Are you ready to date after your divorce? If you find yourself answering 'yes' to this question or if you think at some point in the future you might want to date after divorce, then this is the episode for you.
If you think that you want to start dating so you can find someone to make you happy again, like I did, then listen in because this is never a great reason to start dating and I'll tell you more about why in today's episode.
I’m also going to be teaching you how to date after divorce in a healthy way where you are feeling confident in who you are which will help to change the cycle of what you previously had in your other relationships.
What you'll learn in today's episode:
1. Why dating to find someone to make you happy again is never a good idea.
2. The top five tips to dating after divorce.
3. How to know what you want out of a relationship.
4. Letting go of the past stories that are holding you back from your next great relationship.
5. How to let go and have fun when dating.
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List to the full episode:
Are you struggling with dating after divorce, not feeling confident in yourself, and are worried about being vulnerable with another man? Do you find yourself frustrated by the dating options and want to give up after messaging a few guys? Are you worried that you'll repeat the same cycle you had with your marriage relationship, and instead you're holding yourself back from actually entering the dating world? If this is you, I can help. Click here to schedule your free discovery session with me.
Featured on this episode:
Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.
Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.
Want to know first hand how Karin can help you with your specific problems and create an even better life than when you were married? Click here to schedule a free consult.
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to Becoming You Again. I’m your host Karin Nelson. I’m a certified divorce confidence coach and this is the podcast where I teach you how to reconnect with yourself, create emotional resiliency and live a truly independent life, so you can have an even better life than when you were married.
Hello my lovelies. How are you all doing? I’m here just recording a podcast in my very hot closet. I’m not afraid to admit it, but I am ready for summer to be over. This heat is ugh. It is gross. It is not my favorite at all. It has been ridiculously hot this summer in Utah and we (like so much of the US) are in a major water shortage so our lawn looks terrible. Everything is brown. I just do not want to go outside. I am so just very done with this summer. I do have to say that I’m more grateful for air conditioning this summer than ever. My daughter, I’ve talked about it before, but my daughter is in Germany right now on an internship and the town she’s in usually doesn’t get too hot in the summer – maybe a high of 80 here and there but it has also been very hot these last few days – like into the high 90s, even 100 some days. However unlike here, most places in her town and maybe even most of Germany they don’t really have air conditioning. It’s just not a thing. So you have fans and you can open the windows and all of that good stuff. It’s kind of my long way of saying yes to air conditioning when it’s 100 degrees outside. I am so grateful for that, especially today. But I am also in my closet right now recording this podcast which I get kind of the best sound in here and there are no vents which is a good thing because that kind of keeps the air-conditioning sound out but it also means that this closet is very hot while I am recording the podcast in the summer.
Alright enough of my lamenting about the heat. Let us move on to today’s topic. This podcast may not be for all of my listeners. I want you to know that it is okay to opt out if you want to. I’m going to be talking about dating after divorce. And I know there are some women who are ready to take the next step and start eating after divorce. And I also know that there are some women who just aren’t ready to allow themselves to be vulnerable in that way yet, and I also understand that there are some women who are done with that part of the life forever. None of these options are bad or wrong. I do not want to tell you how to live your life. I am going to be giving you some tips to help you if you find yourself in the space where you want to date after divorce.
Now I personally started dating quite quickly after we decided to divorce. We weren’t even divorced yet. We were separated. And at that point in my life I didn’t have all of the knowledge and tools that I have now and the main reason that I started dating so quickly was because I was so unhappy and I had been for such a long time that I was really hoping to find someone who could fill that void for me. Right? I really wanted to find someone who could just make me happy and magically take that unhappiness away. Now I go into more detail about my unhappiness in a previous podcast episode they did. It is called ‘How to be Happier’. So you can go listen to that episode after you finish this one if you want to learn about how to be happier and why it is so important that you be the person who provides your own happiness. That nobody outside of you can provide that for you.
But if you want to start dating because you’re looking for someone else to make you happy, like I did, then dating may not actually be what you want or what will serve you best in your life right now. Because it’s really important for you to know that no one else can ever ‘make you’ happy. That is a job that is always an inside job. It is solely in your hands. And if you get into a relationship putting that expectation on your partner – that it’s their job to make you happy and it is your job to make them happy – the odds of ending up exactly where you are now – in another break up or another divorce are high. I just want you to understand that. Okay?
So what I’m going to be teaching you today is how to date after divorce in a healthy way where you are feeling confident in who you are which is going to help to change the cycle of what you previously have had in your past marriage or your past relationships.
Alright so tip number one.
