"My rule of thumb is to meet in person within two weeks of making online contact." Might as well find out as soon as you can if the chemistry is virtual—or real.
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, 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 are 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!
Which is why I want to tell you in the kindest, most non-professional way possible, that you can do WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT right now.