One of the most challenging things one may have to go through in life is divorce. The process isn’t, and one party always ends up broken. However, another difficult thing both partners have to face is how to jump back into the game most especially if they got divorced at an older age.
For the women, it may seem a tad easy because they might not be the one having to plan the entire date process; however, the story is different when it comes to the males. We understand that having gone through that horrible divorce, it is difficult to get back into the game.
You are already probably fretting and freaking out right now, and that is pretty much understandable. However, what do you need to do to start rebuilding your romantic life especially if it seems you are a little bit out of practice?
Don’t fret so much. There is indeed a silver lining in all you are passing through, and this article is going to try to help you find it. Before you get back into the dating game, here are the 10 things you must do first.
1. Take a class
Before you already start thinking that this is a dumb idea in the first instance, kindly read to the end. If you are so nervous about dating most especially when you are already having the impression that you are too “old,” then you need to consider taking a class.
Taking a class on either cooking, art or if you would consider the men’s game archery, will help you ease back into getting a conversation started.
The world is changing. Most women do like to get to know who they are dating and a great way to help build your conversation skill is to do what interests you and make friends while at it.
Except you want to deny the truth, your social skills need a little bit of fine-tuning. Don’t jump right into asking a lady out on a date when your social skills are “whack.” Getting to make new friends first which are preferably outside your age group will give you an insight knowledge on how a person in their age group thinks.
After being married for too long, it might be a little confusing in getting in tune with how the “dating world” really is and to get back in line, start from honing your social skills. According to Kenny Rogers, who is a clinical sexologist, he always advised recently divorced men to take classes to meet someone new.
According to him, they may meet someone of interest in their class, and since they already have a mutual topic to dwell on with whoever they find, it makes it easier for them to start a conversation. They could decide to start their discussions based on what was taught in class and then gradually work their way up the ladder.
2. For your first date, pick a public activity
Does this sound weird? Well, it can happen and still turn out to be a great first date. Think of it this way. Instead of planning that candlelight dinner and probably get to embarrass yourself, why don’t you do something fun with your new found partner?
For example, if you decided to take a cooking class and you get to meet someone you like, then you both can choose to either go to the market or the mall together. This will make your partner feel safe around you without having second thoughts because these places are definitely public places.
Asides the fact that your date won’t have to fret for her safety, you will have other topics in line for a great discussion. As you move around, you will see new topics that can be used to start up a conversation without having to go blank.
As you move around the mall or supermarket shopping, you can discuss vegetables, fruits, foods, snacks and so on. You can even get to discover new facts about your potential partner.
For example, you might get to know her taste in food, her best snack, what kind of fruits she would rather indulge in and so on. As the date progresses, Rodgers suggests that after all that shopping, you both can either get coffee, ice-cream or snacks and sit somewhere to talk a bit.
If things go well, there is no harm to planning another date there and then. You can both decide to schedule a cooking class maybe together, just the two of you in your apartment or hers, as the case may be.
You could suggest cooking together with the items you both bought, and that will also help you score points with her.
3. For your third date, try something of an outdoor exercise
According to Rodgers, you may notice that that first date adrenaline or as you might like to call it “butterflies” may tend to dissipate after the second date.
This is the reason why he suggests that you may need to form a new bond with your new potential partner on the third date.
What better way to do that than to try an outdoor activity such as hiking, snowboarding, and so on. You can also allow your partner to pick out where she wants to go or the type of event she wants to indulge in.
If you guys aren’t into the athletic aspect, you can both try community development activities such as joint volunteering. This will help you build your social status with her. However, you must remember to stay away from the alcohol as much as possible.
Alcohol can be a mood spoiler if you are not the type that can hold it in. So, you must endeavor to avoid it so as not to embarrass yourself and worse your date.
If you notice, you will realize that none of these options involved anything that has to do with alcohol and that is intentional.
4. You must accept the fact that the dating scene has changed
Since the last time you left the scene, there are a lot of differences that have occurred and a lot of changes has taken place. You must come to terms with the fact that because you were the master of the game back then doesn’t mean that you will still know how to play the field right now.
