“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.” ~KT Witten

Let’s be honest: going through divorce sucks. It is difficult and painful, to say the very least. And while you’re going through it, it is hard to imagine that you would even consider going back into the dating world. But at the same time, you might not relish the idea of being single for life, and that is why you’re thinking about dating again.  Or maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum and are not at all afraid to go back to the dating world. Heck, you may have even found yourself immediately ready to date again after a divorce.

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In any case, there are some important things you should know about dating after divorce – times have changed. But good news! We’ve got you covered. Try these powerful dating tips if you’re looking to go back into the dating world after a divorce.

1. Start Dating Again When The Divorce Is Final

You may be eager to go back and meet the one who you feel you should have met in the first place. However, dating too soon after a divorce that is still not yet finalized will not allow you to focus on your new partner. Additionally, you don’t want to date anyone if you will be on the rebound which you may be for some time. It is important to give yourself some space and time to heal before going back to date. I cannot stress enough how important this is if you want to avoid getting involved with someone who isn’t right for you.

2. Ask Yourself Why You Want To Begin To Date Again

As previously mentioned, being on the rebound can make you feel like you want to go and find a new partner right away. And, despite the fact that it might temporarily relieve your pain, that is not a good reason to hook up with anyone. If you are interested in dating again, be sure to ask yourself honestly why you want to go back into the sea to look for more fish.  How can a new relationship benefit you? Are you really healed enough to consider one? Is this something you really want, or are you feeling pressure from people around you to get back into the “dating pool?” If you’re just feeling lonely and sad, it might be healthier for you to go out and spend time with platonic friends for now. If you’re not really ready to date, you might consider putting things on hold until you truly feel you are ready to start again.

3. Expectations Must Be Reasonable

The one thing that divorce would have taught anyone is what they want and do not want in a partner. And as a result, this can cause you to be picky. Remember that no one is perfect, however, that does not mean to put your standards too low. Be aware of the red flags of a toxic person on a date, and don’t be afraid to walk away if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries.

In general, you’re looking for someone who displays empathy. You want honesty, stability, and someone who will put you first. Your date should ask you questions about yourself and show interest in your answers. They should also be willing to answer your questions honestly and the conversation should feel mostly comfortable. Outside of these basics, it is all about what your own priorities are when you are looking for a new mate.

4. Be Completely Honest About What Happened In Your Past (Eventually)

If you end up dating another divorcee, they will understand and will not be so judgemental as their marriage had ended as well. However, if you end up hooking up with someone who has never been married, they will be leary as to why your marriage had ended. In either case, while it’s important to tell them the basics (such as “I’m divorced with three kids”) you should not necessarily show all of your emotional cards on a first date. So, don’t spill the beans on all of the hairy details just yet. Why? Because toxic people will often use your painful past against you later in the relationship. So while it is important to be transparent about your past and why the previous marriage failed, you should only offer details when you feel that you can fully trust the person you’re dating. This is true whether you are dating a fellow divorcee or someone who has never been married.

5. Go Into The Dating World Slowly

Regardless of when you decide to go back into the dating world, you want to take it very slowly. Again, healing is a big, important part of the divorce process, and jumping back in with both feet might actually stall or stop your healing altogether.  Never rush into things, and if you have kids, you will want to bring them into the new relationship very slowly regardless of their age. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you’ve been dating at least six months before letting your children meet your new love. This will give you the time and space you need to get to know a person first – so you can make sure they’re worth being part of your childrens’ lives.

Divorce is very hard but you can find true love after the fact. Just be sure to utilize these tips before going back into the dating world so you can increase your chances of finding forever happiness.

Bonus: Was your ex a toxic narcissist? If so, this video will help you see your way back into the dating world a little more safely.