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How to navigate your first post-divorce hook-up

After signing the divorce papers, getting down in the dark is likely the last thing on your mind. But as time passes, you might feel lighter and ready to open your life to someone new. There’s no right or wrong way to start dating after divorce, but there are some strategies you can use to build healthy and satisfying relationships.

In this guide, we’re looking at everything you need to know before dating after divorce.

Keep reading to find out how to navigate those tricky first dates.

Sex and dating after divorce: Why is it so daunting?

Anyone going through a divorce will know the thought of dating and sex is daunting. Leaving someone you’ve spent a large chunk of life with isn’t pleasant, so it’s no surprise if you don’t feel like jumping into bed with someone else.

You’re adjusting to single life, have emotional baggage, and perhaps a few trust issues to boot. However, when the fog clears, you probably will find yourself interested in dating again – and it’s good to be ready for when this time comes.

Post-divorce sex doesn’t have to be scary, and there are plenty of ways to lessen the nerves. From working on self-care to prioritising self-growth, you should work on your development before meeting anyone new. This way, you can approach dating with confidence and higher self-esteem.

You also need to give yourself time to grieve the relationship. You may need to accept what happened, forgive your ex-partner, and reflect on what went wrong. Throughout this journey, patience and grace are critical.

Caucasian lover Couple on the bed unhappy in having sex and have problems in relationship of married life. Erectile Dysfunction and Divorce in society concept. focus at the man

Tips for sex and dating after divorce

Are you considering getting back in the game? Here are some tips to help you know if it’s time to download the apps or not:

1. Take it slow

Going slow is one of the main tips you’ll see about post-divorce sex, and we’re here to reinforce the news. Rushing into new relationships after leaving once can lead to jumping into things before you’re emotionally ready, which can result in messy situations.

Sex and relationships can be intense. Waiting until you feel ready might save you some future hurt.

2. Listen to your intuition

It’s time to stop and listen to your gut. Your intuition often knows how you feel before your brain does, and if you’re feeling anxious or on edge around someone, it might be a sign that you’re not a match.

In contrast, if you feel comfortable and like you can be yourself around them, it’s a good sign that they’re not making you feel stressed or anxious. And who wants those issues in the bedroom? Not us.

3. Be honest

Honesty is the best policy, so don’t keep it to yourself if you’re feeling nervous. Telling your new partner about your anxiety will help them understand your mindset, and they can adapt and make things more comfortable for you.

They’ll also likely appreciate the heads up and may take it as a sign for them to also open up about their feelings. This can bring you both closer and lead to a more trusting relationship.

4. It’s normal to feel guilty

Many divorcees report feeling guilty or as if they’ve cheated on someone after post-divorce sex. This is understandable, considering you’ve just gotten out of a relationship, but it’s not an ideal nor empowering mindset.

Remember that you’re not doing anything wrong by having sex, and it’s normal to start dating again. If you really can’t shake the guilt, it’s helpful to talk to a sex therapist about your worries. These experts know how to help you overcome the woes and create healthy dating habits, so don’t brush them off.

5. Don’t put too much pressure on your “first-time”

If you’ve just gotten out of a marriage, there’s a high chance you haven’t slept with someone new in a while. This can lead to a type of “first-time syndrome”, where you treat your next hook-up like losing your virginity.

Sleeping with someone after a divorce isn’t something to brush off. But simultaneously, you should avoid making a dramatic scene about it. The less pressure you put on the event, the more relaxed you’ll feel, and the higher chance you’ll have a good time.

Similarly, it’s quick to become attached to the first person you have sex with as you’ve let your guard down and been vulnerable. Take things slow, and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This can lead to co-dependent mindsets and further hurt if things don’t pan out how you expect.

Dating app or site in mobile phone screen. Man swiping and liking profiles on relationship site or application. Single guy using smartphone to find love, partner and girlfriend

How soon is too soon to start dating after divorce?

It’s difficult to say how soon is too soon for post-divorce dating, as it genuinely looks different for everyone. Some people feel comfortable dating mere months after a divorce, while others prefer to wait for years.

If dating feels too overwhelming or sends shivers down your spine, it’s usually a sign to stay away from the singles nights for a while. But if you’ve done the inner work, feel independent, have reflected on your past relationship, and are open to new experiences, it might be time to jump back into the dating world.

How do you meet new partners after divorce?

So, you’re ready to start dating again. But where should you start? Here are the top ways to meet new people:

  • Dating apps – Love or hate them, dating apps and websites, like Vivastreet, are one of the easiest ways to meet new people. For the best results, choose reputable apps and ensure your age ranges are set correctly
  • Singles events – Singles events or speed dating nights are another great way to meet others. While it feels awkward to attend these, it’s nice to know everyone’s in the same boat
  • Through friends – Are any of your friends keen matchmakers? Many divorcees find their new beau simply through friends. So, don’t turn down any dinner party reservations!

The takeaway

If you take anything away from this blog, it’s that there’s no fixed timescale for dating after divorce. You should only put yourself out there when you feel ready. Don’t feel pressured to get back on the scene quickly. It’s all about how comfortable you are and whether you’re emotionally ready.

Read more sex and relationship content on the Vivastreet blog today.

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