When you look at your post-divorce life in New Mexico, there are a lot of things to consider, and one area that people often have trouble with is dating. After all, it has probably been years since you’ve had to contend with the dating scene, and it can seem like a daunting proposition.
You’ve probably already gotten a load of advice about dating and when to start, but the truth is that only you will know when you are ready. On top of that, before you decide to date someone else, you need to date yourself first. While that may sound a little strange, you will have the smoothest transition back into the dating scene when you are completely familiar and comfortable with who you are as a person after a divorce.
Define your personal goals
When your behaviors have been reinforced repeatedly over the years, it can be tough to change them. Defining your goals, especially some small ones that do not require a lot of commitment, can help you move past current patterns and into new things. Keep goals simple and fun when you are dating yourself. If, for example, you find yourself staying home alone often – if you have children, this may be when your ex takes your kids – make going to your favorite eatery by yourself a goal. Picking up old hobbies that fell by the wayside when you got married is another potential goal. Having a task to do in your free time and by yourself is a great way to get more acquainted with the new you. This will also help you feel more confident and ready to face the dating scene when the time comes.
Embrace your independence
As a divorced person, you may find yourself with more free time than you had before. This effect is sometimes amplified for divorced parents, as they are now without their children for stretches of time when the parenting is shared. Embrace this independence from other people and use that time to enjoy an activity that you find interesting or exciting. If you ever put off joining a class, group or club that is devoted to something you enjoy, now is the time to make that happen.
Accept your life as it is now
Even if you are ultimately glad to be divorced, it can still be tough to let go of the ideas, dreams and goals you had for your pre-divorce life. The end of a relationship is almost like a death, and it often makes people experience a wide range of associated emotions, including everything from grief to anger. It’s necessary to let yourself feel and work through those emotions, but it is important not to let them take over your entire life. It won’t be easy, but you need to focus on accepting your life as it is today. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to move forward. If you find this tough at times, remind yourself of the reasons that you got divorced in the first place and think about what areas of your life have improved since then.
Dating yourself can bring immediate positive effects after a divorce. With divorce or separation, people often feel uncomfortable in their own skin for a period of time afterward. When you seek activities that help bring you some happiness, it can provide sorely-needed recalibration to your life. If you have children, the benefits are even greater because you will provide them with a positive role model for fulfillment and personal growth. No matter what your motivation is for spending time on yourself, remember to try to have some fun with it.