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Dating after divorce can be a minefield for the midlife woman.

Perhaps even thornier than pondering what to wear on a date, where to go, who pays — not to mention how you even find people to date in this brave new world of Internet match-ups — is getting over your reluctance to take a stab at it. "A divorced woman may feel very vulnerable at this stage, in part because she used to have a spouse to 'protect' her and now she has to go out into the world on her own," says Diana Kirschner, Ph D, author of .

Whether repairing the kitchen table or planning a romantic evening, the male ego and inner child have a strong need and desire to get it right and succeed.

Accept invitations to parties." While it's not unheard of for a woman wounded by a painful divorce to make statements like "all men are jerks" or "all the good ones are taken," that's obviously not a good mindset to have going into dating, says Dr. "That kind of thinking can tank your mood — and cause you to limit your chances of getting out there and finding love." By forcing yourself to keep your negative thoughts in check, you'll soon be in the habit of thinking optimistically, which will in turn make you more ready to date again. You've decided to start dating — isn't that your "intention" right there? "Dating can be a way to sharpen your social skills too." And, of course, a way to get out of the house and have some fun!"My rule of thumb is to meet in person within two weeks of making online contact." Might as well find out as soon as you can if the chemistry is virtual — or real.Of course, when you do meet, take basic safety precautions. He may have seemed great, but loses interest, or is dating someone else, or has problems you will never know about.I have completely fallen for a guy or two simply by watching him with his kids and the undying love and support he has provided them. Men with kids will understand your schedule, lifestyle, priorities and responsibilities—because they will have a similar life experience.So, whether you are flying solo like me and acquire a beautiful built-in family or you are a single Mom yourself and create your very own Brady Bunch, you are gaining a experience by dating a divorced man who brings a lot to your table.

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