Splits

How to Get the Guts to Go on Your First Date After Divorce

Gina Kirschenheiter went on her first post-divorce date. It's scary! So how do you work up the nerve to do it yourself?

Gina Kirschenheiter has been open on The Real Housewives of Orange County about her confusing divorce from her husband, Matt. They're friendly, he still lives with her, and yet they're over it... so now the mom of three has started dating again. Yup, Gina had her first post-divorce date — a major milestone for someone going through a rough split.

She told Personal Space she was open to dating and went in hoping to have fun. "I did go on one date, and it was nice! It was fun, and then... he ended up getting back together with his girlfriend." Ah, well. Sorry, Gina, but it will get better with that attitude!

"After that, it kind of was just nice to feel like OK, should I choose to want to date, I can actually get a date, you know?" she added.

It's so hard for many (we'd even say most) people to dive into the dating world post-divorce. Depending on how long the person was coupled up, it can be hard to even navigate the new online dating world, and many people don't even know where to begin.

Here's how to get yourself on that very first date.

There are so many helpful resources to help you get on that first date. Divorce Magazine is a great one. It's written extensively about how to be brave enough to face a stranger on a date and attempt to find love again. Check out some of their best tips, below.

Tip #1: Find someone worth dating.

“Now that you’re emotionally ready to meet your soulmate, you have to find him/her … you’re going to have to leave your comfort zone and put yourself out there. This doesn’t mean you have to start hanging out at singles bars or attending political rallies (unless you like these sorts of activities). Slowly begin to do things you like that will also get you out of the house and meeting new people.”

Tip #2: Flirt on your first date.

“Lead with your strong points, even during an initial exchange. For instance, if you aren’t funny (you know who you are!), don’t try to tell jokes. Still, try to keep things light at first: small talk actually puts people at their ease and can open the door to deeper conversations.”

Tip #3: Don’t complain about or bash your ex.

“This is enough information for a first date: ‘I’ve been divorced for about two years now. It was a friendly divorce, and I wish my ex all the best.’ This lets your date know that you’re over your last relationship and that they won’t find themselves in the middle of a psychodrama involving you and your ex if they get into a relationship with you. Warning: if your date starts spewing hate and vitriol when discussing his/her ex, run for the hills!”

Tip #4: Think of some fun questions to ask ahead of time.

“Have you ever traveled around another country alone? Would you like to ditch it all and go live on a sailboat? [The founders of OKCupid] claim that if someone answers three questions the same way you do, you’re a perfect match for each other.”

Oh, and don't forget the obvious:

Be on time, take a shower, brush your teeth, make eye contact, don’t ramble on, don’t interrogate, and don’t fight over the check.

Regarding sex on the first date? Unless you’re looking for a one-night stand (which is perfectly cool if you are), you probably shouldn’t do it, experts say.

Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates. 

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Gina Kirschenheiter Splits Relationships

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