Ian Shann is the principal mediator and director of Move On Mediation in Perth. Move On offers affordable and effective divorce and family mediation in Perth for separating couples. Ian’s commitment is simple – to help keep separated couples out of the Family Court and minimise their need for lawyers, saving them time, money and anguish. Under Ian’s guidance, separated couples are able to Move On with their lives through amicable divorce mediation.
Dating after divorce can feel like a daunting task. How do you meet someone, how do you learn how to trust again, and how do you know you’re actually ready to date again?
Here are some expert tips for divorced men on dating after your divorce, from divorce mediation specialist, Ian Shann.
Make Sure You Are Ready To Date
The first thing you need to realise is that apart from waiting until your divorce is granted, there are no set rules or timeframes as to when you are ready to start dating after a divorce.
There is no right or wrong way, and no one is going to tell you when you’re ready. When the time comes, you’ll be the first to know. There is, however, a process that you’ll likely go through before you can recognise the signs, which will tell you whether you’re ready to jump into the dating pool or not.
If you are unable to think about your ex without invoking sadness, anger and pain or you’re still romanticizing them, or following them on social media, chances are that you’re still in the pits of the grieving stage and far from ready. You don’t want to go into a new relationship carrying all that baggage, or you’ll have your dates running for the hills.
Letting go of the past, particularly after a long and painful breakup, is not easy and it will take time.
Learn from your past but don’t live in it.
Take It Slow
To attract the right companion, you have to be in the right frame of mind, so feel free to take your sweet time. You’re never going to learn everything about them on the first date, so give the relationship a chance to grow slowly over time.
If you’re unsure, remain friends and continue dating until you know more about them. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. What do you have to lose?
Concentrate in developing friendships first, and let the romance come later. You’re probably not in any race to get serious quickly.
Know What You Want
Your previous relationship, even if it was a disaster, has probably made you a little wiser as to what you are looking for in a partner the second time round. Concentrate on characteristics and values, rather than physical appearances. One hopes it has also taught you not to repeat any mistakes you may have made last time around.
Don’t create false appearances, which can only lead to unrealistic expectations and attract the wrong types. Rather be yourself, so they too, know exactly who you are. Remember they too may be feeling uncertain about you.
Take Up Your Hobbies
Taking up new hobbies, sports or learning a new skill, can be a great way to find new companions who may share your interests and values, and also put some fun into your life. Indulge in anything that may bring you into contact with more people, increasing your chances of meeting a new partner.
Meeting someone who shares your hobbies or interests, is a wonderful ice-breaker to kick off a relationship. Take that trip or do something you always wanted to do, but couldn’t find the time. That time is now. Whatever you do, do not isolate yourself.
Rejection Is Normal
Fear of rejection is a common trait in most of us and makes people apprehensive in all facets of life, including going on a date. But let’s face it, not everyone is going to be your perfect match, and that’s ok. If they don’t like you, that just means they’re not the one for you.
The chances of you meeting your perfect match on your first date, are pretty slim. If a date doesn’t go well, just move on. You have lost nothing. Just remember, each “failure” helps you work out what kind of relationship you want, and exactly what’s important to you in a relationship.
Listen To Your Instincts
Instincts are seldom wrong, so listen to yours. When something just doesn’t feel right it’s because it isn’t.
Worst case scenario may be that you discover after one date you simply weren’t ready. No sweat. Just press the pause button and work on yourself before trying again when you are ready.
Don’t Fixate On ‘Your Type’
There is probably no such thing as “your type”. Remain open-minded and don’t take appearances too seriously on your first dates. Yes, they can play a huge role in initially attracting a partner, but love at first sight usually only happens in the movies, not in real life.
Don’t fixate on someone just because they tick all the boxes. There may be another person hiding underneath and getting to know that person will take some time, and not just over candlelit dinners, but in other different environments and situations too.
Give yourself enough time, as long as it may take, to find that one really special person to make your life complete.