Reentering The Dating Scene After Divorce
Divorce is not the end of the world; it is the end of one life and the beginning of a new one. You will eventually move on to a new relationship. Indeed, most men are fundamentally transformed by marriage. They get used to the comfort and companionship, and even if they have gone through the most hellish divorce imaginable they will still not want to live alone indefinitely.
You may, as a divorcee, have feelings similar to what is described above. You may even be looking forward to the life ahead of you. But if you are ready to re-enter the dating scene straight after a divorce, do yourself a favor: don’t.
The worst thing that a recently divorced man can do is to start dating right after the split. You may have ignored it or suppressed it at the time, but when you were married you felt caged, trapped, pent down, and imposed upon. Before you go looking for someone else you need to ventilate a little bit.
Take a long exotic vacation or a succession of short ones if your work schedule allows it. Party, drink, carouse, and for the love of might fuck—indulge every erotic fantasy you’ve had since your marriage. There is no need to keep your divorce a secret. Spread the word. Make decisive moves on the cute waitresses and bartenders you’ve flirted with. Get on Tinder and join matchmaking sites dedicated exclusively to individuals looking for sex.
Your emancipation from the chains of monogamy will give rise to the most intense feelings of lechery. Embracing them will give you the release you so desperately need.
You will also need time to re-organize your life. Much of this can be done while you’re dating, but there are a couple of things you ought to do before letting another woman into your life.
Get yourself back into the gym. Tone up, lose weight, flatten that belly, and tighten those muscles. You no longer have a wife and kids to go back to, so there is no excuse not to renew your gym membership and do a daily session after work. You are single again and the competition is fierce.
You must also organize your place into a proper bachelor’s pad. Yes, what you’ve been through was tough and the temptation to pity yourself is intense, but you must not give into it. Resist the urge to turn your apartment into a dumping ground for clothes and empty Chinese food containers.
You are going to have lady visitors. Act like it by filling your place with good furniture, lighting, a few art works, and proper cups, glasses, cutlery, and plates. Familiarity with the domestic arts is probably the one good thing that came of your marriage. Use this to your advantage as a newly single man.
After you have released and re-organized, you will be ready to re-enter the dating scene. Here are a few tips to follow:
You will instinctively seek a woman like your ex-wife. That sounds crazy, but it is true. If you were married to a strong, independent woman, you will be drawn to women who display those traits. Rebelling against the instinct and dating a woman who is the exact opposite of your ex still means the latter is in your head and has a hold on your emotions.
To break free, you must cease comparing the woman in front of you with the one you left behind. Look at and evaluate each of your dates for who they are. Not all tough-minded women are the same as your ex-wife.
If you have always had an interest in photography, woodworking, climbing, or wine tasting, now is the time to take it up as a hobby. Joining hobby clubs is a great way to meet like-minded people. You will in fact find that many of the women in such clubs are single or divorced and joined with an intention similar to yours.
You are not in some kind of horse race. You have nothing to prove. If you asked a girl out, then you no doubt think that she is pretty and that the two of you will rub along well together. That is all that matters at the moment. You should enjoy the company of the person you’re with; you should do your best to relax and have a good time.
Do not rush into a new relationship. You will have a few dates that lead nowhere. You will have a few dates that result in sex and nothing afterward. One or two of your dates may even turn into genuine friendships. But don’t tie yourself down to the first woman who makes you feel good. Explore and experiment; make your new dating life an adventure. Be patient. In time, you will be ready to settle down again, and you will find the right woman to do it with.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.