Hi friends! I missed you yesterday! I spent the weekend in Fort Worth with my girlfriend Trisa and we had such a blast together! We met in college and have been friends for over 20 years. The weather was absolutely glorious and every single person we came in contact with was so genuine and nice.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to Fort Worth before, now I can’t wait to go back!
I recently shared with y’all that I have started dating and y’all have been the absolute sweetest, sending me so many encouraging and joyous messages. I think everyone gets excited about the prospect of a new, happy couple.
So, his name is Brian and I will get into more of that below, but I thought a ‘dating after divorce’ post was appropriate because never have I received so many questions on that topic! Y’all are so funny and curious and want all the JUICY DETAILS!! ha!
Let’s dive in!
DATING AFTER DIVORCE
Just because my marriage ended, doesn’t mean I don’t desire a partner, a fulfilling relationship, and love in my life.
But, before I could even think about dating or another relationship, I needed to heal my heart, stand on my own two feet, and take time to figure out life. It’s a shock to the system being completely on your own after being married over 10 years. You have to learn how to manage all the things- kids, finances, household, work, all the while trying to keep up your relationships with friends and family and tend to your own health.
Immediately following my separation (January 2019), there was literally no mental or physical space for another person in my life. I was so focused on just staying afloat financially and making sure the everyday things didn’t fall through the cracks because life is so busy as a single mom. It was exhausting and quite frankly, a really scary time.
In the back of my head, I knew when the time was right, I would dip my toe back into the dating pool. But first, I wanted to make sure my kids were secure and settled and had a sense of stability in their life. My kids were 2 and 8 when we separated and they needed so much attention and tending to. They still do now, but it was even moreso then.
And I needed to make sure I was secure for myself too. Being divorced or single can be very lonely, it definitely took me back to my pre-married days and I remember how I longed for someone to share my life with.
Although it got really lonely, having that alone time when the kids weren’t with me was so important. I relished the time by myself, just to zonk out on the couch for a whole day and take a breather from all of the daily responsibilities. I would make time for friends and family, journal, do things I enjoy doing alone like going to the bookstore, cleaning and organizing my home. Making it a place I enjoyed being in, just by myself.
I had a good long year by myself before I started to feel like I was ready to date. I can’t say there’s any set time or thing that clicked, it just felt right. I was ready to have some fun, feel feminine and flirty again!
I think in today’s world, a dating app can be a good place to meet people. I got on Bumble and, oh my goodness, talk about the good, bad, and ugly! The thing with Bumble is that the woman gets to initiate the first contact, so you ‘swipe right’ if you’re interested in someone, they see it and swipe back if they’re interested in you. If you are both interested, you’re a ‘match’ and you can start texting inside the app.
You can set it up by certain criteria, age range, distance, religious preference, wants/don’t want kids, etc.
It’s also critical to keep yourself safe when dating online, so here are some tips:
- Before you meet, ask your match to get verified using the photo verification feature. You can also use the video chat or voice call feature within the app to “meet” your date without handing out your phone number or email.
- If you decide to take it offline, meet in a public place, like a coffee shop.
- Tell somebody close to you your date’s name, where you’re going, and when, and that you’ll contact them once you’re safely home afterwards.
- Don’t give out private information about yourself right away. Don’t share things like your home or office address right off the bat.
- Always feel free to politely leave the date. If you don’t feel comfortable, it’s always important for you to put yourself first.
Overall, I was really not impressed with the men on there, so many OH HELLLL NOs!!! #sorrynotsorry but the good news is, there are princes scattered among the frogs.
Here’s my advice when online dating: share who you are, not necessarily who you aspire to be. Be direct and honest with yourself and in your profile. Don’t share too much, but share enough to let someone get an idea of who you are.
When looking for men on there, I’ve learned the HARD WAY: make sure you see a photo with the person without sunglasses, without a hat, and smiling showing their teeth! Very very important these things!
One guy I met up with was so NOT what his profile looked like that I actually stuttered when meeting him! But, that’s because he was wearing a hat and never showed his teeth in his online picture. Trisa was actually the one that then gave me that good advice!
Also, I had to block someone that I matched with when his text messages (before we even met) said something like, “Hi kitten, I can’t wait to treat you like my queen and rub your feet.” Ewwwww!!!!!
So, yeah, lots of frogs.
But every once in awhile, you meet a prince.
After being on bumble for just a couple of months, I stumbled upon Brian who immediately stood out and I swiped right, right away! If you get on Bumble, you’ll see, the good ones stand WAY out!
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He wrote me right back and we started texting very easily. We had things in common like similar age, both divorced, and he has two girls around my son’s age.
We had gone on maybe two dates before the world shut down for COVID, and then that forced us to take things extra slow, which was actually a good thing for me. We would just text for the longest time. And then finally we started talking on the phone. He has the cutest Louisiana accent!
One thing I really appreciated about him is that he went at just the right pace for me. He wasn’t breathing down my neck, but he also let me know he was interested. The perfect mix of giving me space, but staying connected.
Eventually, he came over for a house date, and another, and another and I realized our values align and we are on the same page with our priorities and life goals. Conversations are so easy with him and we can laugh until we cry, be sarcastic with each other, but he’s also someone I can talk about deeper issues with and he’s not afraid of that.
And there’s really something to be said for just having fun for the heck of it! It doesn’t have to be serious! Let someone treat you nice, tell you how great you are, and be into you! Especially if you need a self esteem boost post divorce. #raiseshand
Ultimately, should I choose to commit to a partner in the future, I feel like the decision carries even greater weight because I have kids. So, even with dating, I’m considering how that person would treat my kids and how my kids would respond to him.
These are all things you never have to think about when dating before marriage. But, they are the most important things now if you are considering getting more serious with someone.
I’m careful to check in with myself constantly. I want to see someone exactly for who they are and not who I want them to be. No one is perfect, I’m certainly not, but you just want to make sure you heed red flags and pay attention to your instincts.
By age 45, I know myself pretty well and I spent a good two years journaling and discovering who I am, what I have to offer, and what I want in a relationship.
If you are single, or divorced and scared to start dating again, I get it! I’m here to remind you that you deserve love and you have so much love to give. I truly believe God wants to give us the desires of our hearts.
Sometimes we’re in a season of waiting, working on ourselves and being alone. In the time of singleness, the best thing you can do is live a vibrant life for yourself. Wake up and be excited about the life you create for you! Take advantage of that precious YOU time.
Your own energy and wholeness is sure to attract that same kind of energy back to you! And until then, YOU are pretty good company for yourself!
I hope that answered some of your questions and shed a little light into the post-divorce dating world. I’d love to hear how it’s going for you and if you have more questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll answer in a future post!
Have a fantastic day!