Gadoua, who runs dating workshops for women, asks them to free-associate words that come to mind when they think of "dating." Not surprisingly, words like "awful" and "dreadful" come up.
Dating after divorce can be a minefield for the midlife woman. The idea is that you should consciously decide how you want to proceed," which will in turn inform how you go about meeting people. If you feel the same way, she offers this advice: "I suggest you try to reframe it as an adventure, or as an education," she says. Possibly the last time you dated there wasn't even an Internet, much less Internet dating.
Perhaps even thornier than pondering what to wear on a date, where to go, who pays—not to mention how you even find people to date in this brave new world of Internet match-ups—is getting over your reluctance to take a stab at it. "A divorced woman may feel very vulnerable at this stage, in part because she used to have a spouse to 'protect' her and now she has to go out into the world on her own," says Diana Kirschner, Ph D, author of Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor's Guide to Lasting Love. "Dating can be a way to sharpen your social skills, too." And, of course, a way to get out of the house and have some fun! But if you were thinking that searching for companionship online is strictly for losers or perverts, forget it—that's as outmoded as dial-up.
But it's also tough, she adds, because once you're on the dating scene you can feel like a teenager again, in that shaky, unconfident, not-sure-if-he'll-call sort of way. "Sit down and craft a statement of what, exactly, you're after. "Online dating is not only mainstream, it's one of the best ways to widen your search, rather than just hoping that you'll meet someone in the coffee shop," says Dr. And these days, there's a site for everyone, from e Harmony and Match to niche sites like JDate. Once you "meet" someone online, it's easy, says Dr. Kirschner recommends, at least to start with, dating several guys at the same time.
So how can you make post-divorce dating—whether you're looking for a good time or a good (relationship-minded) man—less daunting? Whether it's been one year or six since the divorce decree, you may never know with absolute clarity that you're truly ready for another relationship. You've decided to start dating—isn't that your "intention" right there? Check out "WD's Guide to Online Dating" to learn the basics including setting up a profile to taking a relationship offline. Kirschner, to build up a fantasy of what he is like based on his profile and the emails you exchange. He may have seemed great, but loses interest, or is dating someone else, or has problems you will never know about. For a couple of reasons: First, you are not putting all your eggs—or hopes—into one basket.
From finding love later in life to overcoming loss, these men and women have the firsthand experience.
Bragging Rights: Taking control of your own love life April Braswell wears a lot of different hats.