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When I first started dating in my teens, my family’s expectations were very different from those placed on other girls my age. I had to navigate the traditions and expectations placed on me by my parents and my community, while simultaneously figuring out who I was and what I wanted in a partner.
Dating after a divorce is a lot like being a teenager, because it involves learning how to date all over again. Women who have been out of the dating scene for a long time will have to learn new rules, while simultaneously navigating the pressures of adulthood (kids, career, etc.).
The world didn’t stop changing when you got married—dating is a different game now. Like a teenager, you’ll have to learn the rules as you go. Here are a couple of pieces of advice I give my Latina clients when they’re trying to get back into the dating game:
It’s OK to Initiate—
The only place that you’re going to find people that are off-put by a woman that goes for what they want is either in the past or in traditional foreign countries. We live in a day and age (and place) where Latina women, divorced women, young women, old women—all women are encouraged to go for what they want. So if you see some eye candy standing at the other end of the bar, go talk to him.
Don’t Assume That He Will Automatically Pick Up the Bill—
I’m still of the mindset that a man should pay the bill when he takes you out, but that doesn’t mean that they always will. Traditional Latina women didn’t always have jobs with pay, and times have changed enough in the U.S. in the last decade that plenty of women are earning more than men. The best approach to this is to assume that you will be going dutch and if he is gentleman enough to pay, take that as a pleasant surprise.
Know How to Handle Religion—
For many Latina divorcees, religion is important—many of the women I’ve spoken with won’t date a man if he’s not a practicing Catholic. If religion is important to you, ask him about it on the first date and get it out of the way. But if you’re just curious and religiously open in your dating life, just wait for a later date to ask that question—you don’t want to rush anything, and you don’t want to scare him off.
Don’t Jump at the First Offer—
Some Latina women worry about being branded a slut, and some divorced women worry that they don’t have much time before they are too old to be considered attractive. Don’t adopt these mindsets. You are a powerful individual that obviously thinks they are attractive enough to date, so date! Get out there and explore men, and, more importantly, explore yourself as a single woman.
Did I miss anything? Comment below if you have your own pieces of advice!
Photo Credit: latina.com, blog.friendseat.com, abcnews.go.com, askmenanswers.com,