11 Powerful Reminders For Your First Date After Divorce

Now that your divorce is final are you thinking about dating again? Your first date after divorce doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. It can be the first step towards embracing your singlehood, a chance to use your hard-won wisdom in the dating process, or it can be the gateway to a new life with someone much better suited for you.

It’s normal to feel apprehensive about getting back into the dating world. If you’re feeling nervous you can reframe that energy as excitement, or that it simply means you’re invested in sharing your life with someone. It’s okay to care about finding a life partner!

Don’t overthink it and set your mind to just have some fun to start. Taking a few common-sense precautions and having a new approach to dating can make your first date after divorce easy and enjoyable.

9 Powerful Reminders For Your First Date After Divorce

  1. Make Sure You’re Dating For The Right Reasons

Dating should be fun. The goal is to meet new people and have new experiences. Dating can stretch you out of your comfort zone and expand your horizons, both are good for you!

Your first date after divorce isn’t going to change your life. Don’t look for validation of your worthiness or lovability. Starting to date again isn’t a solution to feeling lonely or fragile from your divorce.

If you’re still hurting or angry from the split take time to heal your heart and rebuild your self-esteem. Put off dating until you feel grounded and positive. Dating isn’t the solution to feeling better about yourself or healing your heart. The goal is to feel good on your own first, then start looking for your first date after divorce.

Having your first date after to divorce too quickly can hinder your feelings of self-worth, so make sure you’ve already taken time to process and heal before going out to have fun dating. Plus, your dating will be more fruitful this way and a lot more fun.

  1. You Get To Make A Fresh Start

Whether you want to reinvent yourself or just change things up in your love life, your first date after divorce is an opportunity to make a fresh start. Resolve to not bring your baggage from the past with you on this new journey.

You may discover your tastes have changed. This is your chance to explore and discover people who are outside of your usual type. You can also reinvent yourself because you owe nothing to a stranger that you’re meeting for the first time. There’s no need to overshare or tell your life story. You can experiment with how you decide to show up.

Just like moving to a new town or starting a new job, returning to the dating world can be an exciting experience to learn about yourself and stretch outside your comfort zone.

No matter what happens on your first date after divorce it’s more important to discover about yourself than it is about the other person. Don’t take it too seriously or put any expectations on it. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment and dating burnout before you really get started.

  1. Learn New Tools For Dating

Rather than rules it’s most important for you to have tools. There’s no one set of dating rules for everyone, plus you are your own authority. Dating itself hasn’t changed much, but the tools used to meet people are constantly changing. It can feel intimidating and a bit overwhelming to explore the newest technological options.

Dating apps are just tools for meeting people in real life. More people meet their significant other on a dating app than any other way!

Trying to avoid online dating is like looking for a job without using a job search site like Monster or Indeed. Technology is a tool that can work for you, not against you. Invest a little bit of time to educate yourself using dating apps properly (just like with any new fancy tool you purchase, you’d look through the owner’s manual).

Your chance of getting dates online and meeting people who are interested in a relationship go up exponentially by being on dating apps. These tools were created to bring single people together — that’s their sole purpose!

We’ve walked down the halls of the corporate offices of Match.com and eHarmony to see their walls lined with photos of successful matches. Literally tens of thousands of happy couples, engagements, and weddings, it’s truly inspiring.

Just because most people don’t spend any time learning how to use dating apps properly doesn’t mean you should repeat their mistakes or take on your friend’s bad experience as your own.

Even your own past experience shouldn’t cloud your future potential to have success finding love online. If you got food poisoning at a restaurant would you never go out to eat again?

  1. Create Your Unique Rules For Dating

It’s up to you to set the pace of the dating process. You’re in charge of how much interaction via text, email, or telephone you need to have before you feel comfortable meeting in person.

Some people are at ease meeting in person right away, while others need some assurance before they’re comfortable taking that step. Make sure you know your needs before you get online and start interacting.

Maybe you want to see if someone can string a few interesting sentences together via text, or maybe you are curious about the sound of his voice. Is it important that you see each other on a video chat, or are you cool just to meet in person first?

These are your rules; you get to decide what you’re comfortable with, and how you want to approach your first date after divorce. The key is to set up your rules so you feel comfortable and confident about your approach. Don’t let someone pressure you into a situation that you’re not comfortable with.

Always make the first date after divorce in a public place and never go to a second location with someone the first time you meet. Leave them wanting more.

  1. Don’t Look For Your Soulmate In A Profile

It’s easy to get hung up on finding someone who’s a perfect match for you by looking for clues in their online profile. Creating a strict set of rules about what someone writes about themselves isn’t going to prevent you from wasting your time with the wrong person. Besides if you approach dating with the right mindset, very few experiences will be a waste of your time.

Most people don’t know how to write an effective online dating profile. They likely didn’t study photography and therefore don’t know how to take a good picture.

Don’t waste your time on Google or Facebook screening potential dates like you’re a detective. Ultimately, you won’t identify an ideal match through a dating profile, you’ll need to embrace the dating process and discover the fun of meeting new people.

Before scrolling through an app get in a good mood, play some music or dance around your living room. Most importantly look for reasons to say, “Yes,” and with a mindset of curiosity start browsing.

