The process of separation and divorce can leave you feeling drained and lonely. Take some time once your divorce is final to get back on your feet. When the time is right, you might decide to start dating again. If you've been out of the dating pool for a while, it's important to know that the rules may have changed a great deal, though common sense has not. Internet dating is a boon to busy singles, especially those with children, but there are dangers.
When you contact a potential date, or one contacts you, take these precautions:
- Ask for references. If your potential date is for real they will not hesitate to provide you with a couple of email addresses or phone numbers of friends who can vouch for them-contact at least one and ask a few good questions.
- Do a little digging. Make use of Google search and social media platforms to get a feel for the person. If you want to get a better sense of what you can learn, do a search on yourself. Remember, your date is likely to do the same, so beware of exposing too much personal information through your social media accounts.
- Meet in a public place. Never go to an isolated place or a neighborhood that is unfamiliar to you - try suggesting the venue for the first date.
- Avoid alcohol. It is best to keep a clear head on the first date - never accept a drink you did not pour or receive directly from a server.
- Don't spill - the beans, that is. Keep personal information to yourself until you know your date better. Don't divulge your home address, phone number or information about your children.
- Drive yourself. On the first date it is best to have an escape plan, meaning drive your own car to the meeting place or take public transportation - be sure to have cab money with you as well.
- Set up a rescue call. Tell a close friend you are going on a date and establish a code phrase that means, Help! Call the police! If you feel unsafe, don't hesitate to call.
It is true that most people are nice and your date is not likely to have sinister intentions, but you do need to keep your wits about you. Dating after divorce has been known to lead jealous ex-spouses to stalk, harass and physically harm their former partners. If you feel threatened, call a divorce attorney immediately. Steven M. Bishop can help you gain control of your life and your privacy. Call our San Diego Office at 619-299-9780, or contact us online.