Tag: divorce

Dating After Divorce: Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind for Your First Date After a Divorce

Somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of the people who get married in the U.S. end up getting divorced at some point. Many of them go on to date other people once their divorces are finalized.

Dating after divorce can be difficult to do, though, especially if you were married for a long time. So if you’re planning on getting back out there in the dating world following a divorce, there are some things you should do to prepare yourself for it.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind for your first date after divorce.

1. Make Sure You’re Ready to Start Dating Again

The first thing you should do before dating after divorce is take a good, long look in the mirror and decide if you’re definitely ready to date again.

There are some people who try to rush right back into the dating world following a divorce. And often times, they’re simply not ready for everything that comes along with trying to find a connection with a new person.

There is no set time as far as when you’ll be ready to date again. But you shouldn’t feel pressured to dive headfirst into dating if you don’t think you’re 100 percent prepared for it.

2. Find the Right Person for Your First Date

If you decide that you’re ready to tackle divorced dating, the next step will be to find the right person to go out on a date with you. The last thing you want is for your first post-divorce date to be awful because you chose the wrong person to go on it with.

It’s impossible to eliminate all the risk associated with trying to find a date. But you can do it by asking friends or family members to hook you up with someone who might be right for you.

That doesn’t mean you have to try and land Prince Charming on your first attempt at dating. But it does mean you should be a little selective and choose someone who, at least in theory, could be compatible with you.

3. Talk to Your Kids About Your Date Before It Happens

If you have kids, dating after divorce can be especially tricky. You may have gone to great lengths to help your children cope with the divorce itself, but dating someone else is a whole new ballgame.

If you intend to start dating again, sit down with your kids and explain to them why you want to date. They’ll be a lot more open to it when you talk to them about your intentions.

4. Use Your Date as an Excuse to Pamper Yourself

One of the best parts about dating after divorce is that it gives you an opportunity to pamper yourself.

You can go out and get your hair and nails done for your date and not feel bad about doing it. You can also treat yourself to a massage or a facial so that you feel your best when your date picks you up.

5. Dress Your Best for Your Date

If it’s been years since your last official date, you might not know exactly what to wear. Dating attire has gotten a lot more casual than it used to be in many instances.

Don’t let this deter you from dressing your best for your date. You should already be planning on getting your hair and nails done, so why not complete the look by putting on a dress that makes you look fabulous?

6. Pick a Place Where You’ll Feel Comfortable for Your Date

As your first date after divorce inches closer, you’re probably going to start feeling nervous. Those nerves are only going to grow in intensity over time.

Take some of the pressure that you’re feeling off yourself by picking a place for your date where you’ll feel the most comfortable.

That might mean choosing a more relaxed restaurant that will allow you to get to know someone while surrounded by a bunch of other people. It might also mean going to a movie where you won’t have to spend two hours talking to someone you don’t know.

Pick a place where you know you’ll be at ease. It’ll allow you to enjoy your date rather than feeling like you’re on pins and needles all night long.

7. Come Up With Icebreaker Questions to Ask

Some people don’t have any problem sitting down and asking questions to someone they don’t know. If you fall into that category, you probably don’t need to spend much time thinking about questions to ask prior to a first date.

But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t know what to ask on a date, come up with some sample questions beforehand. These questions might include:

  • “Where did you go to college?”
  • “What do you do for work?”
  • “What kinds of things do you enjoy doing on the weekend?”
  • “Who is your favorite NFL team?”
  • “What’s the last really good book you read?”

You might even consider sitting down with a friend and giving your icebreaker questions a test run. You could find that it’s not as hard as you think to carry on a free-flowing conversation with someone when you have questions in mind.

8. Be Open to Talking About Yourself

When you’re on a first date, you don’t necessarily want to dominate the conversation. But you do want to prepare to talk about yourself for at least part of the date.

Think about the things that you’re comfortable sharing on a first date as well as the things that you would rather keep to yourself. It’ll allow you to open up to your date without going too overboard.

9. Avoid Talking About Your Divorce

If you’ve been divorced for a few years now, your divorce might not even come up in the course of a conversation on a first date.

But if your divorce is still a relatively new thing, you might be tempted to bring it up on your first date. Try not to do it!

You could give your date the impression that you’re not over your divorce. You could also drudge up feelings of anger and frustration and bring them into your date.

You can casually mention that you’re divorced at some point and let your date know you have kids if you’d like. But don’t get too much deeper than that on a first date.

10. Try Not to Expect Too Much From Your First Date

No matter how good a first date might go, remember: It’s only a first date!

When dating after divorce, there are some people who scare off their dates by trying to get too serious too quickly. It’s best to take things slow and allow them to develop over time rather than rushing right into a relationship.

If you have a great time on a first date and you would like to go on a second date, send signs that make that clear. By simply letting someone know you enjoyed their company, you’ll put a second date on the table and give them the chance to make the next move.

Dating After Divorce Can Be a Rewarding Experience

Initially, dating after divorce can be very overwhelming. It’s not easy to go from being married to dating again.

But once you’ve been on a few dates, you’ll enjoy the connections that you make with new people. You’ll also increase your chances of finding someone that you want to get to know better.

Read our blog for additional tips on dating, being a better mother, running your household more effectively, and more.

10 Strategies to Help a Child Coping with Divorce

child coping with divorce

Divorce isn’t easy on anyone, but this is especially true for children. Everyone in a family feels the stress of loss and anxiety when life as they know it changes. But in order for parents to be the most helpful for their kids, they need to work for it.

We carry around our own emotions, especially guilt felt towards our children.

But divorce is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens.

Children do better when they can have each parent alone in a healthy, happy environment. In order to start really helping your child, you need to be at peace with it yourself.

Here are a few ways you can help a child coping with divorce.

