So your divorce has been finalized, and you’ve taken an appropriate amount of time to heal from the painful process of divorce. You were smart enough to avoid jumping right back into the dating scene while the wounds were fresh. Now that you have spent long enough putting the pieces back together, what next? Where do you start? And how do you go about meeting women now that you are older?
These are all common and completely realistic conundrums men face once they are ready to put themselves back out there after recovering from a divorce. Dating is a stressful, yet fun game when you are in your early 20s. However, after you haven’t played in a while, it can be hard to tell where to start and the fun may seem to have disappeared. Luckily, it really isn’t as hard as you make it out to be in your head.
Some things never change when it comes to meeting women. Approaching or meeting a stranger you find attractive and striking up a conversation is always nerve-wracking yet thrilling at the same time, and confidence is still the key. A big issue that many divorced men face is a lack of confidence — you may feel that if you couldn’t make your marriage work, why would this woman see anything but a failure?
However, that is completely wrong. There are actually plenty of women out there who wouldn’t mind, or would even prefer to date a divorced man — if only because he knows the ropes of being in a committed relationship. Even if you view your divorce as a failure, you have still learned so much about the finer nuances of a relationship. Every time you don’t succeed with something, you gain a better understanding of what went wrong and work to avoid making the same mistake twice.
All it takes is a little refresher on dating etiquette and you should be ready to go. Simply remember the little things: Compliment women on the effort they put into their looks, pay for dinner, buy them flowers or trinkets, ask them about themselves and actually care about what they say, don’t go overboard texting or calling them, choose fun activities for dates (dinner and a movie is a pretty lame date), get the door for them, don’t be stingy when you tip, etc. All of this should come back pretty naturally, and if it doesn’t, you can always study rom-coms or look to the Internet for advice.
Back in college, it was pretty easy to meet women in your demographic: You all lived together on / around the same campus, you had classes with them, you participated in extracurriculars with them, you went to the same bars and parties on weekends — they were everywhere.
Once you grow up, however, it can become much more challenging to find women your age who are single and ready to mingle — let alone any you might be interested in dating. While it may not be like shooting a fish in a barrel any more, there are still plenty of opportunities to meet women; you just have to be more proactive. Here are a few ideas on where you can meet women after a divorce:
- The classic setup — who knows you better than your friends? (At least the ones you got to keep in the divorce settlement.) Blind dates are usually pretty awkward, but they can be fun and your friends know your interests. Let them know you are ready to start meeting women again, and you can probably get a few dates out of it — even if it’s just to shake off the rust.
- Bars — the conventional “meet a girl at a bar, buy her some expensive drinks, get her number, wait the standard three days, call her only to find out it was a fake.” Yes, bars still work to meet women. However, buying overpriced drinks for strangers that you have a really low chance of seeing again probably isn’t the best use of your time.
- Volunteering — while meeting women up to your knees in scummy lake water or cleaning out dog kennels isn’t as sexy as meeting women all dolled up for the club, volunteering is a really good way to find someone with similar interests. Not only does helping others feel really good, but it shows that you care — a quality many women find attractive.
- Singles groups — Get over feeling like there is some kind of stigma or shame for participating in single activities that interest you. Like college, this can be a great way to meet like-minded individuals who are also interested in dating. And even if you don’t meet someone you like, at least you will be getting out there and doing something you enjoy.
- Online dating — The commercials make you feel like finding love is as simple as filling out a survey, and when you pay $29.95 per month for a membership, it better be! While online dating may not be for everyone, it’s probably worth a shot. The increasing acceptance must have some basis behind it.
- Tinder —This app is a little creepy, but can be a very good way to meet women for… casual encounters. Tinder is an up and coming “dating” service that is rapidly becoming popular for the ease of setting up random hookups. Basically, you just sign in with Facebook, add a few suitable photos, set up your location and start deciding if women in your area are hot or not. They will do the same for you, and if you both decide hot, you can begin a conversation. You probably won’t find love, but shortly after a divorce that isn’t likely to be a priority.
Meeting women after divorce isn’t as hard as it may seem; it just takes a little more proactivity on your part to make it happen. You have far more life experience now to strike up conversation than when you were younger, so your confidence when talking to women should at an all-time high. If you want to meet women, put in the work to do it. Don’t let the fear of getting back into dating scare you — your mojo is still there and probably stronger than ever.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”