Dating is a real challenge in our fast paced, always connected and frequently impersonal world. Dating after divorce is something most men and women find both scary and exciting. No matter how many issues you may have had in your marriage, you likely knew your spouse’s habits, hot buttons, physique and finances. Now you will need to spend time with people you don’t know and face rejection. But for those who want companionship, laughter or a deep bond, having the emotional courage and patience to take chances and endure a little pain may result in the most fun and best love you’ve ever known. High net-worth divorced individuals may be surprised to find their money can lead to uncomfortable conversations and privacy concerns.
Consider Approaching Dating Like A Job Or Candidate Search
If you’ve looked for a new job or had to hire a key employee at the office or at home, you know you will need to spend time and money to find the right fit. On a first date with someone you have never met before, go in with the attitude of having a casual informational interview. Keep the conversation relatively light and do not badmouth your ex or talk about your divorce in excess – just like you wouldn’t speak negatively about your past employer.
The goal is to spend an hour to find out if there is enough commonality to meet again, not to commit to a new relationship. Think about how you want to answer likely questions including “Why did you get divorced?”. While you don’t want to lie, you don’t need to share the gritty details. One of the great things about dating after divorce is it gives you opportunity to reflect on who you are now and what you want in the future rather than be limited by past paradigms.
You May Want To Take A Class Or Delegate Some Tasks
The resources to help find the right companion are limitless. By spending money to hire experts, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy depleting mistakes.
Professional Matchmakers can help protect your privacy and screen out candidates that are not the right fit. Singles from their 20’s – 80’s connect online. Be adventurous and check out some of the many online options to set up dates when you are traveling. Be smart, but don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t respond to you – how can it be personal when someone only quickly scanned a little information about you?
Few people want to sign up for more first dates than are absolutely necessary but be prepared to go on 20-30 first dates before finding a relationship and realize that some people are not looking for commitments. For those who are, it will probably take a few relationships to gain clarity on what they want going forward.
When To Talk Money
While offering to split the bill on a first date is appropriate, talking salary or assets is not. The financial habits of a romantic partner, even if you’re not living together or sharing bank accounts, impacts how they spend their time and money which will impact your relationship. As the level of the relationship evolves, so will the level of money talk. It would be rare to discuss finances before date five, and it may not be until date 50.
When you start to envision some kind of future, the time is probably right to broach the subject. Understand a potential boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s true character and compatibility to get a sense for their life priorities before the topic of money gets discussed in detail. No two people are going to agree about everything—and that goes double for money.
Once these conversations begin, a common scenario that may arise is some type of disparity between financial situations. There is much larger range of income and assets after decades in a career and then splitting income and assets into two households than when people dated in their 20’s. If you were fortunate enough to come out of your divorce with many zeros in your bank account, you will likely be surprised how few people in your dating pool were as lucky. It’s common for high net worth singles to cover more of the bill for nice restaurants or vacations regardless of gender or whether they were the breadwinner in their marriage or at home spouse. Some couples split everything down the middle, some based on proportion of assets or earnings and some based on who wanted to do the activity.
Owning event or season tickets provides an authentic invitation to something you love without making it awkward for a date who may not have the budget. If you love to travel and your partner doesn’t have the same budget, it may make sense for you to pay for all the lodging and each book your own flight or for you to treat for the entire trip while your partner takes care of all the logistics or pays for more meals. Obtaining luxury experiences through bidding at charity event auctions can also be a way for both to feel good about enjoying a trip even though only one makes the donation.
It’s critical that you each contribute in some way so that the person paying more does not feel like they are being taken advantage of nor the person benefiting feel like they are losing independence. As you reach important relationship milestones in terms of time, intimacy and community, it’s natural to gradually increase the depth of your conversations on lifestyles, saving and retirement, philanthropic and legacy goals. While you don’t want to be too quick to share financial issues, not being reasonably transparent as you progress to exclusivity and commitment can cause issues as well. Not disclosing financial problems or allowing someone to cover a lot of dating expenses when you have significantly more money could cause trust issues bigger than the challenges of differing core values or amounts in your bank accounts. While you don’t need to have parity on the finances, you do need to both feel good about how you communicate on them and what you bring to the relationship overall.
Understand The Ramifications Of Dating While Still Divorcing Or Having Spousal Support
Use extreme caution dating if your divorce is not final. Emotions are obviously raw during the process and, at a minimum, it’s likely to increase tension in divorce negotiations with your spouse. You can substantively hurt your case if things go poorly so it pays to keep quiet on social media and to talk to your attorney about your dating and the potential impact on your divorce settlement.
If you are receiving spousal support, you likely cannot live with someone or remarry without impacting the amount you receive so it’s critical to get advice from your attorney about how many continuous overnights could get you back in court. If you are paying support, be aware that an enhanced lifestyle from a new life partner could potentially be a factor in how long and how much support you pay.
While you undoubtedly have more wrinkles, triggers and baggage than before you were married, you also likely have an increased sense of humor, financial choices, and wisdom. Be thoughtful about when and how introduce your kids to a significant other and include them on casual outings or family vacations. Be optimistic, laugh and have fun! Take one date at a time with no pressure to find spouse number two. You deserve to be selective. Be honest, have integrity and feel free to say, “This doesn’t feel like the right fit and I don’t want to waste your time.” The key to dating after divorce is to love yourself for all of your wonderful qualities, accept things as they are and be open to new possibilities.