1. Be Straightforward and Keep It Simple

Both parents should discuss together how they are going to approach the situation, when possible. It’s a good idea to handle the discussion of divorce together.

When you come together to tell your children the decision you’ve made, you’re making it known that you’re still a team. Try to let them know that you will still work together on the important things. You’ll both show up to their school functions and that it won’t change how you feel about them.

Keep this talk age appropriate, and try not to let your emotions get in the way. If you think for whatever reason you and your spouse won’t be able to handle the conversation without an emotional outburst, handle it separately.

Answer their questions honestly and as a team, whenever possible.

2. Tell Them They’re Loved

It is so important that you spend as much time and effort as you can making sure your child knows that they have your love. A divorce can wreck a child’s self-confidence, and now more than ever they need to hear how both of their parents are there for them, no matter where they live.

It’s also a good idea to reinforce how much the other spouse loves them too. In order to heal appropriately, they’ll need to hear and believe that both of their parents love them and are there to support them. This might be difficult, especially if you’re dealing with a less-than-reliable spouse, but don’t let up.

3. Talk About Emotions

When you’re talking to your child, it’s important to tell them how natural their feelings are. Explain that it is normal to feel sad and angry and that you’re always going to be there to talk about it with them.

Encourage an open dialogue with you and show how you accept all of their feelings. Kids who spend a lot of time lost in their thoughts and feelings do this because they don’t want to upset their parents. You can counteract this by frequently checking in and asking how they feel.

Likewise, never make your child feel irrational for these thoughts or feelings. If your spouse is being unreliable, it’s important that they can express that frustration in a healthy, productive way. Failure to acknowledge these feelings can lead to acting out in the future.

4. Make Sure They Know It Isn’t Their Fault

Children are ecocentric. This means that they believe they are the source of what happens in the world. This is especially true in a divorce.

It’s common for a child to believe that their behavior or thoughts caused a bad event to happen. They need to know that this decision has nothing to do with them and that it was based entirely on your decision as adults.

5. Don’t Insult The Other Parent

Even when you’re angry, avoid talking badly about the other parent. It’s not a good idea to pass blame around in front of your children. This is hard, especially in cases of divorce due to adultery.

But children love and need both of their parents and this behavior can quickly lead them to feel as though they need to pick a side. This can shut down an open dialogue.

A child is a combination of both of their parents. When you disrespect the other side, children can often feel as though they are the ones being spoken down to. Make sure that they feel as though both of their parents are valuable.

Do not, under any circumstances, fight in front of your kids. When you need to have a heated conversation, it needs to take place on the phone when your children aren’t around. The most poorly adjusted kids of divorce are the ones who are still exposed to fighting between parents.

Often, one of the main reasons for separation is that parents can’t stop fighting and it’s bad for the children. Do not continue this behavior after a separation.

6. Lots of Advance Notice

One earth-shattering moment to a child is when one of their parents move out unexpectedly. Make sure you give your child advance notice before one of you moves away from the home.

A great way to start is by letting your children visit the new place their parent will be staying. If possible, show them where they will sleep and eat. Talk them through some of their routines and show them how things will work.

It’s also a great idea to let the children help furnish the apartment and choose some of their belongings to bring over. Make your child feel at home wherever they will be staying.

7. Therapy

It can be very beneficial to work with a parenting expert or a therapist with experience in dealing with divorce. A therapist can help guide you in dealing with anything out of the ordinary or especially difficult that arises.

Children can also benefit immensely from talking to a therapist on their own. When a third party is involved, they can feel free to express the feelings they have that they think are hurtful to their parents.

It’s common for separated partners to disagree about whether or not their child needs therapy. It’s also normal to blame each other for your child’s distress.

Even if you think your child is having more trouble with their other parent, try not to jump to conclusions. Kids express parts of themselves differently in each house.

If you notice that your child isn’t eating or sleeping normally, or that their sadness is persistent over a period of weeks, it’s a good idea to consider therapy.

Likewise, if they lash out a lot and it is interfering with their normal activities, talk to the other parent about coming to an agreement on therapy. If you’re not sure, it’s always important to be safe rather than sorry.

8. Accept Your Child’s Actions

Your child is going to need a lot of time, support, and open communication to heal from this wound. When a family is going through a divorce, it’s common for children to act out, withdraw, and regress.

Some children wet the bed and refuse to listen. This is all normal, common behavior. You need to be there to understand and support them during this tumultuous time in their lives.

Over time, this will go away. Your child will adapt to the changes in their lives. Consider planning some family events that they love and help them feel as though their life will go on.

9. Be Consistent

Consistency and routine go a long way toward providing a child with comfort and familiarity. Whenever you can, give your child a lot of advance notice about any changes and stick to a schedule.

Kids will benefit immensely from one on one time with each parent. No matter how hard it might be, try to be accommodating with your ex-partner as you decide on a regular, consistent visitation schedule.

As much as you can, work together to keep routines similar in both houses. This includes discipline, bedtimes, rules, and homework.

You can’t enforce rules in your ex-partner’s house but stick to them in yours. Don’t relax limits, but understand when children want to push boundaries.

10. Take Care of Yourself

During this time, get help dealing with your own feelings about the divorce. When you are able to adjust properly, your child will be able to eventually do so too.

You are a model for your children’s behavior. Be patient with yourself and in turn with your child. Healing from this emotional loss and pain will take time and comes in phases.

The sooner you are able to heal, the sooner they will too.

Helping a Child Coping With Divorce

There is no doubt that divorce is hard on everyone. But as long as you continue to make your children feel loved by both parents involved, they will grow. Work together with your spouse to create a stable, calm environment and over time they will find that everything has become a routine in this new family dynamic.

For more information on handling a child coping with divorce, and all other aspects of mom life, check out the blog! You’re not in this alone.