Facing divorce is never simple or easy. You’ve been through the custody disputes, the alimony arrangements, and the division of assets. You’ve told your friends and relatives. You’ve moved to a new home. You’ve been through so many different emotions and experiences throughout the process of divorce, but none of that prepares you for the hardest part of all: starting to date again.

Dating after divorce can be tricky. If you were married for a long time, you might not even remember how to date. This can be scary and can impact your self-confidence. Fortunately, it’s possible to jump back into dating even after decades in a relationship. Here’s what you need to know.

It’s not as bad as you think

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about dating after divorce is that you aren’t alone. Many adults have gotten divorced and gone on to enjoy new, healthy relationships. You may even find yourself dating a fellow divorcee. While the idea of starting a relationship with someone new can seem overwhelming at first, you’ll soon find that it’s possible to connect with someone even after you’ve gone through a divorce.

Try new things

Maybe your ex was a childhood friend or you met in high school. Maybe you were co-workers long ago. Chances are you won’t find a new partner in the same way, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. Consider downloading a dating app like Tinder. This will enable you to quickly and easily meet new and interesting people. Even if you don’t find a potential partner right away, it’ll give you a great chance to practice talking with people and to brush up on your flirting skills.

Be up-front about your divorce

Don’t hide the fact that you’re divorced. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and is a huge part of who you are as a person. While you don’t need to dive into the reasons for your divorce on a first date, don’t shy away from telling your new partner that you’re recently divorced and just jumping back into the dating scene. You never know: he or she might be going through the same thing.

Give yourself time

Finding someone new probably won’t happen overnight, but that’s okay! You have plenty of time. When it comes to dating, don’t rush or feel the need to find a perfect match immediately. Relationships take weeks, months, and even years to fully develop. Give yourself time to find someone and to feel comfortable dating again. You might feel awkward on your first few post-divorce dates, but chances are that with a little practice, you’ll soon be at the top of your game.

No matter what your reasons for getting divorced might be, it’s important that you try to accept yourself and to move forward with your life. Being divorced doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. In fact, chances are it’ll make for an interesting story as you start to date once again.

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