Dating After Divorce

January 12, 2019

You’d be surprised how many people have asked me for dating advice. I’m always a little shocked that someone would pick me to get dating advice from. Then I remember, dating after divorce led me to the love of my life, my husband. Sure, it led me to a lot of duds and awkward dates first, but ultimately, dating after my divorce led me to the man of my dreams. My path might not be traditional, but it doesn’t matter, because it led me to him.

If you find yourself divorced or somehow back in the dating pool, here is my advice: (Based solely on my fun, chaotic and finally successful dating life after divorce.)

  1. Don’t judge the site, judge the man. True story: I met my husband on Tinder. Proof that you shouldn’t judge a site by the name, whether or not you pay for it, or what your friends say. Try them all! Surprisingly, I met more genuine and authentic men from Tinder than any of the paid sites. However, my good friend found her husband on Match, while I met nothing but lunatics on that very site. Proof it’s worth trying a few until you figure out which ones work best for you. You don’t want to miss “the one” because you’re on the wrong site. Remember, you don’t have to tell people which sites you’ve used.
  2. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong! — Be adventurous. Let them take you to sporting events, concerts, and tons of places you’ve never been before! Head back into the dating scene with no set expectations, except to enjoy things. Do not start out desperate to find your next husband. You’ll have to go through some trial and error before you find him. So, in the meantime, make it a goal to have fun and try new things. Date people with personalities like you’ve never dated before, they might surprise you. I started dating thinking I would easily find “the one”. I quickly learned that dating in your 30’s is MUCH MUCH different than dating in your 20’s. Enjoy this new freedom and each new opportunity. Explore who you are and who you want to become. You get to choose who you’ll spend your life and time with, choose wisely.
  3. Lots of duds before the definite.—If you are like me, you will go through TONS of guys! I’m talking about DATES, get your head out of the gutter. You’ll go on so many dates that you’ll start to question if you even want to date anymore. That’s when you know you’re doing it right! This is your time to be picky, very picky! I like to call it being selective. Let’s face it,  we were obviously not selective enough the first time around. Ha! Once you hop back into the dating scene, you will laugh at how many bad dates you’ve been on. You’ll enjoy endless laughs with your friends about your dating experiences, the good, the bad, and the extremely awkward. Looking back, it was fun to have experienced the “Dud” dudes! I mean, they tried, they just failed miserably. Enjoy all of the men you meet. They have something to offer you, whether it be a good laugh, a good time, or a good memory!
  4. Be real, be genuine, be YOU! Show up as the real and raw version of yourself, not always the best version. Be the authentic version, always. Eat the dinners, say the things, and be yourself. Trust me, it’s less work and easier to sort out the men you want to keep pursuing. This one is short, simple, and extremely important.
  5. It takes time, but the right one will find you.—Just when you’re ready to give up. Just when you’re ready to cancel all online dating memberships. Just when you’re ready to be a lifelong single gal, he’ll find you. It won’t happen in your time. It will happen after you’re ready, but before you lose hope. But trust me, you’ll find him. Truth is, you’ll find each other. Until then, enjoy the bad conversations, awkward phone calls, weird first kisses and all the in-between.

One day you’ll look back and realize your road was bumpy and under construction for a long time, but that bumpy, “under construction” road, is a blessing. It led you to all you’ve dreamed of. It led you to him.

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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