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Dating After Divorce… Nothing Like Riding a Bike

Dating after divorce is nothing like “riding a bike.” Well…maybe like riding a bike that has a flat tire, your feet don’t reach the ground and it’s missing the chain.  The last time that I was like “really single” was 2002. We weren’t texting, and Tinder meant something that you use to start a fire, not to find a date.

Let’s get real, friends! The options seem a little bleak & everything feels awkward! You can dive into the “ever-entertaining” world of online dating. Seek to find the few single men/women at church – they will just happen to be 10 years younger than you, or waiting to “hear from the Lord.” You could strike up a conversation with that guy you’ve been eyeing at the coffee shop, only to soon be given details about the obscenely sweet plans he has to propose to his GIRLFRIEND! Ooooohhhhh…. or the ever popular blind date with a friend of a friend (dear precious friends, just because I’m single and he’s single does not mean we are meant for one another. By all means, please be sure that we live on the same planet prior to suggesting a date).

I literally could write an entire blog series entitled, “The Dating Do’s, Don’ts, and Please, oh, please don’t!” I’ve found during my “dating adventures” that I typically know within the first 30 minutes of meeting them why they’re single and looking.

BUT BE ENCOURAGED!  If you are dating after divorce there is hope, and actually there are some huge positives to dating & some good guys/girls out there.  While it feels so awkward, your stomach is in knots, you feel inadequate and crazy insecure – I PROMISE that eventually, you are going to shine.

You are going to find that having a conversation with someone new is really quite lovely. You get the opportunity to learn about them, they learn about you, but the best part you learn about you. It is easy over time to forget just who you are, what you like and dislike. You may even find that you’re really quite interesting, funny, desirable and/or engaging! That’s a huge confidence boost!

Typically, people who have never been married before and are dating are seeking “the one.” But after you’ve previously been married, you are ready for an experience rather than looking for who you will wed. It gives you a willingness to try new and different. You aren’t so dead-set on this certain “type” of person – allowing you to meet some people that you probably would not have ever even given the time of day before – and some of them may be the most interesting people you’ll ever meet.

You’ve experienced relationships (even marriage) and are less likely to dabble in playing games. Being straightforward and honest becomes much easier. You are less caught up in being accepted, less likely to change who you are in order for someone to like you, and you’re much more comfortable with saying you’re just not what I want.

You are not in such a rush to get married. When I was younger and dating I was more willing to compromise or settle, because I had the “white picket fence syndrome.” However, I am now willing to wait for someone that is truly what I know that I need and that I am what they need. I would rather be single for the rest of my years, than be with the wrong one. I’m not sure that I could say that prior to my divorce.

I now know that if a relationship ends – although that sucks, and hurts like hell, I will be totally okay. The absolute best part of it all is that I get to fall in love! I get to have butterflies! I get the excitement of going on dates! I get the anticipation of what is coming next!

I know that dating after divorce is daunting and somewhat unappealing, but I also know that I have found so much fun, encouragement, self-love, friendship, and beauty through it all.  And I know that you will too!

About the author

Shanda McReynolds

Shanda McReynolds

What I really want you to know is that I AM JUST ME – and for the first time, in all my years, I am totally fine with that! I love who I am and who I am becoming. That does not make me perfect! Close to it? Probably, but it depends on who you ask, the day of the week, what mood I’m in, what season I’m walking through, what sin I am struggling with, my kids behavior, if the house is a wreck, whether the bills have been paid, who is annoying me at the time. I hope you get the point. I am nowhere near perfect, but I’m learning to love myself right where I am and knowing that I will continue to grow.

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