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Dating after Divorce

Deciding to start dating again after a divorce is a big decision, and it can be an even trickier decision to make if you have kids. Kids bring an entirely different set of considerations into embarking on a new dating journey, but don't let that discourage you from moving on with your romantic life.

While dating again can be nerve-wracking, is does not have to be wrought with stress and uncertainty. This is a new chapter in your life that can be, and is supposed to be, fun and exciting. From singles dating sites to grocery store meets, there are a hundred ways and places to meet someone after a divorce. So, approach your post-breakup dating life thoughtfully with these tips for dating as a single parent after a divorce.

Don't Give Yourself a Time Limit

There is no magic time table that tells you when it's time to start dating again. Every divorce is different, and only you can know how much time you need before you are ready to move on with dating again. Rushing into a new dating relationship too soon will not only hurt you in the long run, it can possibly confuse and hurt your children. So, take your time and only jump back in the dating pool when you are sure both you and your children are ready.

Allow Yourself to Feel & Heal

A divorce can leave you with feelings of depression, betrayal and insecurity. These feelings are all normal and to be expected, so don't be embarrassed or ashamed to be experiencing them. However, if left unchecked, these feelings can color your new dating life, and the way your children feel about it, in a negative way. By carefully considering what negative feelings are left from your divorce and seeking out cathartic ways to get rid of them like counseling and journaling, you will allow yourself to heal. This will put you on the right path for successful, post-divorce dating experiences.

Consider Online Dating

Dating on the web has become one of the top ways to meet singles for free. According to a study done in June of 2012 and displayed on the Reuters website, there are over 54 million singles in the United States using online dating websites. Utilizing an online dating profile allows you to screen potential dating partners for the exact criteria that are important to you while allowing you to keep an anonymity that makes you feel comforted and safe after a traumatic experience such as a divorce. Especially for busy single parents, online dating is a great tool that lets you browse and communicate with potential dates when it is convenient.

Know What You Want, Not Just What You Don't

Ask anyone what they don't want in a partner and they will rattle off a list a mile long, but most people don't take as much time to consider the things they DO want in a partner. The Law of Attraction says that the things you focus on are the things that will come to you, so don't focus on the negatives from your past relationship and how you don't want those things again; instead, focus on the positives your ex had or that you wish he or she had. Focusing on the positive things you want from a partner will more likely bring you the person you are looking for and will help you in discovering who you are and what you want post divorce.

Have Friends You Can Vent To, Don't Use Your Date

After a divorce, especially one that was messy, men and women alike tend to vent their frustrations and anger by speaking harshly about their ex's. This is natural and, to a point, healthy; however, conversations such as these should be kept between you and a trusted friend, family member or therapist. Venting about your ex to your date is almost always inappropriate, and it will only serve to cause an awkwardness that will be hard to overcome.

Keep in mind that bonding and sharing past hurts is a different conversation entirely that is good to have, but there is a difference between that and "TMI" about your past relationship. In fact, until you reach the point in a dating relationship where it is appropriate to share intimate details of your divorce, you should only speak highly of your ex. This shows class and an understanding of propriety.

When All is Said & Done, Have a Little Fun

When taking this important step toward moving on with your life, don't forget to have some fun and let off some steam. Divorce is stressful, and you might simply need some fun nights out to release tension and flex your dating muscles again. Some celebrities who didn't wait very long to start dating again after a divorce are Heidi Klum and Ryan Phillippe. Taking that first step toward having another romantic encounter soon after a divorce might be just what you need, so evaluate for yourself what you are ready for. Dating again might be exactly the thing to make you feel good again.

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