From Miss& Mr. Right to Miss & Mr. Swipe Right: A modern evolution
Tom Stoppard, British playwright, immortalised the line that goes: “Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” A career rejection simply leads to the start of another application. A geographical relocation often means a set of unexpected buddies. A marital separation will not transition straight into a second union, but it will pave the road for a temporary new companion: A Tinder account. And it won’t judge you when you are in your pyjamas.
There is nothing to be uncomfortable about if you choose to put yourself back on the market. Dating apps and dating websites are part of today’s cultural norm for all kinds of singles. If you feel Tinder is filled with too many millenials and you can’t quite interpret a cryptic emoticon – or you find yourself adding one at the end of each sentence because hey, why not add a dolphin for fun – there are other options out there that may be more suitable for you. OkCupid has stood the test of time, eHarmony offers compatibility algorithms for divorcees, DivorceDating established itself this year to accommodate a target population, Bumble was invented for those who believe women’s empowerment entails they make the first move, Happn takes into consideration people you have crossed paths with. For the more old-fashioned, speed dating and getting set up with friends of friends remain solid alternatives. In any case, here are some useful tips from those with post-divorce online dating experience – who also serve as further proof that you are certainly not alone.
Naturally, the dating environment will seem peculiar when you’re in this phase, but the unfamiliarity should be exciting rather than discouraging. Hollywood icon Bette Davis re-married after Harmon Nelson and stayed happy with subsequent spouse Arthur Farnsworth. Esteemed actress Kate Winslet, as well as timeless actor Tom Cruise have each been in three marital relationships. Frank Sinatra has had four, and legendary TV interviewer Larry King gets the trophy at seven marriages.
In some cases, you may find that losing love pushes you to rediscover an old love, from your teenage years perhaps. With the help of social media websites or maybe a call of fate, it is easier now more than ever to reconnect with old flames from the past. Maybe he or she is the ‘one that got away’ and now is your chance to reconnect. Sometimes losing love only helps you to rediscover it. Perhaps it is a Hollywood cliché but putting yourself out there is step one. As we all know life seldom goes to plan, but this can be a positive thing too; the uncertainty keeps life exciting, a coincidental encounter might find you rekindling ties with someone you thought you would never see again.
Most importantly, if you are not ready to reenter the dating world, then don’t. Take as much time as you need to heal and become the best possible version of yourself. Not only is it unfair on yourself to dive into a new relationship, it is also unfair to the person that you are dating – make sure that you are prepared to give your whole self to someone. If you find yourself talking about your ex on a date or staring into space reminiscing about ‘Cancun 2008’, then chances are that you are not ready.. Mr. Justice Mostyn, a former QC does advise exercising vigilance while in the process of an ongoing relationship breakdown. He highlights the need to be weary of the rebound, especially during the divorce process as a judge may factor this new relationship in his decision. For example, if a woman were to be in a new relationship with a home-owner, it may alter the ruling on division of assets because the wife has a place to live.
The best thing about dating apps and dating sites is that they give you control over your love life; you can eat your dinner in a fancy restaurant, and indeed see whomever you choose. Many recently divorced people see it as a chance to become more independent and lay out clear boundaries for themselves to avoid the mistakes of the past repeating themselves. The apps will be there for you 24/7 when you are ready to explore the dating scene, however by no means am I saying that finding new love is essential to your happiness. Now that you are single, travel to Bali solo, eat ice cream without having to share, learn a language, expand your social network, sign up for that spinning class, join the gym and practice yoga.
The point is, there is life post divorce. There is a real possibility that it could be a better one, too. New beginnings are opportunities for improvement.Once you finally feel comfortable with your naked wedding finger, swipe away and type away. You might want to seek sage advice from someone who is an experienced Tinderer but don’t be afraid to be the first one to nudge, poke or wink. Experiment.
Isabel is a guest blogger for Grayfords. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She is currently pursuing the Graduate Diploma in Law at The University of Law in London.