Learning to Flirt Again after a Divorce
It’s over, finally. The emotional stress, mountains of paperwork, and exhausting decisions, you now find yourself in a position you probably never expected to be in again when you said ‘I do’. You’re finally beginning to find your feet and pick yourself up. While you’re probably lucky enough to have people checking in on you, friends and family who are kind enough to give you the space and support you need, you’re increasingly troubled by how lonely you feel.
That’s a natural thing to feel, loneliness, at times even when you’re surrounded by friends. You want conversations. You want something to look forward to on weekends. Most importantly, you want a fresh start. But it’s not easy, with all the thoughts running through your head, and people you know hinting (sometimes not so subtly) if they could ‘set you up’ with a friend who’s single too.
Suddenly, you’re noticing people, and people are noticing you. There’s the cute guy who caught your eye at the bar the other day or the girl who’s been smiling at you at your local Starbucks more than once.
You’ve thought about returning their smile, maybe even going and having a chat, to see how it goes ahead. But there’s something that’s holding you back. Once burnt, twice shy - you’re still reeling from a relationship gone sour, and you’re scared of going down the same route. There’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of anxiety and you’re scared of ending up with more heartbreak.
So how then, do you muster the courage to jump headfirst into the dating pool once again. Well, first things first - you don’t dive headfirst, you take it slow. And you do it confidently but not recklessly.
Be Optimistic (and Patient!)
Yes, it’s difficult, to think afresh of love, and not be bitter about it, after what you’ve been through. But love and romance are different with different people, and it may not necessarily be bad with the next person you date. Unless you actually get over your fears, you’re not going to be able to do anything about it. So go on, don’t hold back. While it may take you a few dates and conversations before you find someone special, don’t lose hope. Take a deep breath, prepare to find love all over again, and fight those fears!
Know What You Want
There’s nothing like having some clarity before you start dating afresh after a divorce. And just how does one arrive at that kind of clarity? You have honest conversations with yourself. Ask yourself what you want out of this process - why are you looking to date in the first place? Are you up for something serious, or is it something casual? Do you have the mental bandwidth to get emotionally involved?
While all this soul-searching may find you confronted with some difficult questions, and might seem exhausting - keep going, it’s worth it, you’ll find yourself more confident and reassured than ever before.
Keep It Real
Probably the most important one on this list. Be real, whether with yourself or with the people you meet. Your divorce may have been painful, but it isn’t the only thing that defines you. Don’t hesitate to give the other person a peek into the wonderful person you are.
There’s something beautiful about connecting with someone when both of you are being honest. Be willing to laugh about the difficult bits, and keep it light. You don’t want to make someone uncomfortable with a sob story in the very first conversation, and you’re here to flirt, not to whine about what went wrong. If it’s just sympathy you’re after, you have well-wishers, and you don’t need a date for that.
Be confident - there’s nothing sexier than that. If you find someone attractive, don’t question yourself - go for it. Talk about the things you like, and make an effort to understand what the other person likes, too. Chin up, put on your best smile, and sweep them off their feet!
Humour Is Sexy
So is confidence, a warm smile, and honest conversations. One of the best things that will come out of all the soul-searching, is that it’ll make you super comfortable in your skin. Flirting isn’t always about being overly romantic - it needs to be fun too. Keep the wit going, don’t be afraid to show some sass, and throw in a laugh or two, and see how easy it becomes to flirt with ease.
Compliments: Give and Receive
This is flirting 101. Be generous with the compliments but keep them genuine. While no one’s going to find excessive compliments cool, everyone likes flattery, when done right. And it isn’t even just about just impressing someone.
A compliment is your chance at discovering something great about both, yourself and the other person. So if you think he has a great smile, or she looks great in that dress, don’t shy away from letting them know.
Be Kind to Yourself
This last piece of advice is probably the most important. Flirting after a divorce is fun, but if something doesn’t work out, it could also trigger a whole lot of unnecessary guilt in you, sending you downward on a spiral of self-doubt and self-blame. Not everything is your fault, and if something didn’t work out, it was probably not the best thing for you.
This is pretty much all you need to keep in mind when you decide to start dating after a divorce. A little confidence, a sparkle of humor and wit, some well-paid compliments - that’s all it takes to get your flirting game going, and win at it.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance, have that conversation with yourself, figure out what you really want, and go talk to that cute guy or girl you’ve been only smiling at, all these days. You deserve to have fun and be happy, just like everyone else!