how to move on after divorce

The thought of moving on after divorce and diving back into the dating game can be overwhelming. You’re swimming in a sea of residual emotions and the idea of starting from scratch can make you feel tired before you even start. With the right approach, dating after divorce can actually be exhilarating. Simply put, the more you are enjoying the process, the more success you will have.

Allow yourself to heal

Many people try to rush things and aren’t gentle with themselves in the process. When you want to move on after divorce and start dating again, it’s important to allow yourself to heal from the previous heartbreak. If you force yourself to date, other people, in an effort to move on without having made the effort to heal, it can be very difficult to develop a solid foundation that makes your new relationship last.

It’s all about being ready. So how do you know when you’re ready? Well, the first thing to pay attention to is of course timing. If you separated from your partner not so long ago and the pain of the breakup is still very fresh, it might not be ideal to start dating again right now. If you are searching for happiness by being with someone else, you can get dangerously close to emotional dependency.

Invest in yourself

If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re ready for the dating game, I really encourage you to take some time for yourself and to rebuild self-confidence. Start by focusing on letting go of the things that make you lose trust. Some great tools for this are meditation and journaling.

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Continue investing in yourself by reading books and articles and by engaging in activities that make you happy. What are some of the things that you used to love to do that got put on the back burner while you were with your ex? What passions, friends and projects did you lose track of? Start prioritizing these things again while carving out time for new activities! Think about things you’ve always wanted to try like rock climbing or even learning how to make ceramics.

Keep in mind that physical activity is an amazing tool, especially right now! The more physically active you are, the better. It can get your endorphins flowing and give you a boost of energy and confidence that makes it easy to jump back in the dating waters and find new fish in the sea!

Revamp your wardrobe

Confidence really is key here, so every little thing you can do to boost it will help! Get some new clothes that make you feel great. You can also clear out some of your older clothes that you never wear. The feeling of freshness that comes along with replacing worn-out elements of your life with new ones can help so much, especially right now. Just think, “Out with the old, in with the new!”

The problem that many people face is simply that they are too hard on themselves. When you go through a breakup, your self-confidence definitely takes a hit, which is why I am stressing the importance of doing things that make you feel good about yourself.

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Clear self-deprecating thoughts

I’ve noticed a pattern in many of the people I have coached. They start to think that they’re “too old” to have to start dating and find love again and they get discouraged before they even start.

We have such a bad habit of comparing ourselves to those around us and I always try to remind people that it is not a race! There are no time constraints! Every experience we have in our love lives serves a purpose and offers a valuable lesson that will enable us to be the ideal partner for the person we spend the rest of our lives with.

Don’t rush it

I know that it can feel overwhelming at first, but you just have to start with baby steps. Challenge yourself to become a little bit more social. This is especially for you shy men and women out there! Start by making eye contact with people and giving them a genuine smile. You don’t have to go over the top – just connect with the people around you. Then talk to people in the elevator. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy – just make a joke about how long it’s taking the elevator to arrive.

Then, when someone comes along that you find interesting, just take your time. Think about building chemistry slowly instead of jumping in right away. You want to give complicity and attraction a chance to naturally develop and you want to avoid letting the spark burn out because things got rushed.

Always focus on enjoying the present moment and it will allow you to really be yourself, avoid placing pressure on your shoulders, and it will allow a real connection to genuinely start to solidify between you. Think about how to have fun together and how you can create lasting memories. You bring a lot to the table, so don’t be afraid to share that with someone!

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Prioritize positivity

I know that you may have had a little voice in your head telling you that you’ll never find a love like the one you lost. I know it’s hard to jump back into the dating game after having experienced disappointment in love. When you lose the person you loved, things can feel hopeless for a while.

Perhaps you’re thinking that there is no way you’ll find someone that makes you as happy as your ex-wife or ex-husband did, or that you’ll never find anyone that you could love that much. But if I were to ask you to describe a color to me that you’ve never seen before, would you be able to do it? No, not a mix between some colors in your watercolor set – I’m talking about a brand new color that you have never seen before. Nothing comes to mind, huh? Alright, so maybe you can’t imagine it right now, but does that mean that it doesn’t exist?

The same idea can be applied to love. Perhaps you can’t imagine the person with whom you’re going to build a lasting love story, but that’s just because you haven’t met them yet.

Apollonia is an international certified dating & relationship coach. She works with men to help them build confidence, master women's attraction skills, and rebuild relationships. Find her expert advice on “is she using me” and other professional services through her website.

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