Dating Do's and Don'ts after the Divorce


  • Author Thomas Michaels
  • Published April 17, 2009
  • Word count 2,201

Yes, while you were married you probably thought of public speaking as the most frightening activity you could attempt. The very thought of a crowd of strangers looking at you, listening to how you speak, making judgments about who you are and what you know, caused the average marriage partner to freeze in panic. You watched others speak publicly, and probably thought.."Man oh man, better them than me".

Then you got divorced, and at some point you realized that you were expected to date. Your face went pale, you experienced cold sweats, and you swore you'd be willing to speak to angry crowds rather than go through dating again.

After all, dating couldn't be like it was way back when, right? It was sort of easy back then. We came together easily, and we parted ways easily. but now? Me? Date? OMG.

The truth is, is that it hasn't really changed. At least the people haven't changed much. Most of them are the same ones you grew up around and experienced all those similar experiences with. Yes, the periphery has changed, but we're basically still the same.

What you'll find below is a compilation of two lists. Dating "Do's" that suggest what to place importance on, and "Don'ts", obviously thoughts and activities that can be obstacles to successfully making friends. Remember one thing in all this. You're looking to engage a subset of people in order to find one or more that share your interests, beliefs or activities. Most won't fit quite right. Some will. Just make friends. Most people are looking for friends too.

There's some controversy about when one should begin the dating process. That answer will be found in your personal beliefs and ability to recover from trauma. Some believe that, for religious reasons, a person should not date until the ink is dry on a divorce decree. Your state's laws may support the notion that any dating while legally married is adultery. Make sure you check your state's laws. Others believe you should date once you've emotionally healed from the loss of a love. There is a body of thinking that suggests that in order to figure how long it will take you to heal, you should take the number of married years and divide by two. This author recognizes that healing begins when it does, which can include before or during a divorce separation, and for some, that healing can be complete before the final gavel on the divorce. Everyone is different. Once you're indifferent to what the ex does and says, you're healed.

During your divorce, you were concerned with child custody, divorce laws, child support, , alimony, separation, legally separated, divorce recovery, advice, statutes, divorce settlement, family law, recovery, divorce articles, legal, visitation, fathers rights, marital separation, annulment, parental alienation, healing, spiritual, lawyers, grounds for divorce, mediation, divorce support, adultery, counseling, common law, grandparents rights and more. Now its time for the new you.

Dating Do's- Thoughts and Behaviors to consider

Meet your date in a public place. This should always be the case, especially if the meeting results from getting to know someone on-line.

If you are the guy, be sure to have the date planned out. You would have already suggested a place to go together. Surprises can make the woman very uneasy.

Be attentive to your date. Be engaged. be interested. Surely the time between speaking with your date last, and your date now, created some additional interest. It's okay to talk about yourself some, but don't be boorish.

If you are the man, be chivalrous. Yes, open the door for her, hold her seat as she gets seated (the chair, silly, the chair), and be prepared to order for her if it's dining.

If you're the woman, you might offer to pay for the outing when the date is originally discussed, or perhaps make it Dutch. If he insists on paying (and most will), accept that and don't make a big deal about paying during the date. Instead, if you feel obliged, think of something (an ice cream cone) that you can pay for.

Crack some jokes. If you don't know any, go on-line. Be funny. Funny is charming. be tasteful, of course. No dirty jokes.

Be flexible. Life throws us curves, and you may need to select another place to go, or dine at. This should be an adventure. Explore. Observe. Observe how you interact with your date. Were you nervous? What did you like? Would you change anything?

During conversation, don't get too far ahead of yourself. If your date hears you naming his future children, or planning the garden you will share with him, he may get skittish.

Be genuine, and be complimentary. If there's something about your date that you particularly like, say so. (Avoid staring at her chest if you tell her you like her dress). Even if there isn't anything striking, compliment her nice appearance.

Take a break and view the following YouTube for ideas

When you are out on a date, be OUT. Only one conversation with your children, and be sure to shut off your cell phone. You can impress her that Obama is calling another time.

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Do this on your date, and if you haven't started yet, do this until you die. It will serve you well.

If your date is important, treat that person so. If your date is not important, what the heck are you doing there? Be on time, call if late, and show respect for your date's time.

Look your best. Wear appropriate clothes for the venue. For God's sake shave. Don't put on too much cologne or perfume. Your date won't be impressed that you buy it buy the gallon.

Pay attention to body language, because your date likely is. face your date when speaking, and make eye contact. Smile. Don't map your date's face too much with your eyes, because that can give your date the idea you want to skip dessert and really go for the dessert.

For men, be sure to get your date to her door after the date. Make sure she's safe when you leave her.

Remember that you may have to kiss alot of frogs before one turns into a Prince. It's a numbers game. You wouldn't expect to find a dear friend without meeting many that couldn't be that good friend, right?

If a relationship is meant to last forever, you have time. Don't rush into intimacy, shared toothbrushes or a pet dog before the time is right.

