After years of being married, putting yourself back in the singles market can be scary, especially if you had little previous dating experience or if the divorce was particularly traumatic. Between kids, potential step-relations, money issues and exes, dating after divorce can be a tricky and stressful endeavor. So if you're a newly single man who is considering dating again, here are a few important guidelines you should follow in order to make an easier transition back into the world of dating.
After being married for an extended period of time, the most important aspect at this point is to reevaluate your thoughts and feelings, not rush into anything and don't let others push you into dating prematurely. Some people take longer than others to move on, so if you feel shaky and fragile, or if there are still bitter feelings from the divorce, you may need to give yourself more time before getting out and dating again.
You have likely lost track of your single self, neglected old friendships, dropped out of your old Monday-night bowling league, let your physical health go, or even completely forgotten about your favorite hobbies. Now is the time to reconnect with your individual self, start watching what you eat, doing "guy" things with friends and buying yourself some flattering new clothes that make you look and feel good.
Once you feel somewhat confident in going out and dating again after the divorce, you should take some time to think through what kind of women you would like to attract and then put yourself in a position to meet them. The last thing you want is to go out and find a carbon copy of your ex-wife and make the same mistake all over again. By the same token, don't make it a point to find someone who's the exact opposite either. Take advantage of the many opportunities to meet new women at places like church groups, gyms or local social clubs to get your feet wet.
When you officially get back in the dating game, be respectful of your own needs and proud of what you have to offer in a relationship. Embrace all the lessons from your failed marriage so that you can go out and find what you really want. Don’t let post-divorce loneliness or insecurity make you lower your expectations because not only will dating unsuitable women make you feel poorly, it will also model a very negative relationship for your children if you have any.
There is not as much of a social stigma as there once was and there really is no need to hide the fact that you have are divorced, so be honest about your history whenever you're out on a date. Keep the conversation positive and upbeat without sharing too much and avoid discussing your ex even if your date demonstrates great concern and curiosity about what you might have been through.
It’s OK to briefly mention the basic circumstances of your divorce; however, telling your dates about how your dirty skank of an ex cheated on you or how she did you wrong will make you come off sounding bitter and vengeful--not exactly traits women are looking for in a man! Furthermore, NEVER compare any women you meet to your ex-wife as that may signal that you haven't moved on and are not yet ready for a new woman in your life.
Trying to rush into a new long term relationship is one of the biggest dating mistakes men make after their marriage does not work out. You don't want to rush things, so take your time, get some experience under your belt and really discover whom you want to be with and what you really want in a relationship.