How and When to Start Dating Again After a Breakup or Divorce

Finding yourself single after being in a long-term relationship may cause you to shrink back and swear off love forever. There’s nothing wrong with this type of thinking, as long as you don’t hold yourself to it. It’s normal to overreact immediately after the breakup, but give yourself permission to change your mind.

As time passes, you’re likely to meet new people, develop new interests and discover some things about yourself that you never knew before. Take advantage of the opportunity to step out into uncharted territory and experience life. If someone interesting comes along, you may want to consider getting to know him or her to see if there’s any chance of a relationship. Even if you decide not to pursue dating this person after going out a couple of times, you’ll at least have more experience and knowledge of what you do or do not want.

Immediately After the Breakup

Before you start dating again, take stock of what went wrong in the relationship. You don’t want to make the same mistakes, or you’ll wind up in the same boat in the future. Talk to two or three of your closest friends separately and ask for their observations. This may be difficult, but you want their honesty in order to prevent a replay.

After you process what your friends tell you, work on changing what you can about yourself. If you have a history of dating cheaters, jot down some similarities in these people. You may see other trends and patterns as you go. Although some of what you noticed in former partners may be common traits, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all people who do those things will cheat. Just be cautious and aware.

Get a Makeover

You don’t have to change the way you look or do a major overhaul of your core values. The key is to find something to boost your confidence and self-esteem before stepping back out there into the dating world.

Makeover suggestions:

  • Have your hair restyled and updated.
  • Purchase a few trendy pieces to add pizzazz to your wardrobe.
  • Take a class to learn something new.
  • If you feel it would help, seek therapy to discover something new about yourself.

Warnings About Memories

You may occasionally experience painful memories of your past with your former partner. This can send you into a state of mourning. Allow a small period of grief then take charge of turning the feeling into a positive experience.

Things that can cause you to grieve a broken relationship:

  • running into that person
  • seeing pictures of the person
  • hearing old songs that transport you to a happy time
  • a phone call from your ex

Evaluate your feelings when you find yourself in any of these situations. If your grief is insurmountable, you may not be ready to start dating again. Once you are able to get past the initial sadness quickly, you are starting to heal and should consider dating again.

Meeting New People

Once you start meeting new people, you may feel awkward and inept. This is normal, but after a few experiences, you’ll grow more comfortable. Over time, you’ll probably realize that you weren’t as happy as you thought you were. Enjoy being single and free from the constraints of whatever problems you had in your former relationship that wasn’t working.

Tips when dating new people:

  • Avoid falling into the rut of bashing your ex.
  • Formulate a brief explanation of why your former relationship failed then move on to a different subject.
  • Be prepared to face your ex if you live in a small community or visit old haunts.
  • Don’t compare people you meet to your ex.
  • Pay attention to body language to gauge the other person’s interest.

Immediately after a breakup or divorce, allow time to grieve. Then take some time to get a makeover and rediscover yourself. Realize that you’ll be struck with old memories, but don’t allow them to send you into a downward spiral of negativity. When you’re ready, meet new people and be open to a fresh relationship.

Advice From Twitter for Girlfriends Who Ask, Am I the Other Woman?

How can you tell if your man is cheating on you? That’s what Side Chick Awareness is all about. The answers given by Twitter users are mainly funny, sometimes angry, and sometimes sad.

All of the fears about infidelity – getting caught, being cheated on, being the “other woman” without knowing it, or having an unfaithful husband – are serious and painful. But comedians have known for centuries that there’s also a funny side to the situation. It makes great material for Twitter.com, a social networking website where people publicly exchange messages of up to 140 characters long.

What Women Say About Being the Other Woman

The main theme of what Twitter users identify as #sidechickawareness is secrecy on the man’s part. He clearly doesn’t want anyone to know he has more than one woman in his life. Some of the Twitter posters are fully Side Chick Aware, but others need lessons, so people have been giving each other many helpful hints.

In these quotes from Twitter, some of the language has been edited to make it more readable and in a few cases, less likely to offend. On Twitter, the @ symbol is used before a person’s screen name and the # symbol helps with indexing. People can search the site for #sidechickawareness and instantly find all the related posts that contain it.

Some clues from other women to know if you are a side chick:

@skhan813: “homeboy makes you drop off food for him but it ends up looking like a drug deal #sidechickawareness”

@PiNKissableLiPS: “#sidechickawareness is when your phone calls get ignored cause he be with wifey.”

@IamSpectacular: “#sidechickawareness if you find an empty condom box, and yall don’t even use condoms.”

It’s possible that the Side Chick’s relationship could be as intense as the man’s marriage (to the Main). Both these posts suggest some family ties.

@pjsocomplicated quoting @B_McQ quoting @LadyE8806: “#sidechickawareness… Just cuz you have a baby by him does NOT make u the main!”

@tdothoney: “#sidechickawareness His kid callin me Mommy by accident.”

What Women Say About Men Who Have a Side Chick

Opinions, almost all from women, suggest that the Main can be either fearful and worried about whether there is a Side Chick, or the Main can confidently assume there is but that the Side Chick isn’t a threat.

Example of a Main who thinks Side Chicks are going to be the ultimate losers:

@LOcourtVE: “Lesson to women who prey on married men. 75% stay with their wives. Find someone else!!!<#sidechickawareness”.

What Men Say About Their Side Chicks

The men in the #sidechickawareness discussion are mainly putting forward the cool dude image and treating the whole angst-ridden “is he cheating on me” question like a game. Much of this is written in the ironic tone typical of Twitter, for example:

@JeffreyRipper: “Edamame is my #sidechick. She has #sidechickawarenss and knows how to stay in her lane.”

@MaggDaddy: “If I bring you to the house and I tell you, ‘Just run downstairs I’ll be there in a minute’, you need #sidechickawareness.”

Approaching Twitter more analytically and assessing the social commentary made by the whole #sidechickawareness discussion, is this post:

@hjules: “Only on twitter or only in today’s world will WOMAN tell off the mistresses for not having #sidechickawareness. Strange.”

What Everyone Says About Tiger Woods

A polite translation of the commentary on Tiger Woods is that he would have been unwise to phone his alleged girlfriend and leave an incriminating voice mail, a recording of which (it is claimed) has been widely published. Here’s how one man summed up the common opinion:

@DCruz215: “U like the only [man] on the EARTH named Tiger. Aint u supposed to try and hide [extra-marital affairs]? Don’t use your real name! #sidechickawareness”

Whether he had an affair or not, and whether the phone message is authentic or not, the Tiger Woods story and all the rumours around it are going to be a footnote in sports history before long, but the phenomenon of marital infidelity will never end. Sociologists of the future will have plenty of information about early twenty-first century dating and marriage if they choose to look up and analyze #sidechickawareness.