It took me over 3 years before I felt I was ready to date again. I am by no means an expert, but I have been on enough coffee dates to have learned a thing or two.
When you are looking at how to date after a divorce, you need to keep in mind the growth and the lessons you have learned from your previous relationship (marriage). If you are still carrying around a bunch of baggage (no I don’t consider children baggage), resentments, and have 20 story walls then you may need to avoid the dating scene for a bit longer.
I have often heard that we are attracted to people that have similar emotional health. That is why I highly recommend taking the time to work on your emotional health. Otherwise, we may end up repeating history until we address our issues.
For the sake of this post, let’s assume that you feel ready, that you have healed from your divorce, that you have self-confidence, and you don’t have too many unhealthy boundaries.
Emotions and logic play a significant role in how we date after divorce. If we lead by passion, we can get into trouble quick. We either attach ourselves to someone that we shouldn’t, or we take rejection personally. We want to avoid both scenarios the best we can. We need to use our minds when dating and preparing for remarriage.
Getting to know people can be challenging, to say the least, but it is essential if you want to be successful. You are going to need to get out and meet people, talk to them, and even more importantly listen to what they say.
Christian Dating Tips – The First Date
Women tend to not have a problem with this… So here you go guys – prepare for the date or meet and greet, whatever you want to call it, by showering, shaving, brushing your teeth, trimming your nails, and dressing appropriately. On a “coffee” date I tend to wear a pair of nice shoes, jeans (not my favorite ones with holes in them), and a button up shirt (left un-tucked). It shows that I put effort into getting ready and that I care about my appearance, yet I am relaxed.
Before arriving at your destination take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that this is supposed to be fun. Sure you are meeting a new person, but we do that all the time. If you are nervous or have negative thoughts of self-doubt remind yourself that you are good enough – because you are; you may not be the right match but at this point don’t worry about that. Don’t forget to smile!
Be in the moment; don’t think about the million things you need to get done. Men… women typically like to talk (which is good for us), so you need to listen. Pick up on topics that you can ask questions and interject some of your own experiences. If you monopolize the conversation about YOU then there most likely won’t be a second date. Avoid conversations that sound like you are interviewing them for a job. Sure it is okay to ask questions but let the conversation you are having build upon itself. Have a dozen coffee dates… you will see that this gets easier. You want to look for common interests and mutual pleasures, not fault-finding. Sure there are some deal killers that you may notice right off the bat and by no means should you settle or continue the relationship if you know they are not the person for you.
Common manners, respect, and eye contact are very important. Keep your cell phone put away, don’t take unnecessary calls, no text messaging, say please and thank you, and make some good eye contact. I joke on some dates that women are too independent that they don’t let their date open the door for them. I was surprised at how many women never even thought about it. The men they were with or dated didn’t do it. Guys, open up the door for her and gals, stand back so he can. 🙂
These tips should get you through your first coffee “meet and greet.” If you don’t like coffee or the timing is off consider places that serve smoothies, frozen yogurt, ice cream or some other quiet place where you can chat. The thing I like about these kinds of places for the first date is that they tend to last no more than an hour, they are affordable, and they are good places to talk.