It can be really difficult for a divorced dad to even think about getting back into the dating world. He may have some antipathy to women in general, may be just too busy with or tired of the drama associated with the divorce, or he may just be nervous putting himself out there into the dating world - or as some dads call it - "the meet market."
So, if you have decided to jump back into dating, just how do you go about finding women to date?
How do you inject yourself into this new world?
Time Required: Varies widely
- Be careful of the bar and club scene. As a general rule, bars and clubs are not the best places to meet women. First, women there are sometimes on the prowl, and are looking to impress a man, probably in all the wrong ways. A bar or a club is not conducive to seeing someone for who she is - we tend to look at women much more superficially when we are "on the prowl." And you will have to play the same bar meeting game to even make a connection. In short, be a little on your guard if you are trying to find someone at a bar or a club. So go there with some friends if you must; but don't make it the primary place to find a woman with whom you might want to be a friend.
- Networking still works. If you visit job search sites like the one at TheBalance.com, you will find advice about finding job openings through networking. The same rule applies to dating. Let your friends know you are ready to date again, and ask them to be thinking about women with whom you might be compatible. Sure, divorced men sometimes resist blind dates, but having friends invite you and a women friend of theirs over for games, drinks, coffee, etc. can make sense and be a positive experience. Don't overlook the opportunity to broaden your pool of potential dating partners by asking your family, friends, or associates at work to make recommendations.
- Volunteer! You might be surprised to know that many singles meet in volunteer settings. One nice reason this works is because we tend to pick volunteer activities based on our interests and passions. So if you love gardening, consider helping at a community garden, teaching gardening classes at a local nursery or tending a flower garden at a local community facility. You will probably meet someone there who feels as passionately about gardening as you do. Visit VolunteerMatch to find volunteer opportunities in your area.
- Carefully explore Internet dating. There are many, many Internet dating services that will help match you with a compatible dating partner. But be careful and understand that you usually get what you pay for. One of the best services of which I am aware is at Eharmony, where each participant takes a detailed personality assessment test and is matched with folks who have similar personalities and interests.
- Don't "over email" with a potential partner. Four emails each way is a good rule of thumb before arranging a face to face meeting.
- Plan to only spend 30 minutes at the first face to face. If you don't click in person, half an hour is a reasonable time to spend. And if you do connect, then it just whets the appetite for longer dates later.
- Beware of dating people at work. The annals of the nation's courts are full of lawsuits stemming from workplace romances. You have to tread carefully in this area to avoid being labeled a sexual harasser if the relationship goes sour or if your partner is a subordinate. And even if your relationship is good, your conduct may make others in the workplace uncomfortable, which also causes problems.