Things may have drastically changed since the last time you were single, and the idea of sex with someone new can be daunting. Turn the fear into excitement as you approach this new sexual paradigm from a place of power!
When you become intimate with a new person after a divorce, your heart isn’t the only thing on the line. After being with the same person for a long period of time, the prospect of learning how to love again can sound downright scary. Between kids, potential step-relations, money issues, and exes, post-divorce sex and dating can seem overwhelming.
Still, getting back in the game is an important step to take because when we deny our sexuality and need for love, we are fundamentally limiting our happiness. While the prospect of becoming intimate with a new person at a new stage in your life may seem inconceivable, approaching it from a place of confidence and empowerment will help you to make wise sexual choices.
Below are ten important things to consider about sex and dating after a divorce. Following these tips will allow you to get your groove back and find the pleasure that awaits you, all the while protecting your head, heart, health, and self-esteem.
Learn From Your Past Relationships
Do a postmortem, preferably with a therapist, to really get to the crux of what went wrong in your marriage. Don’t carry unresolved issues or fears going forward because they will limit your potential for sexual joy and fulfillment.
Push Yourself to Get Back Out There
Don’t think of yourself as damaged goods, and don’t believe that there isn’t someone out there for you. The truth is, no matter what happens, you will survive — just like you survived your divorce! It may take a few attempts at dating before you want to become intimate, but you need to test the waters first. A little flirting can be a fun way to get your feet wet and a big step in getting your mojo back.
Hit the Gym
Make a lasting commitment to a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise! Feeling good about yourself physically goes a long way to feeling good about your sexual self. A proper diet and regular exercise improves your overall well-being and makes you radiant, allowing you to feel both empowered and attractive.
Start With Mr. Right Now
Take it slow by accepting dates with people you may feel only “so-so” about. These don’t have to lead to sex, but they can pave the way for you to get back into the swing of dating. Plus, you never know when or how attraction may spark: Discovering a shared passion or finding he has a wry sense of humor may change your mind about romance.
Expand Your Network
Connect with old friends and look to expand your social circle. Not only are you increasing your chances of meeting a potential partner, but having a large social circle also lets you connect and experience joy without having your sole focus be on dating and mating. And remember, once you’ve found a partner, continue to nurture these friendships. Don’t become the woman who drops everything once she’s in love.
Get Tested for STDs
Make sure you are STD-free so you can come to a new relationship with sexual confidence. That means a clean bill of health from your doctor at least six months after your last sexual encounter (because many diseases are asymptomatic or won’t show up in a screening right away).
Make Sure You Masturbate
Know what makes you feel good. By getting in touch with your body, you will have the sexual confidence to tell a new partner what you like in bed. You want to get it right the second time around. Experiment with different sex toys and vibrators so you can experience both clitoral and vaginal orgasms.
Don't Have Sex Too Soon
Orgasms trigger oxytocin, also known as the cuddle hormone, and you can become attached to someone who may be completely wrong for you. Those feel-good hormones can play tricks with your mind and cloud your ability to judge character and long-term compatibility. Giving yourself a little time to get to know someone gives you a chance to do a reality check about how you are really feeling.
Don't Forget Condoms
You haven’t been in the dating world for a long time, so this is the new reality of single life. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to completely protect yourself against STDs or unwanted pregnancy if you are going to have sex. Still, safer sex is imperative and that means condom use should be non-negotiable until you and your partner are both given a clean bill of health.
Watch Out for Rebound Syndrome
It may be a natural impulse to want to connect and even settle down with the first person you find romance with after divorce. Be aware, though, that this person could be filling a need rather than enhancing your life. As with fishing, often times, you’ll want to throw the first catch back! Your judgment is not going to be great right after a breakup, so don’t make any big decisions early in the game. If you jump from relationship to relationship and marriage to marriage, you may end up making a huge mistake. Allow yourself the time to explore.