For the record, I’ve never been divorced.
But in the six years since the release of my first book It’s A Breakup, Not A Breakdown, I’ve talked to tens of thousands of men and women who found themselves starting over after a Big Breakup or divorce.
For the first time—sometimes in decades if not in their entire adult lives—they were living alone, getting to know themselves in the ME space vs. the WE space, single and dating…
The list of “firsts” goes on and on, especially when it comes to moving on and dating again.
So do the ongoing questions…
How do I get back out there and start dating?
What’s with internet dating?
How do I talk about my divorce on dates?
How soon is too soon to have sex with someone new? (Women often ask this question too late!)
If you find yourself navigating this tricky territory, don’t despair. I’m going to break down some general dos and don’ts so you can easily identify when to say Game ON and when to say Game OVER on dates.
Do: Learn the lessons from your past
Unless you want to repeat the mistakes of your past in your next relationship—which I’m guessing you don’t—you’re going to want to do a little self exploratory work. I called it performing a relationship autopsy. And not just on your last relationship, but on all previous relationships that were meaningful to you. Things to look for: patterns, beliefs, behaviors, and tolerations you recognize in yourself and your choices in a partner that may have led you down an unhappily ever after path. The goal isn’t to assign shame or blame. Instead, you want to get real, be accountable, and see where you may be consistently selling yourself short in your love life.
Don’t: Rebound into a new relationship
Yes, being single can feel daunting, especially if you can’t even remember who you were BEFORE your last relationship. But that doesn’t mean the first item on your Post-Divorce to do list should be REBOUND. Why not relish your ME time, getting to know yourself, rediscovering your Fabulous Factor, and in general learning who you’re evolving into as an interesting individual who’s learning from the past and consciously creating your exciting future? Yes, you deserve to find love again. But imagine how much more meaningful and rewarding that love will be if you first love and work on YOU.
Do: Recruit a Woohoo Crew
Just like you needed a Boohoo Crew—that core group of 2-4 friends who nursed you through your breakup/divorce—you’re going to want to have a Woohoo Crew supporting you as you get back out onto the dating scene. And while your married with children friends mean well, they may not be perfectly suited to join your Woohoo Crew. After all, when was the last time they went on a date or tried to rock an online dating profile? Think single, healthy, and happy friends who can help you celebrate and embody your healthiest, happiest single self. Don’t know anyone who fits this description? That may be part of the problem. And now is the perfect time to expand your social circle. Join a singles meetup group. Volunteer for a cause you care about. Get involved in your community. By getting into YOU, you never know who you might meet.
Love these tips? Enjoy even MORE Street Smart Love advice – via video – on The Game Over YouTube Channel.