Dating after getting divorced can feel really scary. The insecurity of being older, divorced, and out of practice (for lack of a better phrase) all plays into the fear, anxiety and stress that dating after divorce can bring.
As someone who didn’t get married until age 35, I dated a lot. Seriously, a lot. Let’s say I started dating in high school—age 16. That gave me 19 years in the dating scene before I tied the knot. I then got separated and divorced at 41 and dated after divorce for several years. I’m not married, but at 49, I met the love of my life and have been with him ever since.
The point of me telling you all of this is that there were times in my 28 years of dating (19+9) when I felt as hopeless as one possibly can about the likelihood I would ever find true love and happiness in a romantic relationship.
One common scenario was, I’d be in a relationship for a few weeks and everything would seem perfect. Then the guy would start to get distant. I wouldn’t hear from him as frequently. Dates would start getting cancelled, and then he would just stop calling. It was the worst feeling in the world, and I would cry and not understand what happened. It was awful.
There were also lots of relationships where the men liked me, and the reverse happened. I would lose interest and I would feel awful about having to break up with a guy who didn’t do anything wrong. It made me feel guilty and it caused me to second guess myself. Like, “What’s wrong with me? Why do I not want to be with this awesome guy who loves me?”
I went out on quite a few blind dates, most of which were nightmares, and I would think to myself, “How could our dear, sweet friends be so off in thinking we would connect?” The answer was clear: the friends were happily married and we were the only two single people left that they knew.
Then there were the dry spells. The times during my single life when I could not get a date to save my life. No one seemed interested, no one looked at me, and I felt like I was going to be alone forever.
This e-mail I got from a readers brought back that memory of feeling hopeless in dating after getting divorced:
Divorced at 42. I had high hopes for enjoying dating after getting divorced, despite my ex leaving me for another woman. However the reality has been harsh. I have been chatted up by men who have told me they will sleep with me for money, or who have just wanted a text relationship but nothing physical or by 60 year old men.
Men see me as a money fountain or just past my prime. Every decent age appropriate guy is not into me. I am tall and thin, too flat chested but felt really beautiful inside and out but my inner flame is dying.
I completely understand how she feels. Dating in general, not just dating after getting divorced can feel frustrating and disappointing. It can make you feel angry, like it’s unfair, and like things will never change.
The thing is, things will change! I promise.
Here are 7 reasons you should never feel hopeless when it comes to dating after getting divorced:
1. Every bad date or crazy, goofy, rude guy you meet brings you one step closer to a good one.
Think about it like you are shopping for that perfect dress. You usually have to try on about 15 before you find it, right? Same concept. And, if you ask, “What if I never find a dress?” my answer is, you had to have worn something to the wedding you were shopping for, right? So, eventually you found one.
2. Dating is like looking for a new job.
What do you do when you want a new job? You look online at job openings, and reach out to those companies you think you might want to work for. How is that different than Bumble or other online dating apps?
Continuing the job searching process, you then go on interviews. You might really want a job, go on an interview and not get it. That can feel incredibly disappointing, but you tell yourself, “It’s not meant to be.” Then you might go on an interview and they love you, but it just doesn’t feel right for you, so you decline the offer and continue to job search. How is that different than going on dates to try to meet the right person for you? It isn’t!
Eventually, you find the perfect job, you accept the offer and you are happy in your work. The same thing will happen in dating.
3. Every person who is in a happy, loving romantic relationship has been in your shoes before.
4. There really are good people out there who want the same thing as you!
I know it seems like on dating apps that there are so many weirdos and people who act inappropriate and even cruel. But just like you, there are so many people who are on those sites to meet someone special. They want monogamy. They want love. And by the way, if someone acts mean or strange, they might be a good person, just in a really bad place. Try to have compassion and not take anything personal, because it isn’t.
5. If you never give up trying to find love, the odds are, you will find it.
Don’t give up and please don’t lose hope. If you need to take a break from dating after getting divorced and just be by yourself and/or just spend time with family and friends for a little while, that’s a great idea. You’ll be surprised at how refreshed you’ll feel if you take a little breather from dating.
6. Dry spells always end.
Dry spells are awful. They make you feel lonely and like meeting someone is hopeless, but the good news is, they always come to an end. So just know that and you will feel better immediately, because you know the dry spell is temporary.
7. It is impossible for your inner flame to die.
You are too special to let any jerks you come across take away your hopes that there are good men out there. Let things they say to you roll off and don’t look back! Your inner flame is as bright as ever. Continue to let it shine on all the ones who know and love you, and of course, those who are intuitive enough to see it.