There’s no doubt about it: going through a divorce can be one of life’s most challenging struggles. The idea of dating again can especially seem daunting after staying married to a single person for so long. While there are plenty of fish in the sea, it can feel normal to feel like a fish out of water.

Although getting back into a new relationship can be intimidating, there are many ways to maintain a healthy new relationship and avoid former mistakes. Follow our relationship advice and dating tips when you’re starting again.

Maintain your independence
One of the main problems that many women face after divorce is feeling as if they have lost their identity and not knowing who they are as a person separate from their ex-husband. This can make it difficult to enter a new relationship and not know what to offer to the other person. Try new activities and reignite old hobbies to maintain your independence and keeping yourself busy. Avoid making your happiness dependent on the status of your relationship, instead finding joy in your personal interests.

Have patience
You may find yourself rushing into a new relationship after finding someone who is easy to be with, but having patience is key to a healthy and long-lasting love. Allow the bond to develop at a steady pace instead of rushing into anything too quickly. Many divorced women also experience feelings of pain or fear that are related to their divorce after finding a new partner, making it important to move slowly and process your feelings with yourself and your new partner.

Set realistic expectations
It can be easy to set your standards too high when looking for a new spouse, especially after feeling dissatisfied in your former relationship. Although it’s normal to look forward to new beginnings, it’s important to avoid setting the bar too high or looking for the perfect mate that will essentially be impossible to find. Make it a habit to expect certain flaws in your new partner, but to stay positive about their overall character.

Learn from your past mistakes
One of the most common mistakes of divorcees is placing too much blame on their former spouse for the failure of the marriage. But it’s important to self-evaluate and recognise your past mistakes so you can learn how to improve your weaknesses. This will ensure that you know who you are going forward and for your new relationship to have a solid foundation. Consider enrolling in counselling or reading relationship advice books. Be open to your faults and improving yourself.

Remain confident
Remain confident in who you are as an individual and what you have to offer to another person. Remove thoughts of negativity or insecurity that you may feel about yourself, which can dramatically affect the potential for a new relationship or an existing one. Don’t be afraid to find love in unique places, which can include at the grocery store or even through online dating websites. You’ll be a stronger person for keeping an open mind to certain possibilities than remaining too guarded or insecure. Your future spouse will also appreciate your confidence and will likely become attracted to your ability to remain open to the future and what it holds.

What are your best post-divorce dating tips?