As if breaking up wasn’t hard enough already, divorcing or separating after many years can feel devastating and the thought of ever loving someone else may seem impossible at first. Most people will experience a sense of grief and go through these 5 stages. They are:
- Denial and isolation
So how do you know if you are ready to get back out there and start dating again? Here are a few things that you should consider before you get back on that proverbial dating horse:
Accept that it’s over
Seems like an obvious one but this is a vital step helping you be open for something new. First, make sure you’ve come to terms with your marriage/relationship being over and that you have accepted it. Reaching this stage can take a long time – sometimes years – so be patient and allow yourself to heal first.
The ex is dating again
Remember that acceptance we’ve just mentioned? That resolve can be tested when you see your ex with someone new for the first time. Be prepared for this to trigger emotions you thought you’d dealt with. Seeing him/her with another partner can really hurt and trigger feelings of jealousy and undo all the positive steps you’ve taken since the breakup. At this point, it is important to remember that it’s ok to feel those emotions but not allow them to overwhelm you. Remembering that you and your ex may be at different stages in life will help you remain objective. And that you both deserve to be happy – even if it’s with someone else.
Meeting the kids
Sit down with your children and talk to them about this step waaay before you start dating again. Especially if your kids are older. Helping them navigate their own grieving process will allow the family to heal as a whole before they reach the stage of acceptance. So be gentle and give them time to get used to the idea of you dating again. Just don’t put it off altogether – you too deserve to be happy!
Begin to redefine who you are outside of the marriage/relationship by spending quality time on your own. Take yourself out to dinner or the cinema. You’ve always wanted to try Salsa dancing but your partner did not? Go and do that! By rebuilding your own sense of identity you’ll get your confidence back and will begin to see all the exciting opportunities out there.
As they say, “Time is the wisest counsellor of all.” I think we can agree that taking time out from dating after a breakup is a good strategy. One way to find out if the time is right to dip your toe in that dating pond again is to try visualising yourself with someone else. If you feel a sense of excitement – great – you are ready! If however, you struggle to do that, it’s safe to say you need a bit more time and space until you can. It’s ok to take as much time as you need!
A friend of mine said the other day: “Women are complicated beings. They never say what they really mean. Why is that?”
It’s a very good question and I’m sure he’s not the only guy out there struggling to decipher girl code. Essentially women’s way of communication are motivated differently. They care about other’s opinions and their feelings. They are consensus-driven, which is why we are often not as direct in our responses.
Now let’s take a look at the five most commonly used phrases and decode them for you:
Okay, you probably know by now that when a woman says these two words, it usually means she’s frustrated or upset with something or someone and all she really wants is to be listened to. The easiest way to deal with this is to calmly ask what really bothers her. Say something like, “I sense you are not happy. Tell me what’s bothering you and help me understand.” Knowing when your girl is upset means you care, and talking to her about it will only earn you bonus points.
“I don’t care. Do whatever you want.”
Whatever you do, don’t take this statement at face value. You’ll need to read her body language here. She probably did not say this with a big smile on her face as she kissed you goodbye and took off to do her own thing, did she? This statement is usually expressed when the boyfriend decides he doesn’t want to spend time with her but do something else instead. The uncoded version of this statement is: “You don’t care about me and don’t want to spend time with me.” Deal with this in a sensitive manner. If you committed to spending time with her, it’s important to honour that commitment. If you have to change your plans due to unforeseen circumstances, tell her you are sorry and you will make it up to her. Then follow through with it. She will see you are considered and that she’s important to you.
“Do I look fat?” or “Do I look ugly?”
Here’s the decoded version: “I could use a compliment.”
Many women suffer from insecurities and the simple solution to this is genuine compliments from the man she cares about. It doesn’t take much effort, so go for it. All she needs at that moment is for someone else to make her feel special and remind her that she’s beautiful. Pick your favourite things about her and tell her. Feeling inadequate physically can be draining for a woman in today’s world and can seep into other aspects of her life. Stop these crummy feelings before they have a chance to grow, and don’t forget to make your woman feel like a goddess from time to time.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
This one can be tricky because sometimes it really is true. Women just need time to really think about why they are upset about something before they can talk to others about it. If she means it, then she will give you both some space and let you know when she is ready to talk. Until then, don’t push her.
