According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC), there were 813,862 divorces in the United States in 2014. That’s a lot of people untying the knot, but if your filing for divorce in the near future, it’s good news for you. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding single people to date. Before you jump back into the dating scene, there are a few things you should know first. Here is a list of the do’s and don’ts of dating after divorce.
Don’t Date Before You Are Ready
You’ll probably have your friends, siblings, and even your own parents telling you it’s time to start dating again, but only you will know when you’re ready. If you can imagine yourself dating again and it’s exciting, then you’re probably ready to throw yourself back out there. On the other hand, if the idea makes you nervous or anxious, you likely need to wait a bit longer.
If two years pass and you’re still spending every Friday and Saturday night alone, it may be time to see a counselor. A professional can help you determine what it is that’s keeping you from taking the plunge. Some men, for example, feel as if they aren’t earning enough money, while women tend to be self-conscious about their appearance or their wardrobe. In either case, something can be done about it. It’s never too late to start focusing on yourself and improving your self-esteem!
Don’t Lie About Your Relationship Status
If you and your spouse decide that it’s okay for you both to begin dating, even though the divorce is not finalized, don’t lie about your relationship status. If you go on a date, it’s not fair to dupe the person into thinking your divorce is already final. What if you meet someone you really like? They won’t appreciate it if they find out that technically, you’re still married. They may think that if you lied about that, you’re probably lying about other facts.
Don’t Trust Everyone’s Online Profiles
If you haven’t dated in 15 or 20 years, you may be surprised to learn that online dating has become the norm. If you sign up for online dating sites, just be aware that a lot of people lie about their relationship status or their jobs. If you find someone who you are interested in, do a little research on them. Google their name, and check out their social media accounts, especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram – in that order – before you agree to meet them in person. When it comes to your online profile, make sure it’s short, sweet and honest. You don’t want to say anything that would be misleading.
Don’t Do Dinner on a First Date
If you’re going out with someone you’ve never met before, don’t plan to have dinner with your date. You may not like the person, and you don’t want to feel obligated to spend the entire evening with him or her. Instead, meet for coffee or drinks, but don’t go too crazy on the drinks. Even if you actually like the person sitting in front of you, it’s easy to ruin the possibility of a second date if you binge drink and make a fool out of yourself.
Don’t Meet at Your House on a First Date
If you meet someone online, don’t have them meet you at your house on the first date, especially if you’re a woman. The guy may turn out to give you bad vibes and you do not want to jeopardize your safety. If you’re male and you meet with a woman who you realize is “emotionally imbalanced,” you don’t want her to start showing up at your house unannounced. Even though you can take care of yourself, do you really want to deal with her visits?
Don’t Bring Up Your Ex on the First Date
If you’re recently divorced, it may be tempting to bring up your controlling ex-husband or your cheating ex-wife, but it’s really best not to go there. Even if your date is divorced too, you still don’t want to bring the conversation down. Instead, try to find other things that you two have in common, such as cooking, fine wines, or running marathons. The idea is to keep the conversation light-hearted. You could talk about your favorite bands, your hobbies, your kids, your job, entertainment, or your favorite restaurants, just stay away from the topic of your ex.
Don’t Hide the Fact that You Have Children
Suppose you have three children under the age of 18. You schedule your date on the night your ex has the kids, so you’re free for the entire evening. You don’t have to be home by midnight to let the babysitter go home and study for her final exam. Even though you can pretend like you’re childless, that’s not a good idea. If you’re hoping for a second date, you should be completely honest about the fact that you have kids. You want to make sure that anyone you date is okay with you being a single parent.
Don’t Introduce Your Kids to Your Dates
Don’t arrange to have your dates pick you up at the house when your children are home, and don’t introduce your dates to your children, especially if it’s new. Schedule your dates when your ex has the kids, or hire a babysitter and meet your date somewhere, instead of having him or her show up at your house when your kids are home. The rule of thumb is to wait six months before introducing someone to your children, and only do it if you believe your relationship is promising and the person would be a good influence around your children.
We hope you find this information helpful. If you need divorce advice, contact our Los Angeles divorce firm to set up a free consultation.