Dating for Newly Divorced Women Over 40, 50, 60
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
If you are just getting out of an unhappy marriage and you feel like you are ready to start dating again, you might be ready to date… but you might not be. You are older and smarter, but are you wiser?
Here are some tips to help you sort things out if you are newly divorced or widowed.
Are You Ready to Date?
After making it through the legal minefield of divorce, and getting out of that unhappy relationship, a time will come when you start thinking about finding love again.
Love is important to everyone, but for some women, love is like having air to breathe. There are a lot of people who give dating advice, but each woman over the age of 40 or 50 should feel free to make her own assessment of her situation. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to read online advice and to take various viewpoints into account.
Online Dating Over 50:
If you're over 50 and you have been out of the dating market for a while, you should know that internet dating has changed everything.
I think you will find that you have more potential dates than the last time you were single.
And, if you don’t get a lot of potential suitors, change the zipcode of your dating bio to an area like Alaska, Seattle, or Montana, where there are more available men. (I don’t recommend this for every woman, but if you are meeting nothing but duds, this is one option that you might want to consider. However, you may end up moving to another state if things work out.)
Advice from Dating for Dummies:
In the book, Dating for Dummies, Dr. Joy Browne advises women to wait one full year after their divorces are final to start dating, with no exceptions.This is probably good advice for many women, and it might be the right advice for you. However, I think there is something unnerving about a rule with no exceptions.
I feel that some women, who have felt stifled for years, should begin making their own decisions, again. So, I encourage you to read everything you can about dating after divorce, but ultimately, you will need to find what works for you in your life.
Absolutely No Dating Until Divorced?
In the Dating for Dummies book, Dr. Joy Browne does make good points about dating while you or your potential “boyfriend” is still married, and I agree with Browne on the following two points:
- If you’re married, don’t date: A woman should wait until her divorce is final before dating.
- Who needs to date someone who is…capable of adultery or bad judgment or both? No woman should date a man who is married. (NOTE: I won’t let you shimmy out of this rule if you are “living” with someone. And, the rule extends to guys. For example, if you’re thinking of dating a man who’s “living with” some chick, you should consider him married until he moves into his own place. The same holds true for you. Even if you’re technically divorced, but you’re living in the same house as your ex, it is too soon for you to start dating.)
Do You Need to Wait One Year?
I am going by what felt right to me, but I had been legally separated (and sleeping in a separate bedroom from my husband) for almost one year by the time I was divorced and had my own place.
To me, if you have been emotionally separated from your spouse for a long time, you might be ready to start dating before one year is up. I am not telling you to do whatever you want and then blame me for any problems you encounter. You should find a good therapist to talk to before you make any big decisions......because everyone’s story is different.
People who might give you good input about dating:
- * Your shrink or counselor
- * Authors (of dating or divorce books)
- * Your lawyer or family doctor
- * Your mother, sister, or adult daughter
- * Your female friends
Anyone, even people you meet at a bus stop know more about you than I (or anyone writing online) know about you. All I can do is to tell you what worked for me and what worked (or didn’t work) for my friends.
Make Friends With Other Baby Boomer Women:
It’s wonderful for you to have another adult to talk to, and it should not be someone who’s hitting on you.
If you can find a friend who’s divorced as well, then you and your pal already have a lot in common. Also, it is difficult to go out into the world to look for love alone. Go out to a restaurant or a ballgame with your friend and meet other singles.
Mental Health Counselors:
If you have the money or the right insurance, I think the best person you can talk to about dating is a psychologist or a psychiatrist. He or she is removed from your “real” life and is usually best at giving unbiased advice. Ask your divorce attorney or your family doctor to recommend several divorce counselors to try. (Note: I am not a therapist. I'm just an older chick who dated in my 50s.)
If You Have Children Under 18:
Your kids should not be introduced to every Tom, Dick, or Harry who takes you out to dinner and a movie. There are three good reasons not to introduce your kids to new dates.
- It’s confusing for your children, especially when it’s a different date each month or each week.
- The guy and your kids may bond, but the guy and you may not.
- There is no good reason for a man, who you don’t know very well, to know your address.
Not Every Man Is Marriage Material:
Guys get spooked whenever a woman is needy and trying too hard. The right guy will come along when the Dating Gods decree it.
Until then, just have fun. Flirt. Smile. Eat a lot of free food. See a lot of free movies. And, just have a good time (though not such a good time that you wake up next to your date). Women looking for husbands, or for daddies for their children, almost always scare men away.
Remember this politically incorrect statement: Men need to be the hunter.
It’s great to flirt. It’s great to be open and friendly. However, most of the time, the man has to make the first move. Only in very rare circumstances does a woman pursuing a man result in anything more than a booty call.
Limit Talk About Your Ex-Husband:
You should not talk about your ex-husband, or the gory details of your divorce, until you have known a man for quite a while. It’s okay to explain that you and your ex “grew apart”, but you should not ramble on about all the problems you had with your former spouse.
And, on the flip side, any man who talks too much about his ex-wife is not over his ex and should not be considered serious dating material. Too many women get sucked into trying to help and nurture a “sensitive” man, only to find that the guy moves on, once he has been “healed”. (And, yes, I know this through personal experience.)
There are so many experts, with advice for women, that it’s difficult to know who to listen to. If you are getting out of an unhappy marriage, you should read books and articles to help you move forward and find your inner strength, but you should learn to make up your own mind.
In my opinion, you will know when it’s time to move forward. But, don’t let anyone talk you into going out until you are ready... however... someday you will be ready to look for love.
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