However, when your girlfriend is telling a bit of a fib, you need to encourage her to talk. You can usually tell the difference in the tone of her voice. If she is relatively calm and speaking in normal tones, then give her space. But if the tension is palpable, then get in there and talk to her. Stewing over your problems is not going to help her attitude about the situation later, so the best course of action is to address how she feels immediately. Talking things out is part of how many women deal with all sorts of problems, and you need to be a part of the discussion. Ask yourself this: Do I want her to talk to me about our problems or someone else who doesn’t know the whole story? The answer should be obvious.
“I don’t need you.”
A woman might say this to her man when they are fighting and she feels vulnerable. Guys, what she really means is that she does need you, but she’s afraid you’re slipping away. There is a lot of pressure on women these days to not be so emotional or to prove they are as capable as men. But the bottom line is that women have feelings — deep feelings — that can make them feel very vulnerable when things aren’t going quite right. “I don’t need you” means your lady is trying to convince herself she’ll be okay if she ends up losing you. The truth is she’s really hurting inside.
Comfort her. Reassure her that you aren’t going anywhere. Even if you are boiling mad or trying to convince yourself of the same thing, try to take a breath and talk calmly about what is happening. You will make this moment easier on her and on yourself. Address how she honestly feels, and make it clear that you both need each other. Communication is the key.
Gentlemen, the takeaway here is that your girlfriends are not out to get you or punish you for obscure reasons. If your girl isn’t saying what she really means, then you are going to have to listen and give her a reason to trust you with the truth. Knowing that you care will be enough to get her to open up.
For better or for worse, following this advice will crack the girl code in your relationships.
Now, spread the word to your bros and find the truth behind her words!
Long gone are the days where people thought being on a dating website was for weirdoes.
Online dating is now a key part in today’s dating culture, and it’s actually one of the most successful and efficient ways to meet someone special. But most people just don’t know how to unlock this opportunity.
So here are our top 5 tips on how to make it easier to find love online.
- Be yourself
It can be so tempting to exaggerate or embellish your traits to help find a date but it’s important that you are honest on your dating profile (and IRL obv). Saying you are 6’1 when you are 5’5 may not seem like a big fib to you but your date might feel like they’ve been deceived. Stay honest and real and the right person will find you.
- Go on dates
It seems like an obvious one but it bears repeating – the more dates you go on the bigger the chances you will click with someone in real life. When looking for a new job you wouldn’t say no to turning up for an interview and expecting to get the job, would you? If you are serious about finding that special someone you’ll have to go out to find him or her. No hiding behind a computer screen!
- Stay optimistic
It can be really disheartening when you’ve been single for a while and feel like you’re the only person on Earth still left without a partner. To take the pressure off, focus on making a new friend rather than meeting the love of your life. This may seem weird at first, but if you’re too focused on ‘The One’ it may blind you to the possibilities out there. Most of the time it’s our own expectations that get in the way of connecting with the people around us. Go easy on yourself and your date!
- Check your dating profile
Coming back to point 1 (being honest) when was the last time you’ve checked in on your own dating profile. Are you honest about yourself? How old are your images? Sprucing up your dating profile can really boost your dating game. Check out our post on DATING PROFILE MISTAKES WOMEN HATE for some dating profile tips (also relevant for the ladies!) If in doubt, ask a straight-talking friend to check over your profile and give you some tips.
- Before you meet in person, have a phone convo
We know in today’s world having an actual phone may seem like your dating in the 90s but trust us when we say this should be the first step before you meet a date in person – no matter how much you liked them online. A phone call will give plenty of time to check if you have chemistry. After all, if you can’t talk over the phone, you are not likely to have much to say to each other in real life.
Ready to find singles in your area? Join Plentymorefish free today.