There are lots of differences, and you will definitely need to keep up. Dating apps and online dating sites are only a step in the entire game.
In fact, it is the first essential step you must take. Agreed, these dating sites can give you options and choices to pick from. But after this, you are definitely going to need a lot of skills to get a partner.
Instead of getting overwhelmed with the entire situation of things, you can decide to learn new skills to add to your old ones hence developing yourself in this area.
According to Rogers, in order to succeed, you must accept that the rules of the dating game have changed since you were single.
Although it is still possible to meet someone you like facially first without the help of dating apps, however, the tendency of doing that are lesser while the possibility of getting someone you want via a dating app is greater.
However, there are some rules that you probably observed when you were single that is still in vogue today. Respecting your partner, having to treat them with courtesy and respect, and so on never goes out of style.
5. Set out to actually ENJOY the experience
You are nervous but being a man, you don’t want to show it, so your partner doesn’t see you as weak — all that is understandable. But you need to actually enjoy your dating experience else you may end up losing on the fun aspect of it.
Don’t set out with the mindset that you would meet your partner or wife on your first date. While this is possible, however, the chances are slim.
While you have it at the back of your mind that you are searching for someone to end up with, you should still realize that meeting other people is a fun thing to do.
You must endeavor to approach dating with some excitement and intrigue. While dating might seem like a big deal but don’t get all so serious on your dates. Have fun and be intentional about it.
According to Dr. Kenny Rogers, he says being too overly serious with your partner on a date can cause them to feel certain inconveniences.
Don’t take yourself too seriously and have a good laugh with your potential wife-to-be. One of the reasons for dating is so that you can get to know each other and being too serious about it can cause awkwardness, and you sure don’t want that.
Coming out of a long-term committed marriage could be stressful and tiring, but that doesn’t mean you must allow it to affect your future relationships.
When you are ready to get back on the horse, don’t hold the reins too tight or you might inconvenience your horse. In other words, what I mean is this: get back there being excited and let things flow the way they should.
Stop trying to control everything. You may scare your partner away. Don’t rush to get into a new relationship. Have fun. Meet friends; new friends. Meet people for the sake of meeting and getting to know them.
Go slow. This is a marathon, not a sprint race. You are here for the long haul and not short-term. It is better you start slow, so you don’t burn out in between. Don’t worry, and you are not getting married tomorrow so sit down and enjoy the entire process.
6. Be yourself
There is no point trying to pretend because you won’t be able to hold out for long on the pretense. Getting back in the game can be a little bit scary or a lot scary actually if you are honest and guess what?
That is okay. Being a bit uncertain and worried is okay. It shows you are human and concerned about your emotions and it is very understandable.
You may feel probably unsure if where to start especially if you are a lot rusty when it comes to dating. You could also be feeling uncertain and if it is totally worth it.
Guess what, that feeling entirely happens to single people too. That self-doubt you are experiencing is a perfectly normal emotion.
With that being said, you must continuously assure yourself that you are good enough. Always remind yourself that you are a beautiful package.
You are a fun person. You are goofy and honest. Probably you might be a little nerdy, and that is okay. You are perfect the way you are.
You don’t need to pretend to be somebody out of a cartoon character or probably someone who never existed to be excellent.
You are already impressive as it is. If you are goofy or nerdy, then be goofy or nerdy. Let your partner know it firsthand and let them fall in love with who you indeed are.
Stop faking because it is too stressful and asides that, it is entirely impossible to keep up with the facade forever. Sooner or later, your partner would see right through it and well, they may walk away.
They are not walking because they don’t like what they see. They are walking away because you weren’t honest with them in the first place.
If you feel the need to be someone else because your date won’t be into you, then that person is probably not for you.
The person for you will love you for who you really are. She would live the entire package that comes along with you, and the plus sides are you are entirely coming to your skin.
7. Try dating outside your box
If you have a particular type of person you have always been looking for, and if you have a specific set of people you always seek interest in, but it hasn’t been working out for you, then I think it is time to date outside your box.
