While dating after a divorce can be daunting, relationship and sex expert, Dr Nikki Goldstein, says it's actually full of golden opportunities.
As we get older, there seems to be this rush to "work it all out": have the career and find the ‘traditional’ family bliss we are taught is the key to a great life. Sure, this is the case for some, but it’s not for everyone. What if you were married, had children and it didn’t work out? Then what?
Divorce used to have such a negative stigma. It was as though divorcees had failed at something or there was something wrong with you.
But maybe some of us just aren’t meant to be with one person for the rest of our lives. Some relationships just don’t work. As we continue to grow throughout life, the choices we made when we were younger might not work for who we are today. Perhaps, "‘til death do us part" shouldn’t be the ultimate goal for marriage or life fulfilment; maybe we should be focusing on happiness instead.
So, where does that leave you in the dating world, if you've already had the husband or wife and possibly children?
Well, actually, you might be in a pretty good position.
Think of it this way. People who believe they've never found "the one" often fall into a mindset that is counterproductive to a good dating attitude - “Will this person be 'the one'?”, “Will they be a good parent?” etc. How can you concentrate on a connection, intimacy and what will really make you happy with all these thoughts going on?
If this isn’t your primary worry anymore, you have a better chance of developing a healthy dating head space, asking questions like, “Will I be happy with this person right now?”, “Do I like the way I feel when I’m with them”, and “Do I like the way they treat me?”
Some people might realise, having been through a divorce, what the goals of dating should be. If you have once had what you thought would make you happy and it didn't, what might that say? Maybe it’s time to reassess what that is.
Divorce is not failure but a great opportunity for growth, and dating after divorce tends to be different because it can lead to less pressure and a greater understanding of the things that are important to you. There will also be challenges - perhaps children to consider, responsibilities, bills. Yet, when it comes to dating, at least you have the benefit of knowing what you do and don’t want.
Don’t be scared of being back in the market - dating after divorce is really now the norm. Be excited that you have better knowledge and understanding to find happiness and love because you are wiser, you have grown and the loud ticking of the clock may well have disappeared. Maybe it’s time to try dating those who might not make sense on paper but make sense in your heart and mind.