouts of anxiety and worry. “Will she call?” “What will he think of me?” “How am I ever going to make sense of this dating world today?” These and a number of questions stab divorcees day and night.
To make sure you get Cupid’s attention fair and nice, here are 12 dating tips that will get you right in front of his arrows.
1. Feel the fear but go for it anyway
It’s okay to have your share of doubts and terrors, but they won’t pass until you date someone. If the fear is about betrayal or failure, then you just handled a big one and came out all right. So, meet people, go to parties, and chat on dating websites, all the while holding your fears at bay.
2. Don’t give in too soon
You went on a date and nothing happened. No sparks flew. You easily jumped to the conclusion – “this is not going to work.” But what if you really had some fun, if not some sizzling chemistry right away? Go on a few more dates before giving up.
3. Drop the negative thoughts
Relationship experts advise that negative thoughts like “all men are bad” or “all good men are taken” is a terrible setback. Being optimistic removes self-doubt and prepares you mentally for the date.
4. Learn to be okay when things don’t work out
In spite of your positive outlook and repeated dating, the relationship might not work out. And you should be calm and open-minded to failures too. Set your expectations low and count each date as a new window into your own self as well as a chance to know another person.
5. Don’t rush. Text, but don’t overdo it
Too much texting and calling can lead to quick intimacy. And what if it’s the wrong person? You don’t want to take that path so soon, do you?
6. Go online!
Relationship coach Dr Kirschner says, “Online dating is not only mainstream, but it’s also one of the best ways to widen your search, rather than just hoping that you’ll meet someone in the coffee shop.” There are a number of dating sites like eHarmony, Tinder, Indiandating.co.in, OkCupid etc.
7. Don’t let children stop you
When it comes to women, they mostly use children as an excuse, not to date. Don’t do that. If you really want to date, then children shouldn’t be an issue. After all, they too want their parents to be happy.
8. Don’t make dating the ‘everything’
While dating, it is equally important that you enjoy your own life. Travel to places, join your favourite clubs and check your wish list. This stops you from putting that pressure on dating as the only roadmap to healing and happiness.
9. Don’t bring up the ex topic
As a divorcee, it is natural to bring up the ex topic in your dates. That’s a major spoiler. Make a list of cool topics beforehand to ask your date. For example: If you were given 30 days to travel the world where will you go? Or, Do you believe that dreams come true?
10. Talk with other divorcees
It is greatly comforting and insightful. Those who date can give you a first-hand experience of what to expect and what mistakes to avoid. You’ll be astounded to hear their second-time-in-love stories. Their stories will motivate you.
11. Know your worth and stick to it
Being divorced doesn’t power down your value. It’s the opposite – you’re stronger than most, having survived a stormy marriage. So, do not compromise on your expectations from your date. Be sure of what kind of partner do you want – eager to share responsibilities, loves kids, doesn’t mind cooking – and stick to it.
12. Love yourself
And watch the rest of them falling in love with you. Before you open doors for someone else to love you, you’ve got to wake up loving yourself. Here’s a simple trick you can practise – make a list of all the things you’re good at and how you’re going to get better at it.
You might want to date immediately after a divorce or might wait several years to date, that’s your choice. But whenever you step into the game, make sure you’re a ‘new’ you – more wise, confident and lovable. Go out there and have fun! Even if you fail to secure your Cupid’s arrow, don’t hold back.
There are more ways to finding love than dating alone!
So go ahead, and charm some hearts!