Are you a desperate dater or are you dating one?

Dating after a divorce is all about the attitude you bring to it and the expectation you have of it.  They are two very difficult things to coordinate and get right.

Now that you are divorced the first priority in your life should probably be to get your life back into some stability and a sense of order coming back out of chaos.  No decisions should be made apart from those that are forced upon you by urgent circumstances.  There will, unfortunately be plenty of those to grapple with.

young couple in jeans and TshirtsDon't rush into dating
Dating is something that should be approached with a great measure of caution.  Wait for your life after divorce to settle and become something you can accept.  You might not feel comfortable with it but at least you have come to terms with its existence.  If you are so inclined now is the time to consider the delights of dating.

The internet rules when it comes to dating
Internet dating has now moved from a slightly frowned upon activity to a perfectly acceptable mainstream activity enjoyed by singles of all backgrounds and ages.  This is a good way to go unless you have a group of friends who have a large number of single friends of the right age and sex!

Happy and successful dating is about attitude
Now back to the attitude thing.  This is where desperate comes in.  Many people see their life after divorce as being a failure if they remain single (this is totally not true, a single life can be happy and rewarding).  This attitude gives their quest for a new partner a sense of desperation which can be read by everyone they meet.

The signs (and there are lots of them) of the desperate dater are easy to identify:
Has a sense of neediness and a craving to feel liked and accepted quickly
Willing to drop everything and everyone to accommodate the relationship
Tries to rush the relationship instead of letting it progress naturally
Brings up the topic of sex on the first or second date
Insists on doing "couple" activities straight away (shopping at Tesco??)
Meeting family and friends far too soon
Needs a "parent replacement" to help care for the kids
Exhibits clingy behaviour and gets very anxious if phone calls are not returned quickly
Never likes to be alone

Desparate daters want someone else to fix their life
The desperate dater sends out very strong signals that he or she is completely dissatisfied with their life and believes another person will be able to fix it all for them.  This is never going to be true, you need to get your life into a better shape yourself and then share it with someone else, not dump it on them and expect them to fix it for you.

Happy and successful dating is about expectation
The expectations you have of the whole dating process will have a great bearing upon how it goes for you how successful you are.  People date for all sorts of different reasons not all of which are involved in the quest for a long term partner.  Many are looking for anything from a one night stand to a friendship. 

It's important to establish your own expectation, are you really looking for a full on relationship or just putting your toe in the dating pool?  Understanding your date's expectations is not easy.  This needs to be discovered carefully; otherwise it could seem to be a little desperate on your part.

Having a shared expectation is a good place to start
A miss match of expectations can often lead to a very harrowing experience.  If you thought sleeping together on the third date was the gateway to a lasting relationship and your date felt that it was the end game of the date, then that is a very difficult and disappointing place to be.  It happens and can only be avoided if at the very early stages mutual expectations are discussed and an understanding reached as to what you both want to achieve by doing all this dating stuff.

Dating can be an exciting part of your new life and be both enjoyable and successful as long as you have a realistic and open attitude.

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