1. Create a great relationship with yourself first.
Listen, you’ve been married and you’ve been divorced. I talk about this all the time but the number one thing that I teach my clients is getting to know yourself after divorce. When we have a low self esteem, as so many of us who go through a divorce do, we often question “why wasn’t I enough”, “why couldn’t they love me” “I tried my hardest, and yet I must have been doing something wrong.”
We believe that there is something wrong with us, that it must have been our fault, and what we need and want most is for someone to recognize that we’re good. That we’re worthy. We want someone to love us and validate us. Now hear me out, these are all human desires. There’s nothing wrong with desiring being wanted, desiring being loved, desiring being validated. That all feels very good. And so when a relationship ends, where we have relied very heavily on that outside validation, and when we haven’t learned how to give that love and validation to ourselves, it seems like a no brainer to want to go find the next person who is going to provide that for us. Right? Who is going to fill up that void and tell us that we’re enough. We want that person to show up and love us and make us happy. Right? It makes sense.
But here’s the problem with that. You will never reach being enough when you allow “enough” and I’m going to put that in quotes, when you allow “enough” to be determined by someone outside of you. You have to love yourself and create a strong relationship with yourself first knowing that you are enough just as you are. Otherwise there will come a day in your new relationship as you move forward when you once again will feel like you are not enough.
You have to know that on your own and have your own confidence in yourself – and not be looking for that from someone else. It’s important for you to know that when we get outside validation, meaning when someone tells us that we’re beautiful or that we’re so incredible. When we hear those words and we believe what they are saying, we don’t feel good inside because their love and their admiration for us jumped out of their body and into ours and made us feel loved and admired. Right? What actually happened is we heard ‘you are so beautiful’ from their mouth and we gave ourselves permission to believe that we are beautiful and then we feel our own love and our own admiration for ourself. That’s what’s actually happening.
Now when have a partner who validates us it definitely makes it much easier for us give ourselves permission to feel loved, right, and to feel validated and to feel worthy and to feel valuable. But what I want you to do in this first step as you are getting to know yourself is to be that person who is giving yourself that validation. I want you to be the very first person on your list who is validating you. Who is loving you. Who is telling you that you are amazing and telling you that you are beautiful and telling you that you are capable of doing this so that you aren’t reliant on your partner to constantly be telling you it’s okay to believe these things about yourself. When you have that strong relationship with yourself, it’s like you’ve gone into the operating system of your head and flipped the toggle to ‘permission granted’ to believing any and all validation that you want to give to yourself. So that is tip 1 – create a strong relationship with yourself first.
Tip number two to dating after divorce is:
2. Ask yourself why you want to start dating or why you want to be in a relationship?
Because knowing your reason for wanting to start dating again will give you so much good awareness around the kind of person you’ll be looking for and this awareness may allow you to open up the possibilities of who you will date rather than continuing to stick to the same people you’ve always gone for before.
For example – if your answer to this question is, I just want to have fun and explore what’s out there – then you’re probably not going to be looking for someone who is wanting a long term committed relationship because that doesn’t really align with your reasons for getting into the dating pool. Right? So you’d look at the profiles at these guys on the dating apps if that’s the way you’re going to start dating and anybody who’s like, I want a long term committed relationship, or if you have a conversation with them and they say that, and you just want to have fun, that’s not really aligning with your values – okay next.
And if your answer to the question is something like, I want to accelerate my growth and my happiness, then you might be looking for someone else who also wants to put in the time and effort to grow with. To work on creating happiness together and that most likely isn’t going to happen with somebody who just wants to date around and have a lot of fun. And I’m not saying that it can’t be fun to grow and create happiness and you’re looking for a partner who also has that as a goal, but you just want to know your reasons why you want to be in a relationship, or what you’re looking for in that relationship.
Alright, tip number three:
3. Dating doesn’t work until it does.
If you want to find someone you match with and are excited about what the future can be then you’re going to have to be willing to date until it works. Going on 5 dates with 5 different people and they all sucked and then being discouraged that it’s not working probably isn’t going to put you in a mindset where you’re going to want to keep dating. You might have a thought like – this isn’t working. All the good ones are taken. And if those are the types of thoughts you are having then you’re going to feel terrible and you’re not going to want to keep dating. Right? It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to keep dating if all you keep thinking is, “All the good ones are taken. Nobody is out there for me. They all suck. Are all guys like this? They are all terrible.” Right? Of course you don’t want to keep dating if those are the thoughts you are having.
But if what you want is to find a possible future partner then you’re going to have to start think about dating differently and be willing for it to take as long as it does. I think we often have this unreasonable expectation that if we haven’t found the next great guy after 5 dates or one month or whatever arbitrary number you have decided on that it’s just not going to happen and so we have to give up because it hasn’t happened by now that probably means it will never happen.
