Divorced? Widowed? Recently broken up?
Are you ready to start dating?


michele sprague

originally posted 
on my blog in 2012,  

which has been discontinued 

After the hellish period of going through a divorce and those unhappy married years, I wasn’t interested in men. Eventually, that changed. I attended singles’ dances and met him.

David showered me with gifts and affection throughout our two-year relationship. Our first dates were out of this world fabulous—the butterflies, the anticipation of our date, his kisses…Dating was new again, and it was fun.

Our relationship gave me that final healing push. David intuitively said and did things that made me feel special and appreciated. I believed he found me beautiful, sexy and very desirable—feelings I haven’t felt in years. And though David is no longer in my life, he was my first serious relationship after my divorce, and he helped me rebuild my confidence in myself and my sexuality.

Afraid to date
Being in love is the most powerful, wonderful feeling in the world. For most of us, love comes more than once, punctuated with heartaches. These heartaches seem to paralyze some people, leaving them fearful of being hurt if they open their hearts. So they don't date, and they don't fall in love. I’m afraid of being hurt too. But I’m more afraid of not falling in love again.

Getting ready to date
Whether you’re divorced or your relationship bit the dust, it may be difficult to want to start dating, yet alone trust men.

And dating changed since you were in high school or college. Now, you need to go into training before you start dating. Get in shape by going to the gym, improve your diet, buy dating clothes… 

A favorite training exercise is flirting—do it everywhere. Flirting is fun, and you’ll get more comfortable with men.

You can get a preview of some of the available men in your area by browsing through pictures of men via an on-line dating service. 

Your feelings for your ex
Before you start dating, make sure you are over your ex. No more being angry or bitter.  Mourn the good times and your dreams for your marriage/relationship. Then tuck them away in the recesses of your heart.

If you contact your ex regularly regarding matters that have nothing to do with your children, you’re not over him, and you’re not ready to date. You may want to join a Divorce Recovery group or see a therapist to help you heal.

Also, talking about your ex on early dates is a no-no. If you can’t keep quiet about him, you haven’t healed and you’re not ready to date. Think about the conversations you have with your girlfriends. How often does your ex’ name come up?

Friendly pushes
Friends, colleagues and relatives may offer to fix you up or drag you to singles’ events.  Don’t do it unless you’re ready. You don’t want a rebound relationship, which typically ends in a breakup.

And you don’t want to waste a date with a fantastic person, who you won’t realize is fantastic because you haven’t healed. At this point, you’re emotionally unavailable and incapable of having a good relationship.

While you’re in the healing process, you can and should have fun with people. Do some non-couple activities, such as volley ball, classes, volunteering…

Where to meet singles
Check the Internet, newspapers and local churches for singles’ events in your area. And go where the men are and flirt–men are everywhere. You may also want to try your luck with online dating through the Internet.

Dating should be fun. Don't do it when you're not healed from your divorce or breakup  because you won't really enjoy the date. And most likely, your date won't enjoy being with you. 

And do not go out with an agenda of finding a boyfriend or husband, or to fill your loneliness. Dating is a fun adventure, and men are interesting people. You’ll learn more about them as individuals if you’re not hunting for a boyfriend or husband. Have fun, and enjoy each other's company.

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by michele sprague

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photo @ Blank Kent/Design Pics/Corbis