Starting to date after divorce can be challenging – how much to share and when.
While it is important to connect with your date, giving too much information too quickly is off-putting. Just the opposite effect than what is intended. Get to know them and build trust before spilling dark secrets.
The beginning of a relationship is not the time to reveal past traumas. This can scare a person away when you have recently met.
Getting to know them
A successful strategy in business networking is allowing the other person to talk first. This tactic also works well post-divorce when starting to date again. People enjoy speaking about themselves and will view you positively when they have that chance.
This gives the opportunity to learn about their interests. Bit by bit share yours, particularly the ones which are similar. Ask opened ended questions which gives them a springboard to share more details. You are building connections with conversions.
Can be tempting when nervous, to dump a load of information on a date. It is fine to have periods of silence, instead of every second being filled with chatter. Let your date have space to digest what you have just said.
Match body language. This indicates that you are receptive. It is another way to connect. When your date leans forward, lean forward also. It builds camaraderie. Occasionally nod your head to show understanding.
Try to be still without fidgeting or tapping your foot. These can come across as boredom or lack of interest. Crossing your arms can mean impatience or aggression. If you are tense and your body is rigid, this can seem like you are closed off.
Breathe and relax your muscles.
Giving mixed messages?
Are you friendly one time and playing hard to get the next? Be yourself and stop playing games. Being who you are is what attracted them in the first place.
Sometimes a dating partner does a dance.
They step backwards when the other makes an advance to try and get closer in the relationship. This can be confusing. When this happens to me, I think maybe I misinterpreted the other’s interest. I do not know whether to move on or not. Be consistent in your interactions.
Agree to disagree
There may be areas where you are on opposite sides of the fence. Politics is one of these. If you enjoy their company and your values align, say “Let’s agree to disagree on that topic.” There are plenty of other subjects to discuss.
Consider not getting into anything heavy right away in a new relationship. Discover their hobbies, hidden talents, travel bucket list instead of what they think of the Prime Minister or climate change. Stay off hot topics. You are not going to convince them to change their viewpoint.
Take your time getting to know someone
It is not a race to the finish line. Nor are you cramming for an exam and have to learn all about the other person right away. Individuals move at a different pace in a relationship. One may want to get serious – even marriage – before the other has decided whether or not to stop dating around.
Respect the other’s slower pace. If you try to push or rush them, it can backfire. They may do a runner. Yes, it is frustrating, to move at a slow rate. Honouring their more cautious nature will pay off in the end – keeping the relationship. They may have had a traumatic divorce and want to be absolutely sure they can trust you before getting closer.
What is okay and what is a deal breaker for a relationship? Post-divorce, let the other person know your boundaries. I am upfront with a new guy when the relationship could become serious. I let him know that my friends -both male and female – are important. I will not drop anyone and will continue to see them. I make it clear that I am monogamous, so there is not a trust issue.
Not all relationships are going to work out as planned. You may find there is no sexual passion for the other person when on a date. Some of those guys have turned out to be good mates. They are a great resource for getting a guy’s perspective on my dating life.
Having a sense of humour is a big plus. It gets through awkward or embarrassing moments on a date when you can have a laugh.
About Wendi Schuller
She is a hypnotherapist, nurse and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner.
She is a speaker whose goal is to inspire people to move on in their lives. She helps people transform their dating goals into reality. She wrote The Global Guide To Divorce and the children’s book series Jack Jack The Cat.