Think of it this way. The last time you saw a picture of yourself from many years ago, you thought: Wow, I wasn't nearly as fat as I imagined back then. Now imagine taking a picture today, and looking at it in 20 years. You look marvelous, darling.

Dating Don'ts- This stuff is like Poison

Don't act distracted during a date. Don't leave cell phones on. Don't let your eyes wander while your date is speaking. Be attentive.

Don't agree just to agree. Be yourself. Express your views. Obviously you don't want an argument to start, but your date would like to know you have convictions, and what they are.

Don't be pretentious. Sometimes people allow nerves to alter how the really feel, or behave. Remember, you're both trying to get to know what makes the other tick. If there is something not genuine your date will be disappointed.

Don't turn the date into a therapy session. There's no need to show your date how much you've learned from Dr. Phil, or Men Are From Mars. If you are a man, resist trying to fix her problems during the date, and for the lifetime of that friendship. Women don't necessarily want solutions, they want someone who will listen and understand.

Make no uninvited physical advances. For that matter, make no advances if they appear wanted. You could be wrong, and even if you aren't, knocking boots in the bed of the pick-up truck starts the relationship off wrong.

Don't be afraid to ask the male for a date. Most men are open to it these days, and it indicates a woman who is confident with self-esteem. Remember dates can be meeting for lunch, or just a movie.

If the date looks like its headed to disaster, don't be afraid to end it early. In a kind manner, simply tell your date that this isn't what you're looking for, and excuse yourself.

For heavens sake don't get drunk. Unless your date is more drunk and can't tell, being looped is a disaster, and can indicate problems with alcohol or problems that you use alcohol to minimize.

Don't ask questions you wouldn't feel comfortable asking. If you're a guy, don't ask questionable questions you WOULD answer. Don't pry. Don't ask how much child support she gets.

Don't look for faults. Everyone has them. A first date is to explore generalities, so there's no need for an inquest.

Don't make snap judgments too early. Spend 10 minutes determining if there is a physical attraction and 30 minutes or longer judging emotional chemistry.

Don't discuss politics or religion on the first date. You'll know if your date is a Hari Krishna or not without asking. Besides, you'll be able to change him and convert him later (just kidding).

Resist competing with your date, if you have a signed bottle of Robert Mondavi vintage wine. One-upping the other can really irritate a date. If your visitation or child custody is a big win for you, don't compare.

Let him pick the restaurant, even if your idea is better. There's plenty of time later to explain the difference between silverware wrapped in linen and those that are not.

Don't introduce your kids on the first date, or the third for that matter. Kids are sensitive to parents dating, and confusing them with a series of dates that disappear is to be avoided. include them only if the relationship deepens and there is real promise it could be a long-term arrangement.

When you're dating in general, don't go out and try to act like you're 25 again. Attracting younger suitors may seem to open up possibilities, in the end you're best chances of long-term relationships are with people more your age.

Don't discuss your ex to any degree. Your date knows it didn't work. If you must mention that, be positive and discuss the future with what you learned lessons from.

Avoid dating someone from work, especially if it's a small office environment. In the likely chance it doesn't work out, someone will probably feel the need to relocate, and work is challenging enough without having to check the water cooler before you get a drink.

Don't keep your ex on your buddy list. There's just no point. You two disagree(d) on enough important things that keeping them in your group will likely cause friction eventually. Allow them their own circle of friends.

Never drop your friends for a guy. Think balance. You should be capable of managing relationships with both. The last thing you need is to dump your friends, end that hot love affair and have those former friends want to continue to be former friends.

Don't write your ex an letter or email telling him/her how you really feel. You did that already, and in most cases they outreach ends up being a bad idea (re-opening wounds, affections, etc.) that shouldn't be re-opened.

Don't use the toilet in front of him. Just don't. That's a marital thing.

Don't take naked pictures while dating. It can cause years of aggravation after the breakup.

Never have sex with your ex. That includes former partners. Such behavior can stir up old feelings that got over-ridden by other factors that caused you to be no longer together, and you don't need the feel good feelings resurfacing, waiting for the bad stuff again.

Don't tear down your ex to a date. If you've altered your behavior because of an ex's past behavior, mention that, but avoid crapping in the ex's back yard.

Avoid swearing or vulgar language. Most people believe cursing is the curse of the crippled conversationalist.

Ask questions of your date about topics that interest you or him/her. People love to talk about themselves.

No bragging about money or possessions. no one likes a braggart, and you want the person to like you for YOU, not what you have.

Positively no sex on the first date. Let's face it, one or both probably have gone without for awhile, but giving in can cheapen the beginning of a relationship. If it's meant to last a lifetime, there's no hurry.

Don't accept a second date unless you are certain. A second date should only be discussed once you've spent several hours together and both have a good handle on what to expect.

Resist making snap judgments. What might appear to be one way could prove to be something else. be gracious, deliberate and centered.

Turn off your cell phone. Set it to vibrate, and tell your kids to only call if there is an emergency.

Thomas Michaels is an author and contributor to [Divorce Recovery

Suite]( an on-line source of support and help for those thrust into the process of divorce.

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