5 Dating Tips After a Gray Divorce

If you were ranking the most stressful life events a person could experience, divorce would likely be near the top. We’d argue that dating after said divorce is right up there as well, particularly after a gray divorce. A term coined for divorces among persons 50 and older, gray divorce has actually nearly doubled in the past 25 years according to Pew Research Center. If you’re one of those divorcees, you may be wondering whether it’s worth the stress to get out there again. Yes! And we can even help make it easier with these tips.

Why Dating After Gray Divorce is Hard (and Why It’s Worth it)

Pew Research Center also states that a significant share (34 percent) of gray divorces is among those who’ve been in their marriage for at least 30 years. This is a key reason why it may feel harder to date again after a gray divorce. After being with someone so long, it’s difficult to imagine yourself with anyone else, not to mention you may feel you’ve been out of the dating scene too long to even know where to begin. Some also feel that they’re simply too old to start again. Not true!

We’re not only living longer than ever now but also tend to be much more vibrant and active as we age so there’s no reason to think you shouldn’t seek out love and companionship later in life. You’ll likely be more fulfilled by it! What’s more, you may even have more success in finding your match now than when you were younger because you have the wisdom and experience to know just what you’re looking for, what you deserve, and the type of person with which you will be compatible.

Dating Tips for Gray Divorcees

You’re certainly correct in assuming that dating today is much different than when you were last ‘on the market’ so to speak, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all in how you look at it and knowing what to expect. As such, we recommend these tips:

  1. Make sure you’re ready – just because we think it’s worth it to date again after a gray divorce doesn’t mean you should do so right away. As a general rule, it’s recommended to wait at least a year before getting into a new relationship as this gives you time to mourn the loss of your marriage and adjust to your new normal. It also gives you time to think about what you really want out of a potential new relationship.
  2. Tell your loved ones – Yes, it can seem awkward to talk about, especially with your grown children, but your loved ones know you better than anyone and can be a tremendous support in this experience. Plus, they may know someone who’s also single with whom you have things in common. Regardless of whether you are just introduced to each other or officially go on a blind date, this may be a more comfortable way to get back out there.
  3. Try a dating app – Pew Research Center also reports that 19% of seniors aged 50-64 have used a dating app, and 13% aged 65 and older have as well. While you’ve likely heard of match.com and eHarmony, there are others designed specifically for adults 50 and older, including OurTime and SilverSingles. But always make sure safety is your number one priority. Never give out your home address or other personal information, only meet them in public and do as much research as you can about them (social media, etc.) as well as common online dating scams. This is also another good reason to tell your loved ones you’re dating, so they’ll know where you are and can come to your rescue if needed!
  4. Trust your instincts – Many people sound good on paper or on a dating app, but if your gut is telling you something is off, then make sure to listen to it. Don’t put yourself in danger, emotionally or physically, just for the sake of getting back out there again. Danger aside, trust that instinct even if it’s telling you there’s no spark or this person isn’t really what you’re looking for as well. There’s no reason to settle just for the sake of not hurting someone’s feelings; yours are just as important!
  5. Set reasonable expectations – Of course, it’s possible to find love again. However, it may not be with the first person you date after your gray divorce. It’s important that you avoid comparing your dates to your ex (yes, it’s difficult we know) or Bridgerton (maybe even more difficult), but rather look at this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and this new life you’re creating. And try not to take any rejections you may get personally; remember they’re trying to find their match just like you!

For more information on our virtual divorce coaching and mediation services, contact our experienced team today.

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WhitsonLaw, PLLC

WhitsonLaw can assist you with divorce, mediation, custody, child support, protective orders, adoption and more.

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