Dating as a divorced dad has the potential to feel like writing with the opposite hand; it’s the same dating you’re used to doing, but you’re going to be doing it differently.
As a married man you’re used to going out on dates with your spouse. Dates could be simple things like a trip to a local outdoor market, maybe dinner, and then home.
Perhaps they were a quiet dinner and then a movie before bed. They had the potential to be quality time spent with your spouse doing things you both enjoyed together.
Now that you’re back “in the wild” dating could be a huge eye-opener for you. The things that worked while you were married may not work now that you’re single and looking.
1. Don’t Talk About Your Past Marriage
This is the cardinal rule for dating after divorce. Don’t talk about your marriage unless specifically asked and keep it to a minimum. Use your best judgment about what you can share but any discussion of your ex can lead to more questions that you may not want to answer. Early in the relationship anything you say can, and will, be held against you for future reference.
2. Don’t Get Into a Rut
It’s easy to get comfortable doing the same thing over and over again like going to the same places for dinner over and over again. Don’t bring your date to the same place for dinner often; it’s monotonous and has the potential to tell your date that you aren’t original. Not only that you’re telling her that you’re possibly mundane and boring.
This leads me to the next point.
3. Don’t Skip The Romance
Women love romance. They thrive on it in many shapes and fashions. Remember to keep this in mind when planning a date. Do something romantic like taking her to a romantic show or a fancier restaurant. If you are going to cook her a meal, decorate your place with roses, a nice wine, relaxing and romantic music she enjoys and make her feel special.
Romance is about showing your lady how much you enjoy making her happy and showing her how you feel. Many guys that I know are romantic with their ladies even if they aren’t good at telling them how they feel.
4. Don’t Expect Magic… At First
Culture through television, books, magazines and advertisements have slowly driven us to the point that we expect “magic” to happen in our relationships from the start. Movies and television shows continually drive into us a concept of love at first sight. These things are definitely possible but tend to be extremely rare.
Dating is about getting to know the other person, learning about who they are and what they are about. It is your opportunity to present yourself as a possible mate and companion who can compliment their personality, and they yours. If you are serious about a person you should try to put forth the effort to know that person as well.
The goal of a first date, if you’re interested in the other, is to make it to a second date. The goal of a second date is to make it a third date, etc.
5. Don’t Force It
If you aren’t into her, then be upfront and tell her that you enjoyed your time together but you don’t feel you’re compatible. Maybe there’s not much of a connection there and you aren’t really that attracted. It’s important to make sure she understands this even if she’s more into you then you are into her.
This goes both ways. She may not be that into you. It isn’t the end of the world. The ocean is large and there are many, many fish. She may be honest and tell you that she isn’t or she may make it apparent by not wanting to go out again or continually brushing you off.
Don’t take it personally, most people hate confrontation and they don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings. Go into a date with an open mind and remember that you’re both here to get to know one another, not to meet before running to the courthouse to get married.
Dating is about fun and enjoyment. Meeting people new is exciting and fun and just because you don’t make good “mates” doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. Just keep in mind that dating, like most other things, requires work and what you put into it you will get out of it.