But guess what? This is just a lie that your brain is telling you. What if you dropped the timeline and allowed yourself to let it take as long as it’s going to take? That might feel a little uncomfortable to at first drop that expectation of it taking a certain amount of time, but I’m willing to bet that once you drop that expectation and just go have fun and meet people and date that your next great relationship is going to show up, because you’ve dropped all the pressure that having expectations brings with it.
When I worked with Karin Nelson as my divorce coach I worked on myself from the inside out. Best of all, I learned to love and forgive myself through my divorce. I found me again and started putting my needs first. I learned to create healthy boundaries without people pleasing or being codependent. I found my confidence again and I am proud of who I’ve become. I would tell any woman who is going through a divorce that if you are struggling to know who you are or if you’re struggling to believe that your life can be good again, then you need to work with Karin as your coach. She helps you see that your life doesn’t end with divorce, and it’s really the beginning of something new and amazing. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, click the link in the show notes to find out more about how to work with Karin Nelson.
Okay, tip number four to dating after divorce:
4. Drop the idea that you already married your soul mate and now that that relationship is over there’s no one else out there for you.
If you’re telling yourself that your ex was your soulmate I want you to recognize that that is just a thought. It might be true and it might not be true, but either way, it’s just a thought. It’s not a fact that could be proven in court. It’s a story that you’re telling yourself about your ex. If you want to decide to keep it, go for it. I’m not telling you that you should change your stories if you don’t want to, but if you have an inkling in your head that you might want to find someone else to share your life with, you have to be willing to drop this story. And if you want to decide something else about your relationship with your ex, you totally can.
When I have client who holds really tightly to a story like this I like to start asking questions and just see if we can loosen the grip of that story a little bit. So if you have a story like this, like my ex was my soulmate I want you to ask yourself some of these questions or if you have another story that he recognize is not serving you take these questions and somehow apply them to that story that you are holding onto, just kind of loosen your grip a little bit. Right?
What if it wasn’t true that you married your soul mate? What if having a soul mate wasn’t a thing? What if there were more than one soul mate for everyone on earth? What if there’s more than one someone out there and all you have to do is look for them? It’s questions like these and others; I’m sure you could come up with others if you sat down and really thought about it, but it’s questions like these that allow your brain to loosen your grip to the story. To see that there might some other possibilities out there that you hadn’t really thought of war that had not occurred to you before. So open yourself up to the possibility of dating and creating a new relationship with someone else by asking yourself some of these questions and letting go of some of these old stories that you maybe have been holding onto.
And tip number five:
5. Have fun.
Dating can be so much fun. What if you told yourself – I’m going to have fun doing this or I’m just not going to it at all? Because when you make something like dating heavy and like you MUST find the perfect person who fits into these specific boxes, then you’re kind of taking all the fun out of getting to know people, and learning about them, and learning about you through this process.
I want you to give yourself permission to do things that are adventurous or do things that are new or do things that are not the norm that you have always done. There is a podcast that I have listened to a couple of times and it’s called 51 First Dates and the whole premise of the show was for these two women to go on 51 first dates and make dating fun, rather than going in with this expectation of getting a relationship or getting married out of that very first date. Because if you notice that sometimes we do that? We will get on a dating app and we will meet the person and they will ask us out on a date or you’ll ask them out or however that ends up for you and then we have this expectation of, oh no what if this leads to more dating and how am I going to introduce them to my kids and how will I tell my ex about it and what’s going to happen between our relationship and will my kids like him and then what if we get married, where are we going to live. We just like let our brain run away with this whole story and we have not even had a first date with them. And it just puts all this pressure to have an outcome that is so far beyond the expectation of just going and having fun and getting to know that person in the moment. So if we can just drop all of that and go into the dating as I am just going to have fun with this. I promise you it is going to be lighter. You are going to enjoy yourself so much more and you are going to be willing to date so many different types of people and get to know so many different types of people because you are willing to drop the expectations and the boxes and the rigidness that you might be holding onto that is keeping you stuck where you are at.
Dating can be so fun and if you look at it this way, to allow yourself to have fun and get to know people it totally will be.
Alright ladies, those are my 5 tips for dating after divorce. And that is it for today. I love you all. You’re so amazing. Thank you so much for continuing to show up and to share the podcast and to leave your reviews and your comments. I just am so grateful for every single one of you. Thank you so much. Have a great week, my friends. I will be back next week.
If you like what you heard on today’s podcast and you want to know more about working 1:1 with me, you can go to www.karinnelsoncoaching.com and schedule your free consult to find out more. That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.
Thanks for listening. If this podcast episode agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow, rate and leave a comment. And for more details make sure to check out the show notes by clicking the link in the description.