Are there really any dating rules after divorce? Not necessarily, but if you've been out of circulation for a while, the following tips will help you navigate the waters more easily.
By Kay Moffett and Sarah Touborg, authors of "Not Your Mother's Divorce"
1. Note To Self: Proceed With Caution.
Try to balance out time with thrilling new acquaintances/guys with time by yourself, and time with good old friends you can trust.
2. Singleton Girlfriends: Your Greatest Asset.
If you don't already have girlfriends who are single or have recently been single for a significant period of time, find them. Single women will be an incredible resource for you both because they are in a similar phase of life and because they know the ropes of the wacky dating world better than you.
3. The Harsh Truth: It's One Big Process of Elimination.
An important thing to know is that a guy you meet or go on a date with does not have to ever get in touch with you again. If a guy doesn't call, he's not interested/ he's commitment-phobic/ whatever. Don't fool yourself that he's busy, traveling, and so on.
4. Avoid Inadvertent Stalking.
Be careful not to engage in premature couple behavior just because it's what you know best. You don't want to ruin something good by overwhelming the guy and yourself before you even know what's there, and you want to make sure he is as great as you think.
5. To Thine Own Self Be True - Without Over sharing.
Whether you view it as "being mysterious" a la The Rules or honoring your own privacy, going slowly on the information front means you are confiding in a guy only once you are ready and he is worthy - an important measure of self-respect.
6. Go With The Gut.
You'll usually know by the second or third date whether you're vaguely interested in a guy. If you're dreading a next date, you're not into it.
7. The World Is Your Petri-Dish.
Approach the dating scene with an attitude of experimentation and openness. Don't necessarily focus on Mr. Right but on Mr. Right Now.
8. Defy the Checklist and Rediscover Your Type.
Many of us think we have a "type." We recommend that you jettison the checklist, get out of your head, and experiment with what really makes you happy (or makes you gag) so that you're living in reality and not on some remote Fantasy Island.
9. Do a 180.
One form of defying your checklist is being attracted to or getting involved with guys who are pretty much the opposite of your ex. Human nature being what it is, sometimes we need to swing from one extreme to the other to make progress.
10. Find Your Inner Flirt.
Flirting is a state of mind - it's about engaging in a sense of play about human contact and connection. It's about charming someone and letting yourself be charmed, about delighting in someone's vitality and having him delight in yours. It's frothy and joyous, not deep or serious. It's about instant gratification, not long-term goals. The chance to flirt may not last forever, so enjoy the freedom while you can - flirt 'til it hurts.
Excerpt from Not Your Mother’s Divorce (Amazon), written by by Kay Moffett and Sarah Touborg. This book offers insight and practical advice to women facing a divorce early in life. Written for today’s generation of women who divorce young and don’t have children, the authors offer insight and compassion for those taking the roller-coaster ride of divorce. Loaded with common sense advice, the authors discuss how to split the sheets while keeping your sanity, giving a general overview of the divorce process without going into too much legal detail. This book deals with the reader’s emotional well being, with ideas on how to cope with all the feelings, handle other people’s reactions, become comfortable with the thought of dating again, and possibly even remarriage.
If you're still a little shy about entering the dating scene, you can always consider using an online matchmaking service such as Match.com, eHarmony, Chemistry.com, or PerfectMatch, which have a lot to offer even if you live in a small town.