— October 2021 — Divorce and starting over are a part of life. Many of us know someone or have been divorced. Celebrities like Chris Rock and his wife, Tina Knowles and Matthew Knowles and now Toni Braxton have all divorced and started over. Starting over can be difficult – especially when it applies to dating. Perhaps even trickier than deciding what to wear, where to go, whether to go dutch – not to mention how to meet people – is getting over your fear of finding love after a major split. You may feel vulnerable, unconfident, overwhelmed, like you’re right back in high school. Overall, navigating in the dating world after divorce can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. The way to win? “Use your head AND your heart,” Certified Dating and Relationship Specialist (CRS), Michelle G., tells BlackDoctor.org.
In addition to “mapping out your own core values — making sure they align with the people you date,” the author of “Divorce to Dating: The New Rules for Sex, Dating & Love After A Breakup”, advises that those looking for love be “clear on the type of person you want to be in a relationship with.” Adding that, “clarity will help you communicate what you’re looking for on and offline.”
While you’re still likely to kiss a frog or two, Michelle G is here to help you avoid making the biggest mistakes that lead to heartbreak.
Do: Understand it’s a level playing field.
“Online dating has become the equalizer between men and women searching for a mate because the rules of etiquette and approach have changed,” the self-proclaimed “Love Scientist” says of how the game has changed. “These days women are making the first move and men welcome it.”
Don’t: Go on the first date unprepared.
“The first date can be nerve-wracking especially if you haven’t dated in a while. Set yourself up for success and have 3-5 questions ready to ask your date to get to know them better,” suggests the online matchmaker. “On the same token, make sure you have prepared answers of common questions about topics of past relationships, hobbies and activities, and your dating goals.”
Do: Invest time and money on updating your wardrobe.
“Getting a wardrobe refresh will boost your confidence and make you feel good,” says Michelle, urging daters to put their best foot forward. “When you feel good, you’re more likely to be bolder and more approachable.
Choose clothing pieces that fit your body and add some trendy accessories.”
Don’t: Be afraid of rejection.
“Work on not taking things so personally. Rejection doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or you aren’t good enough,” explains Michelle. “It just means that for some reason it’s not a good fit. In dating, your self-worth should never depend on the opinions others have of you.”
Do: Be clear on what you’re looking for.
“When was the last time you got into the car without your phone, GPS, or a printout of a map to a destination you’ve never been to before? Your answer is probably never.
There’s a good reason for that and it’s because it would take you much longer to reach your destination, and who has time to waste?”
Don’t: Assume exclusivity.
“Online dating sites and apps expand your singles reach like never before,” she adds. In other words, keep in mind that “in today’s dating landscape, it is common for singles to multi-date, which means they’re going on dates and chatting with several people at the same time,” she concludes.
Once you’ve aced the basics, the world is open to endless possibilities. Happy dating!
A version of this article originally appeared here on blackdoctor.org