Try something different. Try dating a different type of person. If you have been into the serious nerdy kinds of ladies, perhaps it is time to widen your scope and go to other types of ladies. What you may need to complete you might just be the adventurous type of person.
You must realize that not every single person you date has to fall into your particular box of people you have been with. Not all ladies have to be your type. You perhaps need a change that will brighten your horizon.
According to Overstreet, dating is a process that has to do with Elimination. When you realize that you go on a date with a particular kind of person and the person isn’t a good fit, you will need to eliminate them out of the equation and move on.
You necessarily don’t need to get hung up on someone who isn’t into you. You need to move on to someone else, and soon, you would find your perfect match. Classify every dating event as a journey of self-discovery.
You must always ask yourself this question, how will you know you like this type of person if you don’t go out on a date with them? How would you know this person is for you when you have already written them off without going out with them?
8. Understand that rejection is part of life
One of the many reasons that people hold back on dating is because they always feel that they can’t handle the rejection so they would instead not enter into the process. When you are recently divorced, one of the things that plague you is fear of rejection.
You are always scared of what might be or how the person may react when he or she sees you. Most times, for divorcees, it is usually hard to bounce back. Often, you might end up with this overwhelming feeling of defeat.
Here is one thing you must know and understand. Rejection is a part of life. Everyone has in one way or another experienced it, and the fact that someone rejected you doesn’t mean that the next person will refuse you.
Even though the dating scene may have had a few tweaks, there are still some constants in it and rejection sadly is part of those constants. You must understand that in every dating relationship or potential dating relationship, you may even end up being rejected. You must prepare your mind for that possibility.
When this happens, remember that everyone still faces rejection and if you are being rejected, it isn’t about you. Don’t start taking it personally. It isn’t about you. It probably could be that the person is not into you as you are into her.
Learn to move on. The next person may probably think that the whole universe starts and ends with you. That is how awesome you will be cherished. You need to take a deep breath after being rejected and move on. After all, who cares? It doesn’t show on your forehead how many times you have been denied.
According to Overstreet, remember that you have probably changed over the last few years. You need to figure out how you have changed and who exactly you have become. That will help you understand yourself more and who you probably should be going out on a date with next.
9. Don’t be too desperate
One of the worst things that can happen is if you start coming off too desperate. You must understand that desperation is a huge turn-off. You need to enjoy dating for the sake of dating. You must not pressure yourself into getting back into the marriage scene all too quickly.
In fact, we would advise that you take your time and take it slow. If you are putting pressure on yourself and partner instead of taking it slow, it won’t go down well for the two of you. According to Overstreet, he says that if you have just recently got divorced, you shouldn’t be looking to get back quickly into the dating scene.
Take your time. There is no rush. Don’t be desperate. If women perceive you as extreme, there are two things likely to happen. They may either run away from you scared as hell, or they will take advantage of you and leave you hanging thereby causing you to face another form of pain.
You shouldn’t scare off a potentially great partner all because you are trying to push too hard, too far and too fast all at once. Take it slow and let it flow naturally. Things will fall into place in its own time; you don’t need to force it.
10. Remember, the dating process is a learning process
Dating after a divorce is an entire process of rediscovery. It is more like trying to find this new you and teach you to love again. Take time to enjoy the whole process. Take your time to sit down and learn about what you need to understand.
Think of yourself as a student in this school. As you go on different dates being who you are, you will discover new things about you too. You may find that you mainly have a particular type of fresh fruit or snack you love.
You may find out that there is a new hobby you actually enjoy. You will also note that some parts of you have probably been lying dormant and you never knew it was there. How else can you know this if you refuse to date, other people?
In conclusion, coming out of that divorce may be one hell of an experience you want to put behind you in a hurry. It may have left you angry, bitter and broken. Your divorce could have even been a mutual understanding of the fact that your marriage is no longer working.
However the divorce went, you need to understand that you must work on yourself. Choose to see this turn of events as an opportunity to grow not a circumstance to dismantle your level of confidence.