We spent a lot of time online. A.LOT.OF.TIME. So we can confidently say we’ve seen our fair share of men’s dating profiles. Some good, some amazing, and some…well, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. Sorry, lads – we have to call it. It’s always surprising when someone looking for love doesn’t seem to put any effort into creating at least a ‘decent-ish’ dating profile.
So from a female perspective here are the biggest dating profile turn-offs.
We get it – you like your friends. But if your dating profile comprises of mostly group shots you are turning it into a game of “Where’s Wally”. Worse yet, looking at you in group shots with other ladies. What exactly are you telling a potential date? She won’t know if the other woman in the pic is your ex or your sis, and as soon as confusion sets in, she’ll be on to the next profile. Make it easy for her to see whose profile she’s looking at.
Sex doesn’t sell
That’s right, Gentlemen, your abs may be harder than the surface of our office desk but we really don’t want to see them in your dating profile. Whilst we can all appreciate a bit of eye candy, that’s what Instagram is for. Your dating profile isn’t a place to hawk the goods unless you’re after a no-strings-attached-date, in which case check out our Naughty Pond. If you are looking for a relationship, add photos of you in well-fitting clothes that compliment your nice physique. If in doubt, ask yourself if you would show that pic to your Nan.
If I could turn back time
That ‘used by date’ applies to images too, or at least it should. Any images of you that are older than your mobile phone should not make it onto your dating profile. How would you feel if your date shows up to a dinner date having suddenly aged 20 years? It’s not a great way to start off! The same applies to fibbing about your age, height, hobbies, anything really – just be honest, please.
Let’s face it
Your profile pic should not make you look like you ought to be on Crime Watch. We cannot tell you how many photos we’ve seen taken by low light, with a shadowy figure staring down into a webcam. It’s simply creepy af and is not going to get you dates. Instead, go for images taken in natural daylight. Ask a trusted friend and head to the garden or the park and take a few pictures – preferably headshots. So – you know – she can see your actual face!
Gents, if any the above describes your dating profile, we hope you take our well-intentioned advice and put some effort into updating it. We really want you to find that special someone. So start with your dating profile and put your best (virtual) foot forward.
Ready to find new singles in your area? Set up your free dating profile with www.plentymorefish.com and start chatting to other singles today.
Hey meat lovers, it’s #Nationalvegetarianweek so let’s talk about why it’s ok to date a vegetarian.
Many members of the carnivorous persuasion are often put off by the idea of dating someone who doesn’t’ share our love for all things burger, steak and sausage. I mean, it is delicious, right? Anyhoo, let’s look at why dating a veggie may actually be a good idea:
They won’t bite
Pun intended. Believe it or not most vegetarians aren’t out there to recruit you to their way of life like some crazed cult follower. Oftentimes they worry if being veggie may be a problem for you. Seldom are your carnivorous ways a deal breaker for them. Vegetarianism is a personal choice so you won’t have to worry you may have to gnaw your chicken drumsticks in secret.
Your culinary world will open up
Veggies are foodies too and they don’t like to eat boring stuff, so finding restaurants that offer delicious veggie options that go beyond the cheesy pasta dishes or salads can be an exciting adventure, which is sure to open your world to new and exciting dishes.
You won’t have to share your fave food
If you are like me, you don’t particularly like to share your food. Sorry, it’s nothing personal, but you order yours and I’ll have mine, thank you very much. So, hands off my sticky BBQ ribs!
Lastly, when dating a veggie you may inadvertently start to eat healthier without even trying. More veggies = longer life. What’s not to love?
Are you a vegetarian? What advice would you give Meat Lovers? Sound off in the comments below.
I’ll be honest with this. If you’d have posed me this question in my late twenty’s I would have point blank said ‘no’. The reason being is that apart from being much younger, less cynical and a lot thinner I believed firmly that you had to have instant, physical attraction with someone if you were to date them. Fast forward another twenty years and whilst I am still somewhat cynical I’ve learned that whilst I would love my life to be like a Hollywood ‘romcom’ with love at first sight the truth is that love and spark can develop over time.
So is the instantaneous spark just a myth? Is it the thing that dreams are made of and if you don’t feel chemistry at your initial meet and greet, should you give your date a second chance?
