It’s like you were in a coma for years. The last memory you had when you were single was perhaps going to a fraternity party if you were in college or perhaps you would meet up with colleagues after work for happy hour when you were in your twenties. Then you wake up 10 years later divorced and you find that the world looks different. Where did all of the parties go? Where are all of your single friends to go out with? And what is this online and app dating stuff?
Back when you were single before, there was an infrastructure and a built-in community so that your chances were favorable for meeting others. After you have been married or dating someone for a long time, that all goes away. Your social circle is built around the partnership that was created so that often means your friends are married and social events pertain to doing things with couples.
Feeling secure, finding people to date and rebuilding your social life after divorce is easier said than done. People often mistakenly think that dating is going to be easy but often it is not. When clients come to me with these feelings of discontent, I help them develop a dating plan so that they get out of their rut, infuse more positive energy and generate opportunities to meet both single friends and potential mates on and offline. The most important thing to do is to put yourself out there in as many ways as possible by diversifying your dating portfolio. Like in a financial portfolio, the more you diversify, the more you reduce your risk of losing it all and increase your chances for success. Here are some of my quick secret tips in creating an effective dating plan to get back out there and increase your chances in meeting people to date.
Get involved in activities you are passionate about — The first step is to get back to the basics by figuring out what your passions are and really getting in touch with your true self. Dating can be overwhelming, so focus on you first. After being in a long-term relationship, people tend to stop doing what they used to love. Revisit the things that once inspired you and get involved again. Perhaps there are hobbies, places to travel or extracurricular activities that you’ve been wanting to do and couldn’t do when you were married. Reconnecting with your passions will help you find the things that make you happy, focus on yourself and even meet other likeminded single people.
Create a social calendar — I actually sit down with my clients and develop a dating calendar filled with activities, tasks and homework so they are forced to get out there and expand their opportunities to meet people. By doing this it also lifts people’s spirits by being actively involved in something on a consistent basis and provides structure to your dating life. Put social events on a calendar by color-coding it as you would with your business affairs, which will place a certain level of importance and accountability to holding yourself to it.
Increase you single social circle — Nothing is better then having a good set of single friends. Assess your social circle. Often friends are either married or coupled off. As nice as those friends are, they have a different life than you now. It’s really important to start getting some single friends. Other singles are more apt to want to go out to meet others and engage in fun activities. Also, singles tend to have a different energy when going out, but make sure they are good wingmen and wing-women that exude fun, positivity and have a noncompetitive attitude. If you don’t have many single friends in your social circle, then look at the opportunities where you can meet more.
Experiment with different online sites and apps — Dating online is just another portal to meeting people. It is really good for gaining experience and increasing your volume of dates. But don’t get too caught up in doing it all of the time or using just one site. It’s a numbers game so treat it as such. Mix it up by trying different sites, social apps and changing your profile content and pictures. Integrating different online experiences will avoid online burnout and reduce frustrations.
The bottom line is that it’s important to be proactive and construct a dating plan for yourself so you can increase your chances in meeting someone special. And don’t forget to turn your cab light on when you are out and about doing your errands. Remember, everywhere and anywhere is a chance to meet people.
Originally published on DivorceForce.