When I got married, I remember thinking how great it was that I’d never had to worry about being alone on Saturday night. I had been so lonely for so long before I met my husband, that the idea of having someone was incredibly comforting. Fast forward 25 years and one divorce later, I was back to lonely Saturdays. The divorce process took its toll on me and lying in the dark, listening to Dave Matthews blaring through my speakers as tears rolled down my cheeks was my typical weekend night.
I learned a lot about patience and process. Eventually, I forced myself to get online and start exploring who was out there. I started dating. I went on several dates, was fixed up here and there and reconnected with an old flame. I thought I fell in love again (a few times), I got my heart crushed, I was aggressively pursued, and I was ghosted! The good news/bad news is that I became more aware of what I needed, whose company I enjoyed and that sometimes, it’s okay to be alone.
A few things I learned along the way:
- Like divorce, dating is a process – Take some time to get to know yourself. What’s great about you? What are your values? How do you like to spend your time? What were the things that you hated about your marriage, what were the things you loved?
- Date first – for a while – Beginning a new relationship before the ink is dry on your Divorce Decree is probably not setting yourself up for success. Meet a bunch of new people, take note of the characteristics you like and those you don’t.
- Be aware of red flags! If it looks like a duck and acts like a duck…Don’t expect someone to change. If they say something or do something that doesn’t jive with you, move on.
- Everyone has baggage – including you. You need to figure out how much you can carry.
- You’re a great catch, and just like you, there are people out there who are great partners – Don’t get jaded by friends who’ve had bad experiences. Open your mind and eventually, you’ll find your match.