When you are part of a long-term couple you rarely think about the dreaded “D” word— divorce. But with one out of five marriages of couples over 50, ending in divorce, the safety we find in being a couple is tenuous at best. What do you do when you’re no longer part of a couple? What happens when we suddenly reverts back to me? What now?
Well, life does go on and, at some point, when the turmoil and stress of this life-changing event ends, you may begin to think about entering another “D” area—the dating game. Truthfully the idea of making yourself available in the dating pool can be daunting. Again? I’ve got to go through the whole round of meeting someone new again?! Just thinking about it can be exhausting! The best course of action before you high dive into the dating pool, is to pause and take stock of your life and the person you are now.
Are you the same person you were before the divorce? No, you are not. Physically, emotionally, and mentally you have changed. You’ve matured, have experience, and have a good idea of who you are. That makes you a better, and hopefully, wiser human being.
Be true to yourself. Ask yourself if you’re really ready to start dating again. Rushing into a relationship simply to avoid being alone is not beneficial to anyone and will likely end in disaster. Now is a good time to think about what you want out of a new relationship. Be completely honest about this. Decide what you want a new person to bring to the relationship table and what you are willing to offer. Be a little selfish and be determined to make your wants and needs a priority. Know yourself and respect your own ideas and judgments. Don’t sacrifice what you truly want just to be part of a we again.
When you’re ready to begin meeting people, decide the best place to socialize. Make a list of your interests so you’ll find like-minded people. Explore new places and new interests too. You don’t have to stick with what you know—be a bit bold and daring. Never skied? You might want to try it. Interested in snorkeling or scuba? Take a class. You never know who you may meet.
Take friends’ advice, meet new prospects they may recommend, but make sure you’re the only one to make the final decision on a new date. Your friend’s buddy may be a ‘great guy’, but he may not be great for you.
Speaking of friendships, you may want to avoid the same-old, same-old group you’ve been with before. Keep established friendships but look to make new ones too. All in all, dating after divorce doesn’t have to be horrible—just remember to please yourself and to have fun. It’s your life! Get back out there and go live it.
© 2023 copyright Kristen Houghton all rights reserved
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristen Houghton is the author of the best-selling series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation, which has been named Best Series of the Year by WNYC Book Clubs. Her latest novel, TEETH: The Haunting of Dansbury Plot, has just been released.
Her writing portfolio includes The Huffington Post, Thrive, interviews and reviews for HBO documentaries, The Style Network, and OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network.
A storyteller from childhood, she has always felt that “Words, in any language are pure magic”.
On a personal note, she is crazy about tennis and, just like her fictional character Cate Harlow, tries to play as often as she can.