4 Ways to Be Yourself While Dating after Divorce

By: Dalila Jusic-LaBerge
April 28, 2017

Be Authentic When Dating after Divorce  

If you find yourself dating after divorce, you may be intimidated and confused with all the new rules and various advice. But, more import than the rules and advice is your authenticity. If you are interested in finding the right partner, it's important to show your true colors from the very beginning. What does this mean? Be yourself. There is nobody else just like you. You are not trying to impress a ton of people while dating, but you are interested in finding someone who will be impressed by you just the way you are. How to be authentic? Check our these 4 ways. 

1. Be Yourself by Expressing Your Dating Goals Openly

Don't worry, this doesn't make you come across as desperate but quite the opposite. This conveys confidence. It's so refreshing to men to meet a woman who knows what she wants. This gives him something to strive for if his goals are aligned with yours. This allows him to hope that he can be the one that you want to be with. By sharing your long terms goals, you are not expressing the desire to be with this particular date. In contrast, you are showing your values and boundaries. You are also saying that you want to date only serious candidates. This can save you from a lot of potential confusion and heartache in the future. You will eliminate the candidates whose goals don't align with yours. 

2. Express Your Vulnerabilities Openly While Dating after Divorce

This is another counter-intuitive suggestion. Bear with me a bit and let me explain. Vulnerability doesn't mean you need to express all your emotions openly. This will be up to you to decide. What I suggest is to stop pretending that everything is OK when it's not. If he says or does something that didn't sit well with you, express it.

This actually can help you grow the emotional connection with the right man if you perform this correctly. It's important though that you are aware of your feelings and that you pause to understand them. We humans, usually avoid this because it hurts. We are raised in shame and guilt, so we are usually reluctant to go there, into our feelings.

But, let's go back to the moment when your date said or did something hurtful. How can you handle it? By expressing that you are hurt, it basically shows that you are strong and that you have high standards. You express that you are not OK with what's said or done. This allows you to free yourself and let him pickle in it. If he is a sincere good man, he will be unhappy with how he hurt you. He will do everything in order to make amends with you. This will show you how sensitive he is to your needs. Similarly, it'll show him that he matters and that his actions or words matter to you. The opposite is true too. If you tolerate too much from a man, he may feel that you actually don't care about him or that you are after something other than himself, like his bank account or similar. Basically, he may see you as insincere.

3. Keep Your Values While Dating and Beyond 

This is yet another way in which you can express your authenticity. This is one more way in which you will attract good quality men. By good quality men, I mean sincere, confident, and respectful. If you express your values right away, it can only help you in the future relationship. Two of you can find out that you have similar values and this can be a bonding element. Conversely, you two can learn from each other and adapt some of the principles from each other, or you can learn how to respect and tolerate differences. If you two stay together in spite of the differences it can be a good sign of emotional connection. You will need to be the judge of it. This works when both people are respectful and tolerant. Even if your opposing values deter the man you are dating, at least you can feel self-respect for keeping your values and beliefs. 

4. Be Yourself by Not Settling for Someone That You Can't Respect and Love  

This is a very important point. If you settle for someone because you are afraid that you will be alone for instance, you are making a decision based on fear. You are reducing the opportunity to find someone who would be a really good match for you. I'm not saying that you need to feel fireworks on the first date, but if you can't grow to respect and love this person, the relationship will be strained. You will naturally resent him, and he will feel it on regular basis. Men need admiration just like we do. Think of the guard who married a Russian woman from Orange Is the New Black. She despised him intensely, and their relationship didn't work. 

Live Authentically and Be Happy 

This is essential for anything in life. We can carry on for years and even decades pretending and putting up a plastered smile on our face. We women especially are raised to operate like this, but that's one of the reasons why we wind up with a lot of anxiety and depression. Your first marriage is over, and this can be your second chance to do it right this time, find the partner based on your true self instead of playing by the rules imposed by the society, family, and education. In order to get to this authentic place, there may be a need to heal and learn how to be in touch with your feelings. It takes some work to be strong and able to allow yourself this exploration while dating after divorce. Being your authentic self is one of the essential prerequisites for successful dating and finding the right partner for a happy relationship. These are 4 ways of being authentic based on my experience. What are some other ways?  

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