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Laughing at the memory comes easily now (I wonder whatever happened to that poor guy? I detested the awkward adolescent feelings, and I resented having to return to the dating world. Dating slapped reality into my shattered heart and forced me to admit the painful truth of my deceased marriage. Adapting to the dating world again doesn’t have to be as excruciating as my experience.If timed properly, and prepared for, it can be a fascinating season in life.

SEE ALSO: Step-Money: Getting to the Heart of the Matter …before the date, seek out people who can answer a few probing questions about this person’s values, character, honesty, family history, etc. You’ll want to know these things before you are emotionally attached.

…before the date, pray and commit to God your sexual purity. SEE ALSO: Best Practices for Dating Single Parents (and the Singles Who Date Them) …observe how this person treats others such as a waitress or sales clerk. If so, this can be an indicator of how they will eventually treat you. …if he or she is divorced, ask a few questions about the divorce. Your children shouldn’t meet that person until engagement is on the horizon.

We more than likely never dreamed we'd be on our own, so we never bothered to prepare for that circumstance. Or, if the marriage was extraordinarily difficult, we may find ourselves resisting feelings of relief and excitement, emotions that seem wrong and that invoke guilt.

We perhaps never paid our own bills or worked outside the home.

Most people dash into dating before their weary, wounded heart is ready.

Loneliness is a compelling motivator to “get on with your life” but understand that you are extremely vulnerable.

When you hear the word divorce, even if you aren't divorced yourself, I would bet that almost instantly you conjure up images of pain and tears, of yelling and courtrooms, of kids with backpacks, of lawyers and paperwork, of anger and sadness.

(Those who were living in pain for a very long time, that's who.) So starting over looks different for every person, especially depending on what your marriage looked like in the day-to-day, who initiated the divorce, and how long you were married.

Although demanding a look at the checkbook is a bit aggressive, you can and should closely analyze how your date spends money. Is giving both time and money to God’s kingdom a priority in his life? The use or misuse of money can often reveal a person’s true heart. Do Mike’s boys get jealous over the girls trip to Disney with their dad? …“Missionary Date” There is a strong tendency to assume, It rarely happens. If you think this statement is prudish, read up on the traumatic and escalating effects of pornography under the resource section on my web site.

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