"Tell a friend where you'll be and when you expect to be home, and meet for coffee in a public place," suggests Dr. "Four out of five men you go out with will disappear," says Dr. Don't take it personally, and instead try to remember that if you're meeting a lot of people, the number of bad apples will go up — but so will the odds that you'll meet a few good apples too. Kirschner recommends, to start by dating several guys at the same time.
For a couple of reasons: First, you're not putting all your eggs — or hopes — into one basket.
Be up-front and respectful, but don't apologize for wanting to date.
But if you were thinking that searching for companionship online is strictly for losers or perverts, forget it — that's as outmoded as dial-up.
Instead, "it's usually clear when you're not ready," says Susan Pease Gadoua, a therapist and author of . But once the idea of going on a date comes into your mind and you don't want to chase it out again, you're at least ready to start, she says. The idea is that you should consciously decide how you want to proceed," which will in turn inform how you go about meeting people.
If it's truly awful, you can take a step back and wait some more. Gadoua, who runs dating workshops for women, asks them to free-associate words that come to mind when they think of "dating." Not surprisingly, words like "awful" and "dreadful" come up.
Contemplating the dating scene, many divorced women feel not just garden-variety nerves, but "actual terror," says Dr. Just remember that your fears are normal — after all, you're dealing with or have dealt with a major betrayal and upheaval — and that you don't have to jump all the way in. Tell a few trusted friends that you're interested in meeting people. "Sit down and craft a statement of what, exactly, you're after. If you feel the same way, she offers this advice: "I suggest you try to reframe it as an adventure, or as an education," she says.
Accept invitations to parties." While it's not unheard of for a woman wounded by a painful divorce to make statements like "all men are jerks" or "all the good ones are taken," that's obviously not a good mindset to have going into dating, says Dr. "That kind of thinking can tank your mood — and cause you to limit your chances of getting out there and finding love." By forcing yourself to keep your negative thoughts in check, you'll soon be in the habit of thinking optimistically, which will in turn make you more ready to date again. You've decided to start dating — isn't that your "intention" right there? "Dating can be a way to sharpen your social skills too." And, of course, a way to get out of the house and have some fun!