Asking around my single / dating friends many of them were adamant that they would go on a second date with someone who they had no romantic chemistry with on a first date. One of my friends in the over 40’s dating category summed it up quite well, he said if both parties have invested their time to write a profile, go through the niceties, there is a firm chance they are looking for a long term relationship and are generally past the fishing stage of one night stands.
From my point of view I tend to agree with him. Whilst some would say that a spark has to be something physical, I would say that it can also be something deeper and be a level of understanding that you get from that person.
By already agreeing to meet your date you’ve jumped the first hurdle of the physical attraction (no surprise there). One study showed most people can accurately predict who they’d be interested in just by looking at a photo before they even met the person. Think about it if you didn’t like the photo you wouldn’t have sent them a message!
If you’re thinking about entering into a relationship with someone then it will take time to learn to get to know the person and really see if they are for you; after all, it could be weeks before those little annoying foibles come out the woodwork and sometimes first date nerves get in the way and send us all into a wobbling mess.
So don’t call it quits after the first date! If you enjoyed chatting to each other, there were no awkward silences and you both wanted to swap numbers at the end of the night then why wouldn’t you give date number two a go?
After a couple of dates you’ll begin to get a feeling for what each other likes / dislikes and you will begin to feel at ease with each other. At this point be honest with yourself. If you’re not feeling any sense of chemistry or attachment, don’t beat yourself up it’s OK to give up. If you want to keep trying, go for it, but make sure to be careful of your date’s feelings too.
When you head out to that first date you’ve been waiting for keep in mind that someone you don’t have that initial spark with could just sweep you off your feet in the future.
What are your rules? Do you need a spark on the first date to take it further? If not, how long will you give it?
It’s perfectly natural to feel nervous before a date. But what a time, right? Just when you want to be at your best! Don’t worry, it’s actually quite easy to manage those pre-date jitters. Here are some strategies we found to be quite effective:
Preparation is key
If you are one of those people who does everything that scares them at the very last moment, you are also likely to fret all the way leading up to your date, try to find an outfit an hour before or leave your house without really knowing where you are meeting your date. Not the best conditions to Keep Calm and Carry On Dating. So to ensure total dating zen, it’s definitely better to be prepared. Make sure you know what to wear, where to go and plan the things you can plan well in advance.
Set the right expectations
Often dating nerves can be caused by high expectations. The more importance you give the date, the more potential for pre-date nerves. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself, try to relax and just see what happens. Your date will run more smoothly too, because you will be able to enjoy it more rather than ticking off boxes in your head.
Your body doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. So instead of imagining something bad, try a positive thought. A nervous person’s body will send clear signals, such as raised shoulders, hunched torso and crossed arms which in turn will make you feel more anxious. But you can change your mental state in a very short time and here’s how you do it: Stand up tall, raise both arms in the air like you have just won an Olympic medal. Smile as brightly as you can. This may feel silly at first and I’d suggest you don’t necessarily try this on a crowded train (then again, why not?), but I promise you it does work. The key is to do it for at least 30 seconds and to really FEEL like a winner! Visualise yourself crossing that finish line, feel that winning feeling, your achey legs and stretched lungs. Hear the roar of the crowd and enjoy the moment. Try this exercise whenever you need a boost. The more you try it, the better and quicker it will work.
Let off steam
It’s no secret, that exercise is a great stress buster. This applies to date nerves too. So, hit the gym, go for a run or a brisk walk; anything to get that blood pumping round your body. Added benefits include a healthy glow, confident posture and an endorphin induced happy mood. All very attractive traits which your date is going to love.
One drink, two drink, three drinks, oops
Dutch courage may seem like a good idea, but drinking too much can cause you to make the wrong decisions and actually increase nervousness as alcohol depletes your vitamin B stores. For a calming bevvie try something more natural like camomile tea instead and have a little protein based snack to help keep your blood sugars even. Both will help to keep you calm.
So, do you think you are ready to start dating and put our strategies to the test? The hop over to Plentymorefish.com and find singles in your area.