7 Post-Divorce Dating Myths

Reviving your social life after shedding a spouse is a challenge for anyone. Don't make matters worse by falling for these 7 myths.

By Marcy Barack

omen over 40 may feel they’re wearing a big “D” for divorcee, like Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter “A.” It’s a lot easier to resume dating once you’ve put some of these post-divorce dating myths to rest.

Myth #1: Wait a year to date after a divorce
You know you’re not supposed to fall into the arms of the first person that comes along after the break-up of a marriage. But you’ve got to
How can you ignore a key part of the past 5, 10 or 20 years in your life?
start rebuilding your social life somewhere. So it’s all right to date casually. Just don’t order the wedding invitations the day you sign the divorce papers.

Myth #2: Don’t talk about your ex
How can you ignore a key part of the past 5, 10 or 20 years in your life? Obviously, there’s a hole. The trick is not to obsess over your old relationship, what went wrong, whose fault it was, yadda, yadda, yadda. Your dinner date is not going to want to hear the gory details ad infinitum.

Myth #3: Date someone totally different from your ex
You don’t want to repeat your past mistakes by picking someone similar to your ex. Experimentation is a good way to find out what’s out there: Bikers, bankers, rappers, coaches. But don’t look for variety for its own sake. Once upon a time, you did find something attractive about your ex. Keep looking for the traits you still value.

Myth #4: It’s impossible to meet people
It’s not any more difficult than getting a job. You wouldn’t expect to find the best job leads in a saloon, so don’t worry about
Some rules are made to be broken, but not this one.
bypassing the bar scene. Tell everyone you know that you are looking. Referrals are a good way to find job leads, and compatible dates. Go online with a dating service and your opportunities to meet people expand dramatically.

Myth #5: Men are only interested in one thing: Sex
In fact, guys aren’t so driven by their hormones as they age. The sex drive frequently takes a back seat to the need for companionship. Taking a new relationship into the physical realm is a mutual decision that has to feel right for both parties. Besides, mature women are not as susceptible to masculine pressure to rush into physical intimacy.

Myth #6: Women are only interested in one thing: Marriage
A woman coming out of a failed marriage needs to pay attention to herself and her children first. Few divorcees are eager to box themselves into an immediate commitment to a new guy. After being in an exclusive relationship for years, you’ll want to see what you’ve been missing, to rebuild your independent wholeness, not become half of a new couple right away.

Myth #7: Keep your dating life separate from your kids
Some rules are made to be broken, but not this one. Your relationship with your children needs reinforcement after spouses split. Your love life should remain separate until you’re ready to build a new family unit. That could be years, and you might go through a number of transitional relationships. Don’t drag your kids on that emotional roller coaster with you.

Marcy Barack is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to Happen magazine.
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