It's scary to actually like someone again: Dating after divorce

September 13 | Guest post by Ann Bruno
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By: mike_craneCC BY 2.0

It's been about a year and a half since I separated from my ex-husband, seven months since I've been officially divorced, and two months since I turned 29.

I'm a young person who likes the company of other persons for kissing and such, so I didn't waste a lot of time finding people to do that with, once I submitted my divorce paperwork.

I wasn't ready to date right away, so my foray back into single life began with ill-advised "talking" to a coworker and a brief affair with a college ex (my bad). While things didn't work out with those two, it was actually thanks to the ex's constant suggestions that I ended up getting on OkCupid — a free dating site for humans.

My original plan with online dating was to feel it out, go on some dates, make out a little, and remind myself that I am a person that other people can be attracted to. The idea was to have fun and meet some cool people.

Luckily, because of my work schedule, I had a month off, and that seemed like the perfect time to schedule lots of dates. "Lots" ended up being multiple dates with three different dudes. (I did try setting up some dates with ladies, but that ended up proving to be more difficult.)

All the guys were nice, clean, polite, and actually interesting. I had fun on the dates, and got to explore parts of the city that I didn't normally visit, in order to meet them at their various suggested locations. I went on multiple dates with two of them, and would have gone on a second date with the third, if our schedules had lined up better. But… while I was happy to keep going on dates with the different guys — I actually liked one of them.

I really liked this guy, and I hoped we'd see each other again. And we did. And we kept seeing each other. And then we stopped seeing other people.

Yes, it was a little scary at first to actually like someone again. When I got on OkCupid I was just planning on going on dates, not finding a boyfriend. And it's taken effort on my part to stay in the moment, not go backwards to my heartbreaking divorce, or forwards to the possibility of more heartbreak (or the possibility of not breaking up ever).

You can't ever really know how love is gonna show up or turn out. So my advice to everyone else getting back into dating after divorce is this: Just try your best to just appreciate all the positive energy dating can bring… and the kissing… and tasty food.

What are your best pieces of advice to Homies returning to the dating scene after divorces?

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  1. This showed up in my news feed just at the right time. My husband just told me he wants a divorce – via text – and I'm crushed and feeling like the most unlovable, worthless person on the planet. This helped me to see that, in time, this too shall pass.

    5 agree
    • Boooooooo to your (ex)husband.

      Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it, it will get better with time. Maybe a little more time than you'd like, but it will get better.

      2 agree
    • Divorce is painful no matter how it comes about, but that is just awful and speaks to his lack of integrity. It gets SO MUCH BETTER. <3

      5 agree
    • Omg, Vicki! Both Ariel and I went through divorces last year, and we can 100% confirm that it, indeed, will pass. It's gonna suck SO HARD for a while. And then… you're life is going to get even better than you ever imagined it could. Hang in there. And I will second what Dootsie said: the only worthless person here is the one who announced divorce via text. DAHFUCKBRO!?

      15 agree
      • Awww thank you everyone for your lovely comments. It's made me feel a lot less hopeless. Typically, I've been sitting here over-analysing myself and wondering where i went wrong. But you are all right, the via text announcement is all him in terms of bad behaviour. He's in the music industry and away on tour right now, so when I called him out on his crappy method of delivery I got 'well I'm thousands of miles away – what was I supposed to do?'

        Ugh.

        2 agree
        • As someone who has spent a lot of time in therapy trying to figure out what I did wrong in my marriage, I completely understand those feelings!!

          My divorce was final in April and I can say it does get better. Its hard, it blows, things will happen after you didnt expect (good and bad) and you'll find beauty around you and find solace and move on. Big hugs and love to you!!

          2 agree
        • First of all, I'm sorry you have to go through something like this. Rely on the people that love you and accept their support and displays of affection, and in no time you will be healed. I've been through an ugly divorce recently and I couldn't believe I would be as happy with my life as a whole as I am now.

          Second… What a little piece of shit, he couldn't have even skyped?! A lot of things may go wrong in a relationship, but that's not an excuse to end things that way. You deserve better.

          2 agree
      • Thank you Kathy. That's what I think too. 4 years of marriage ended via text, it's really insulting and makes me feel very worthless and irrelevant indeed

        2 agree
  2. I just went on my first date after moving out. Somehow (I guess it arose kind of organically) I ended up blurting out in the middle of the date that I was getting divorced. Neither the world nor the date ended.

    9 agree
  3. This article could have been written by me! I was smooching on boys once I got enough over to the other side of the grief and then found myself on OKCupid. I dated a few duds, met some interesting people, and then met the man I just married over the summer. I am GRATEFUL that my first marriage ended.

    4 agree
  4. The best piece of advice I got after ending a 12 year relationship was to go on 50 dates in a year. I went from rejected to in control, unsure to confident, not remembering what I wanted from a guy to knowing. It downright made me feel sexy, desirable and worthwhile. I ended a date in 10 minutes because I knew there was no chemistry, had a kiss that felt like two fish shaking hands on my face and 3 dates in a day. I met my now husband on the 14th date experience and canceled 2 others because he was worth being serious about.

    9 agree
  5. I had the same intent as the op… After my marriage ended I intended to date around, have lots of fun, and be very casual with it all. On the first site I went on, I signed up because there was a profile I was really drawn to… He ended up being my first date, and it became such an intense relationship that I canceled the others. Six months later he moved in, two years later we were engaged, two years after that married, and we celebrated our third anniversary this year! Life after divorce has been fantastic and freeing and adventurous . In my case, an unexpected new marriage was in the cards. Whatever path it takes for those of you you recently divorced , I wish you love and adventure as well!

    7 agree

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