3 helpful exercises to make dating after divorce successful
There’s no dithering around these facts from the the American Psychological Association:
- In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50.
- 40 – 50% of U.S. marriages end in divorce.
Underneath these numbers, however, are millions of painful personal stories. We know this because several readers and clients have explained their situations to us.
For example, one client — who we’ll call Jay — came to us after a recent divorce had ended a 15-year marriage.
“The whole landscape just feels different,” he said. “Online dating? That’s new. But beyond that, the entire sensibility around dating is different from the last time I had to do it.”
Quick spoiler alert: Jay joined our program last year and did PHENOMENALLY!
The common theme when guys discuss the idea of dating after divorce: apprehension. They’ve been “out of the game” too long, and the mere idea of “starting over” calls up waves of emotional complexities.
If you’re on the other side of divorce and wondering how to get your self-confidence up so you can “get back out there again,” this post is for you.
Here are 3 of our top mindset exercises that help divorced guys get ready to date.
Analyzing the Past
In our core confidence system, there’s a major milestone at Level 3 (taking personal responsibility).
When a man’s confidence is down at at Level 1 (apathy) or 2 (resentment), he has a hard time dating successfully. He’s filled with self-doubt, is quick to feel frustration and anger, and has difficulty noticing and/or acting on signs from women.
Through the restorative powers of time, guys in Levels 1 and 2 can ascend to Level 3. At this point, your vibe becomes more attractive because you’re not stressed or “in your own head.”
Another benefit: You can look back with objectivity. The pain has receded to the point where you can accurately assess the situation, without being too hard on yourself or your ex, and also without sugarcoating the facts.
Here’s a great example of a Reddit User at Level 3 assessing the reason for his divorce:
Analyzing the Present
When you’ve accurately assessed the past, then you can look at your part in it. You can ask yourself, “What will I do differently now?”
Where would you like to grow and develop? We can all grow and develop.
Need a starting point? Try applying the concepts of “The Language of Becoming” by renowned therapist Dr. Ellen Wachtel.
The idea is to use language towards yourself that acknowledges that you’re becoming different every day; you’re becoming something new. No one is static.
So what are you becoming? What direction would you like to “become” in?
Here are some ideas borrowed from other men who are rebuilding their self-confidence after divorce:
- “I am becoming wiser about making choices.”
- “I am becoming better at holding myself in high regard.”
- “I am becoming stronger at setting healthy boundaries.”
- “I am becoming better at leading the lifestyle I want.”
Analyzing the Future
Many men fall into the trap of looking at dating after divorce as a rebuilding phase.
Why is this a trap? The term “rebuild” puts too much emphasis on the past and implies “redoing” a modus operandi that’s already been done, repeating the same mistakes all over again.
A small mindset shift can avoid this trap. Instead of “rebuilding,” think of dating as “building stronger.”
See the difference? The former mindset tries to look ahead by repeating the past; whereas the latter uses the past as a benchmark to exceed.
Makes sense, right? Why not build ATOP the foundation of the character and strength you INEVITABLY developed as a result of your divorce and the resolve you now have to build your self-confidence back up to date again?
When to Apply these “Dating after Divorce” Exercises
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to help guys recover after divorce. In our experience, however, the above mindset exercises have resonated with divorced men as doable, healthy dating starting points.
Also, they are not strictly limited to previously-married men; they’re applicable to anyone who’s trying to recover from a relationship breakup. As one of recent surveys showed, trouble recovering from a previous relationship is a significant reason why many guys have trouble dating.
So, whether it’s a marriage of 15 years or a whirlwind romance of a few months, it’s the break up’s impact on your psyche that’s important.
If you’re struggling to “get out there again,” these exercises are for you.
If you’re looking for more ways to boost your confidence and skills as you return to dating after divorce, here a few of our most popular articles:
- Our hallmark article, “7 Reasons Introverted Men Are So Damn Attractive.”
- Our piece on how to internalize your attractiveness as an introverted guy.
- And our free ebook on tapping into your own uniquely attractive vibe.
As you spend time with these resources, you’ll get a more accurate and encouraging snapshot of how women are perceiving you.
It’s wise to know what you’re working with so you can present it as attractively as possible.