Hi my loves,
Liv here, addressing something I get asked about ALL the time:
How do I get back into dating after divorce?
I approach this topic with so much love and support for everyone that reads it, and from a professional perspective as I haven’t personally experienced divorce. And I don’t pretend to know how it feels to go through that.
That being said, I do coach divorcees and I hope that if you ARE divorced, you understand how worthy you still are of finding love! You haven’t “missed your chance” and you are absolutely capable of building a lasting relationship.
So how do you get back in the game?
In my opinion, there needs to be openness and honesty WITH YOURSELF, about what happened within your marriage that ended. It’s your prerogative to share those details with anyone else–but that awareness is for you to learn from.
Speaking recently with a divorced client, she admitted that only recently has she been able to see her own role in her divorce, but that she NEEDED to own it in order to get to a place emotionally where she can get back into dating.
I know this can be extremely difficult, and if you need support in doing so I recommend seeking counseling. You deserve support in this journey!
The most important thing for you to remember in your journey of healing and getting back into dating, is that you get to choose when you’re ready! If you WANT to start dating again, you get to. Whenever you want. You don’t need to wait to start dating until you’ve done a certain amount of healing–unless you decide you need to take that space!
When you do make that choice, navigating the waters of dating AGAIN might be intimidating.
But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be hard! You’re looking for love like all other singles are. Everyone’s objectives are the same, there. So you all have that in common, and you can take heart that they’re probably just as nervous as you.
The great news, is that you have already successfully gone through the stages of first date –> relationship –> marriage so you know HOW! You’ve done it, and you can/will do it again.
Lean on that experience! Take heart in your ability to make that commitment and build it with someone else.
Now, the hard part…
SETTING YOUR BOUNDARIES.
You get to decide who you disclose your past to, and how much you divulge. You aren’t obligated to broadcast your history if you don’t want to. You don’t have to share it on your profile or on every first date. Unless you decide that you are okay and willing to do so!
And when it comes to the details of your divorce, it is one hundred percent up to your own comfort and discretion who, when, and how you share. You don’t owe an explanation to the people you go on dates with. Nor is it something you need to hide/be ashamed of! Your divorce is a part of who you are now, and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Your experiences bring color to your being, and they make you beautiful as you are.
Take the time to consider how open you want to be, and then honor that boundary. Be willing to share as much as you want to share, or letting someone know that you aren’t comfortable opening up yet.
It’s totally okay (and I would even encourage you) to let people show you that they are safe for you to trust, before laying ALL of your cards out on the table. Not to intentionally hold things back or play a game, but to let trust build incrementally.
Lay your foundation brick-by-brick TOGETHER.
You can open up over time, as you see how much space you’re given to be completely YOU. However you do need to be willing to be vulnerable in the first place. It’s a balance that you’ll figure out best by deciding your boundaries and then just taking a leap of faith! You may even need to take several leaps before someone really shows up to catch you…
Be willing to be rejected.
You won’t be for everyone when you jump back in the dating pool. And It may or may not have anything to do with your divorce! That doesn’t need to concern you. In fact, anyone’s opinions on your divorce are none of your business. Because your divorce is none of theirs.
All you need to concern yourself with, is acceptance.
Self acceptance, and the acceptance of the RIGHT people who see you as you are. Not some perfect picture of their own design. Or even of YOUR imagination! Perfection, flawlessness, they don’t exist in this life. And being divorced doesn’t make you any more imperfect than anyone else.
So get out there and share all of you!
Exactly as much as you want.
And let yourself be seen. You deserve it. And someone wonderful deserves to be blessed by all that you have to offer.
LDS Dating Coach & Expert
Podcaster of “With Love, From Liv”
Liv Talley is an LDS dating and relationship coach, lifestyle mentor, and published author of the book: Sorry, You’re Not Perfect. She has helped singles find love, get married in the temple, and build exceptionally blessed lives through in-depth mindset coaching and personal acceptance/self-compassion.