• Dating again now that you are older and wiser can be exciting, and daunting. Before dating make sure you are at the point where your past relationship truly feels past. You should be in a place where you feel good about yourself and happy in your own space. This self-confidence shows and will make you a more desirable partner for others. So – only you will know when you feel ready to date and you should not feel pressured to jump into the arena until you’re there. And once you feel ready, take the leap!

    Meeting people
    Some people just dread the single scene and feel like they’ve forgotten how to date. Others find it liberating and embrace the opportunity to meet new people. Once you are ready to open yourself up to dating there are many places you might begin.

    1. 1. Join a group or club centered around an activity or topic you are interested in. You will meet many people with similar interests and will expand your social circle.
    2. 2. Let your family and friends know that you are interested and available. If someone suggests setting you up ask what they think you and the person who they have in mind have in common (both being single is not necessarily sufficient!).
    3. 3. Online dating – there are numerous sites where you can post a profile and search for possibilities. It lacks the personal touch but you can do it in your PJ’s on a bad hair day.
    4. 4. Volunteer – A great way to meet others who are likely have a generous nature – a good start.

    Approaching a First Date
    Try to remember that a first date is a bit like a job interview. You don’t want to be fake but you do want to show the best of yourself. So – prepare. Wear clothing that is flattering, and comfortable, and most importantly bring a positive attitude and smile. You do not need to put pressure on yourself – a date is simply a meeting. Approach it as an opportunity to meet someone new, learn about them and practice your skills. This person might be someone you develop a relationship with, romantic or friendship only, or might be someone who passes through your life. But each date is an opportunity to learn about others, learn about yourself, and hopefully enjoy the company and conversation. So, have fun!

    Children (Need I say More??)

    Just like every adult has their own time line of grieving and recovery after divorce, every child has their own time line. Your children might not be ready at all, they might want to be ready but not feel it, they might go back and forth…and your job as a parent is to be patient and understanding of their struggles. There is no reason for your children to be a part of your dating process initially so this gives you time to explore without involving your children, as you should. Do not introduce dates to your children until the relationship has become serious. And there is no reason to discuss your dating life at home. Conversations with and about dates should not happen when your children are present (or in earshot) until after your child has met your new partner.

    When the time arrives that you are dating seriously and your children will be meeting your new boy/girlfriend be prepared for strong reactions. Most children harbor a quiet fantasy (some not so quiet) that you and your ex will reunite. When they realize that you have moved on to someone else it is the death of that fantasy and their grief and anger may reappear.

    Your children might also see your new partner as an intruder into their own time with you. You will need to reassure them that your relationship with them is intact and solid. Specifically, that adults like to have time with other adults and this is someone with whom you enjoy spending time. And when you are at the point in your relationship where you are ready to introduce your children to this new person in your life, try to arrange a first meeting centered around an activity where your child can have fun and not be forced to just sit down and converse with someone with whom they are not yet comfortable. Again, kids are like adults in this as well – as it’s easier to meet and like someone while enjoying a common interest than with pressure under the spotlight.