Release the unrealistic expectation that your first date after divorce will be with “The One.” You’re just looking to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine with someone — that’s it.

  1. Keep Your First Date Short And Sweet

Your first date is more accurately just a first meet. Planning something elaborate and romantic before you know the person will set you up for disappointment. Ultimately, it’s just a date. You’re not committing to anything by agreeing to meet up for coffee or a cocktail.

Keep your first meeting to about an hour. Use this time to see if you have anything in common and discover if there’s any attraction between the two of you. Be open and curious and do your best to show up authentically.

Make plans for yourself after your date so you avoid extending the date past ninety minutes. If he’s interested in you, he’ll ask you out for another date. He may wait a day or two to ask you out again, so don’t be surprised if you part from that first meeting not sure where he stands.

It’s perfectly acceptable for you to reach out afterward to express gratitude and that you had a nice time. A good man who wants a relationship will need to know the water is warm. If you’re interested in seeing him again make sure you’re not too aloof or cool.

Many men don’t want to be macho or too forward. Give them encouragement, it’s a risk to ask you out (especially if he finds you attractive).

  1. Stay Present And Avoid Futurizing

On your first date after divorce you may find you have a strong connection right off the bat. Avoid the urge to attach any meaning to your experience. Stay present to your feelings and your inner dialog and you may discover something about yourself in the process.

Fantasizing about the future will only set you up for disappointment. Riding the roller coaster of hope and disappointment is the quickest way to dating burnout. You’ll want to practice S L O W  L O V E ! If you’ve met your soulmate you’ll have the rest of your lives together so there’s no need to rush.

The biggest mistake people make is to rush to exclusivity. Take your time and be sure you’re dating like a grown-up. It takes more than sexual chemistry for love to last.

Also, if things go poorly it doesn’t mean you’re doomed and you’re destined to be alone.

Your first date after divorce is the first step in the journey of finding love again. You may have a few twists and turns along the way. Stay present, grounded, and hopeful to increase your chance for success.

  1. Be Curious

It’s easy to get frustrated with dating if you have a critical and judgmental mindset. You’ll meet people who have different approaches to love and dating, and some of them may clash with yours. For your first date after divorce don’t take anything too seriously, the goal is to have fun.

If you know you have a loud critic inside of you do your best to cultivate curiosity instead.

This will keep your focus off yourself and on getting to know someone new. Plus, curiosity is attractive. Everyone likes to spend time with a person who’s interested in getting to know them.

You might meet someone completely wrong for you or be on the receiving end of someone behaving badly. Instead of taking it personally and letting it dampen your spirits, stay curious about yourself and manage your mindset. Maybe you’ll even find compassion for someone who’s still struggling with their search for love.

Approach your first date after divorce with a curious mindset and you’ll be sure to have a positive experience.

  1. Focus On The Positive

Many people like to bond over negative experiences, especially when it comes to online dating. You’ve likely heard the phrase: Misery loves company. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sharing about your divorce or past dating disasters.

Your first date after divorce isn’t an opportunity to trash your ex with a stranger or to share how badly you screwed things up. Keep any information about your divorce or your ex to a minimum on your first date. If the two of you hit it off and things become more serious over time, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to share about the past.

Stay focused on the positive and see if you can redirect your date when possible. Bonding over wounds is not an ideal connection, It’s much better to connect over dreams and goals through the dating process to evaluate a long-term match.

  1. Don’t Get Hung Up On Chemistry

You may feel a lot of chemistry on your first date, or you may not feel any at all. Either way it doesn’t mean anything. Just because you feel chemistry doesn’t mean you’ve met your soulmate. Just because you don’t, doesn’t mean that you won’t ever find love again.

Chemistry is just one ingredient of a healthy relationship. It is not the most important thing you’re looking for to make love last.

Your first date after divorce is an opportunity to get your feet wet and start dating again — that’s all! Let go of expectations and allow yourself to be present in the moment and enjoy yourself. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to hone your dating skills.

  1. Be Prepared To Feel Mixed Emotions

You got married thinking that it would last and certainly didn’t expect to be single again. Starting to date after divorce is the beginning of a new chapter in your life. You may feel a lot of mixed feelings about the experience and that’s okay.

Whatever you feel is appropriate. Allow yourself the experience of dating again and let yourself feel all your feelings about it, whatever they may be. The more you get out there, the more confident you’ll feel in your ability to create the kind of relationship you’re looking for.

Instead of stressing about your first date after divorce, keep things light and fun. Then you can feel good about taking your first step back into the dating world. You can embrace this new chapter in your life and feel energized by the opportunities coming your way.

Are you worried that your picker is broken? Maybe you’re not sure if you want to risk your heart again? Do you worry that lasting love just isn’t in the cards for you? If you’re ready to uplevel your dating to get results join us for a complimentary Soulmate Strategy Session. We’ll help you create an action plan for the lasting love you desire and deserve.

About the authors

Love Coaches Orna and Matthew Walters

Orna and Matthew Walters are soulmate coaches and prolific writers about love. Finding love, keeping love, healing from heartbreak, bringing in your beloved and more. They have been published on MSN, Yahoo!, YourTango, Redbook, and have been featured guest experts on BRAVO’s THE MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER with Patti Stanger, and as guests with Esther Perel speaking about love and intimacy.

Suggested Reading