Your divorce is final, and you are glad, sad, excited and scared all at the same time.

You love your nights to yourself — for a while — and then you wonder if you can ever be optimistic about finding love again.

The good news is that this roller coaster of feelings and doubt is normal.

And the even better news is that a healthy, intimate relationship is possible.

But before you start searching dating websites or asking your friends to introduce you to date-worthy men…

Here are some important things you should know before you start dating and mating again.

1. Get into a positive mindset.

Don’t give up on love or close your heart and mind to men.
Negative views about men and love are smokescreens for protecting you against future hurt.
A good way to lessen your chances of making a mistake is to be with people — and that includes men!
Make your social circle wider and more — not smaller or non-existent.

2. Don’t let statistics about older women and dating get you down.

Yes, research from National Center for Marriage and Family Research in Bowling Green, Ohio, shows that 1 in 4 divorces are couples over 50 years old.

And approximately 45% of women over 50 years old are divorced.

In addition, high-earning, college educated women have a dwindling choice of like-minded marital partners, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.
But these statistics are about lots of women — not you!

Don’t fool yourself by using statistics to give you permission to stay home and wall up your life. Close your mind to these ideas.

Read newspapers, magazines and biographies about older people marrying. Walk the mall to see all the variety of couples.

3. Stop steaming about your divorce and him.

Once again, spending too much time in an angry state of mind will only keep you from life and from learning about you.

Staying in an “I hate men, who needs them” mindset is not healthy. 

Your anger hides a negative view of you as a “flawed” person.

Even worse, anger and pessimism pack a one-two punch to your immune system because these states of mind tempt you to isolate yourself.

Social isolation is one of the main factors in declining health, according to an American Association of Retired People study.

Make a list of all the things you’ve overcome in your life — including your divorce.

What skills and thoughts and actions helped you? Which ones can you use now?

4. Understand your previous marriage.

Get brave enough to ask yourself the most important questions, such as: Why did I get married when I did? What was the appeal of my ex? How did he make me feel?  How did I end up acting? How did my parents’ relationship affect my choice of partner?

Keep a journal and/or seek a therapist to confirm your understanding.

5. Take care of your health.

Go for a medical checkup.

Exercise, eat right, and work to keep your weight in accord with your build and height.

Develop a support system to keep you on track with your goals.

For example, join a group or class. Or, go with friends and family members to classes.

6. Don’t fall for the belief “if love is meant to be, it will just happen.”

Once again, believing in this assessment is just another smokescreen for avoiding getting hurt.

Check your hidden mindsets that prevent you from being brave.

7. Take charge of your economic situation.

Divorce often creates a decrease in women’s economic status.

Go to lectures about money, investing, and budgeting.

Honing your life skills is a great way to minimize any tendency to look for the next wrong man to rescue you financially.

I wish you bravery and much success on your journey!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, Ed.D, MSS, MA, is a nationally recognized psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, specializing in women's issues in love, life, work, and family. Sign up on her website,, to receive free advice, blog, cartoon, and information about her two upcoming research-based, self-help books for women: The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie-a cartoon, self-help book and Smart Relationships. You can follow Dr. Wish on Twitter.