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Dating after Divorce: it’s like high school all over again
Entering the dating world after a divorce can be incredibly intimidating. You’ve spent a significant amount of time with one person, and now you’re single again. Likely you’re a little apprehensive – but if you want to know what to expect – think of it this way: dating after divorce is like high school all over again.
It will enhance your experience
There are those that didn’t date in high school. Maybe they were shy, or maybe the ‘right’ person never seemed to cross their path.
If this was you – you may have had plenty of friends and even belonged to lots of groups and activities to help you feel fulfilled. However, missing out on dating – whether in high school or after divorce, means you are missing out on great connections and a lot of fun.
Sure, not every date will go perfectly, you may be nervous and you may even get your heart broken, but at the end of the day, those that put themselves out there are the ones who are really living.
Some will be playing the field
Just like high school, there will be those guys and those girls that are playing the field. While this can be frustrating or even hurtful at times, it’s a reality of dating, especially in the age of online dating.
The best way to navigate this is to – first, keep an open mind in the beginning – everyone is trying to figure out what and whom they like.
Second, be clear about your non-negotiables; if you are looking for exclusivity after a few months, but upfront about that and communicate clearly.
Finally, consider giving this a shot – if you tended to be a monogamous dater in the past, realize that dating a few people casually can teach you a lot about yourself, empower you with options and be a lot of fun!
Talking about your status may be awkward, but you should do it
The question of ‘are we or aren’t we a couple?’ was awkward in high school. It’s still awkward as adults – but it’s important to discuss, to ensure both of you are on the same page, both for your relationship and for your sexual health.
Communication is key to your happiness and comfort level. While everyone is different, and the timing of when you need this answer may be different for you versus the next person, try to hold off from being too focused on this question at the very beginning, in order to let things flow naturally.
You need to practice safe sex
Speaking of the question of exclusivity or not – it’s just as important to practice safe sex as an adult, as it was in high school.
Always be prepared with condoms. Even if you are not at risk for pregnancy, wearing condoms is important to protect you and your partner against STIs. Some of our favorite condom brands include Trojan Condoms, Naked Condoms, Sir Richards Condoms and Durex Condoms.
Not every relationship is meant to last forever
If you are just coming out of a divorce, you may be lonely and looking for someone special. Who can blame you? It’s only natural – but remember that just like your high school relationship likely didn’t last forever (even though you thought it would), not every relationship after divorce is meant to last forever. Relationships come and go, and relationships teach you things to help make you a better person. You are a tough cookie, keep your chin up and enjoy the ride!
It’s entirely possible you and your friends might both like the same guy
In the age of Tinder and other online dating applications, it’s entirely possible that you and a friend or acquaintance may be dating the same person. Take this with a grain of salt. While technology has made it easier than ever for us to meet tons of great options, just like high school, when a connection is there – the competition drifts away.
When you find a good one, be cool, have fun and throw caution to the wind!
Remember – dating is meant to be fun! If you’ve recently come out of a tough divorce, it’s natural to have your confidence rocked a little bit. However, sometimes the best way to move forward is to get out there and throw caution to the wind. When you are enjoying yourself, you’re irresistible to be around… so if you’re dating and you’ve found a good one, instead of overanalyzing it, or sabotaging it by being too high-maintenance, play it cool. Throw caution to the wind, be yourself, feel like the world is full of endless opportunities ahead – just like you felt in high school.