Telling Your Date About Your Divorce: What You NEED to Say
Congratulations, you’ve taken the time to heal and reflect, and now after your divorce has been finalized, you’ve decided you are ready to enter the dating world again.
You have made it through the stress and expenses of divorce, and now the paperwork is officially signed, you are challenged with the task of getting settled within your new life.
You might be apprehensive about getting back into dating. Just how much have things changed since I last went on a date? How much should I let the people I’m dating know about my divorce?
Fear not. It is possible that your first post-divorce relationship may not be a short rebound, but it’s best to go back into dating to meet new people and enjoy yourself.
Refrain from putting too much pressure on the situation, and you’ll be more likely to find the experience much more enjoyable.
You might be wondering whether you need to bring up your divorce to whoever you’re dating. For this, we would say probably but to what extent is up to you.
You shouldn’t be misleading about yourself, your life, or your interests or children in an online profile or in person.
Eventually, the truth will surface and you don’t want to have wasted anyone’s time or efforts. Even if you’re looking for something casual, flat out omitting the truth is not the right way to do things.
When it comes to dating for most people, we ultimately want to find someone who shares our values and will appreciate us for who we are.
If you find yourself interested in getting back into the game and putting yourself out there, we’ve got these helpful insights to give you a fighting chance of moving on and truly finding the right person for you:
1 | The Earlier the Better
More than half of the marriages in the US end in divorce in today’s world. The first thing you need to accept is that divorce is not a failure.
Before you consider dating again, you need to make sure that mentally and emotionally you are over your marriage and that you do not see yourself or your divorce as a failure.
If you have been dating someone for a few weeks, and you still haven’t found the right time or the opportunity to talk about your divorce, most probably, you do see it as a failure.
Think about it. If you felt comfortable about this and were OK with it, you wouldn’t be reading this article right now. Obviously, something is bothering you.
There might be several reasons for this. Maybe you are afraid that your girlfriend/boyfriend will not accept it easily or will not want to be in a relationship with a divorced person.
It also depends on the reason why you had a divorce as well. Was it due to cheating? Were you cheated on, were you the one who cheated?
No matter what your date thinks, your best bet is to always be honest about it and to tell it as early as possible.
When you talk about your divorce, if you bring it up naturally in a conversation, without making a big deal out of it, it will be even better.
This will make you look like you are over it, you do not feel bothered by it or ashamed of it. Especially if you are over 30 or 40, your date should be mature enough to accept that you too have a past and it is normal.
People get married and they might get divorced. This is not a taboo anymore. If your date hasn’t been married before, it might be hard for them to understand the uncomfortable situation this might put you in to talk about it.
If you have kids from this marriage, this can potentially further complicate the matter.
You don’t have to share all the details when you talk about it. If they ask questions to know more about it, you don’t have to give detailed answers.
It would be enough to give basic, short, and to the point answers. Let the conversations about the details (especially if they are ugly) come later during future conversations.
When you first mention your divorce, make it sound natural. You might talk about how long have you been married and when you got a divorce. This is also the right time to tell your date about your kids.
2 | Golden Rule: Do Not Talk Badly About Your Ex
This is one big mistake people often make when they talk about their past relationships and marriages.
Even if you had a terrible relationship or your ex treated you badly, talking trash about your ex will tell your new partner that you talk this way about your exes and if your relationship with him/her doesn’t work, you will talk the same way about them, too.
Keep things private and don’t let everything out of the bag at once. When you two are more connected on an emotional deeper level, you can talk about unpleasant and bad experiences. But this is not the kind of impression you want to leave at the very beginning.
Talking badly about your ex will make you sound like you are not over them yet, you are still emotionally invested, you don’t have enough self-control, self-esteem or will power to move on.
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3 | Don’t Be Afraid of Negative Reaction
You might be hesitant to talk about your past marriage with your new date because you are afraid that they will not want to see you again.
It is a sad situation and hopefully, it doesn’t happen but, to be honest, if a man/woman doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you simply because you were married before, is not the right person for you.
If this happens and they pull away and not want to communicate with you anymore, you have to remind yourself that the problem is not you. It’s them.
They need to do more should searching and get more mature and open-minded before they can judge others for things they can’t understand.
In this situation, the best thing you can do is to tell them thank you. Thank you for being honest with me. Then move on.
Let them worry about what they lost by rejecting you. Let them feel the emotional distress of not being open-minded and being judgmental.
If this happens and you are rejected, take it as a blessing in disguise because you witnessed a side of them that you didn’t know existed. Be grateful and set your focus on better and brighter things that you truly deserve.
4 | Don’t Hope for a Therapist
Before you start dating again allow yourself time to heal. Most importantly don’t get into a rebound relationship just to get over your divorce.
Your new date can’t and shouldn’t be your therapist. don’t put your hopes on someone else to put the broken pieces together, it is not fair to them.
Instead, take all the time you need after your divorce to work on your life and make the changes you need to make to become a better version of yourself.
If you depend on someone else to fill the void inside you, you will develop an unhealthy attachment to this person and it will create a barrier between you too to have a normal healthy relationship.
If you think that things are moving too fast and you need more time to take the new relationship to the next level, be open and communicate with your date honestly.
Use this time to discover new things, to set time aside for your personal and emotional development so you can reach a level of self-sufficiency. The healthier you are, the better your next relationship will be.
At Never the Right Word, our aim is to give you practical examples of how to handle life’s difficult conversations. If you have an awkward situation that you’d like example templates for, request a topic here.
Lastly, if you found this content helpful or want to share your own examples, let us know in the comments. We’d also be delighted if you shared this article and joined us on social media too!
Never the Right Word
Hi there! I’m Amy, and I’m the person behind Never the Right Word. I’m a designer-by-day who’s fascinated by human psychology; you’ll find me learning about what makes others tick through all types of media and good old-fashioned conversation.
In 2019 Never the Right Word was born to fill the gap of ‘how-to’ websites with copy and paste examples showing you EXACTLY what you need to say to steer difficult conversations into positive outcomes.
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