Divorce and Dating Playbook

You've gotten past the divorce and dating someone new seems like a possibility you'd like to consider, but where do you even start? If you've taken a long vacation from the dating scene, it can be daunting to even think about going out on a date. You may be wondering what's changed since you quit dating the first time, where do you go to meet men, or how you should act when you are out on a date? If these thoughts have crossed your mind, the following article can help guide you into re-entering the dating scene.

The Divorce and Dating Playbook

Dating key on computer keyboard

So, what am I doing here?

This is what went through my mind on my first post-divorce date.

And as I went on a few more, I began to wonder how many times I would have to answer the question "So, what's your story?" Story? What story? I didn't know that I had a story…as a matter of fact. I didn't even know what my own story was!

  • Online dating and creating a "profile"?
  • Sex with someone other than my ex-husband
  • Laser hair removal or shaving…and how much?
  • Driving myself home at the end of a night out

These had become some of the things that now went through my mind as I entered dating as a "divorced" woman!

There was no one to consult…my friends did not have to date, they had husbands. I would have to come up with a playbook of my own. Call it a divorce and dating playbook… one with rules and plays and strategies. It would take time to develop and many, many experiences…both funny and pathetic.

So, if you need a little help getting started in the post-divorce dating scene, here are the top 10 plays in my Divorce and Dating Playbook.

1. Be what you want to attract

Before you are ready to date, take the time you need to identify everything that you want in a new relationship. Now, the hard part, ask the question "Am I all of the things that I want in a new partner and relationship?" If the answer is no, then that is where you need to begin. It is absolutely true that you WILL attract that which you put out there. So, be honest and look inward before you start searching out there!

2. Online dating IS part of the dating mix

No, there was no such thing as online dating when you got married…but, there is now! As much as we don't want to admit it…given our time, energy and commitments as divorced women…we don't have a lot of time to devote to dating. As well, since our lives revolve around work, the supermarket and our children's school and social calendars… we may never have the chance to meet a new guy. 

So, get on the computer and create an online profile that reflects what you want to attract and selectively choose men who meet your criteria. There is a big and beautiful world of people out there!

3. Sex

The dreaded "S" word... Who said dreaded? Sex is great and its great rediscovering it the second time around! This is the time for you to get to know yourself sexually. If it is not a comfortable subject for you, make this a time to take it up as a "hobby". Read about it, work with someone who can help you define your own sense of sensuality and become comfortable with your own body and sexual exploration. Make it fun, playful and a vital part of who are becoming.

Then, take control. You decide if and when you want to have sex with a new partner or not. You create the rules and boundaries. It's your life and your body…enjoy!

4. Laser Hair Removal

Not much more to say here. Laser hair removal beats shaving…hands down!

5. No Divorce Drunk Driving

No one ever told me that after you get divorced you have to drive YOURSELF home at the end of a night out! I always had a husband to drive me home after a glass or two of wine. Now, there I was, a bit "tipsy" and no driver! Where was the "D" Cab when I needed it? Wasn't there some kind of divorced late night carpool that I could be a part of? So, here is all I have to say, "BE CAREFUL, and DON'T DRIVE DRUNK"! You, your children and your future are far too important to make a mistake like driving drunk.

6. Dating Networking

You are now your own new business and you are the only employee. So, you need to develop a sales team! A team that will highlight your amazing qualities, features and benefits! A team that has your sales goals in mind…and by the way, you only need one great sale.

Therefore, you need to network. You need to let your friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else that you meet know that you are ready to date and open to meeting new people. Go to social and professional networking events and share your new venture with everyone! You never know where and when you will meet someone!

7. You've got to kiss a lot of frogs….

This brings me to my next point….you've got to kiss a lot of frogs! Each date is an opportunity to meet a new person, friend, acquaintance. Every date will NOT be THE ONE. Find a way to enjoy meeting new people. Expand your network. Begin to learn to appreciate each date's good qualities and remember…you don't have to go out with him a second time. But, be polite…you never know who he knows!

8. Creating Your Story

This is one of the most important plays in the book! It goes back to "be what you want to attract". No one…not friends, DATES, colleagues, family….want to hear bad mouthing, bitter, resentful and victimized comments and conversations. This is an important time to manage and control your emotions, comments and conversations. Stay focused on the positive and on the forward momentum your life is taking.

This is not to say that you can't be realistic and share what you have learned from your past relationships, but name calling, bitter and an unpleasant "story" is a sure way to never get a callback! Create your STORY! Make it what you want your life to be in the future. The past is over; the future is yours to create!

9. Red Flags

Red flags are exactly what they seem, RED FLAGS! Recognize them. If it doesn't seem right…it usually isn't. You didn't change your ex-husband; you are not going to change another person either. There are so many wonderful people in the world…you don't need to "overlook" those things you don't like. Be aware of your connections to people and be honest about what your experiences are. You want to make good choices and manifest what you really want in your life and relationships.

10. Be your glorious you!

You are bold, brave and beautiful! You have taken steps to move forward in your life and you hold the playbook! Play fair, play honest and play big! And don't forget to have fun. Good luck! 

Copyright by Laura Campbell. May not be copied or republished.

Laura is a divorce coach and consultant, author and recognized expert. She supports women to recover, renew and reinvent themselves through all stages of divorce. 

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