Some couples complain post divorce that they were not satisfied with the level of intimacy in their marriage. This might have been due to the amount of stress within the marriage, lack of communication, extra marital affairs, or issues of power and control within the relationship.
Newly or not so newly divorced individuals may encounter a fear of intimacy due to underlying fears of abandonment, vulnerability, rejection, shame, or guilt. Additionally, one’s sense of self and sexual confidence might be impaired due to messages from their ex or from messages that they themselves are sending about their desirability. Divorced individuals may feel the competition of other singles and if the marriage was a long one, might feel out of place dating. Don’t despair!
The following are ideas to get your groove on once again:
- Be careful to not over immerse yourself in online dating sites, going to bars, friends with benefits, and engaging in multiple one night stands if you are only trying to gain acceptance from others. Generally, this behavior is transitional as individuals try to gain a sexual foothold.
- Do not take the end of intimacy with your former spouse personally. Think of it as an opportunity to learn, reflect, and improve awareness of one’s sexual self. Entertain new ideas about dating and sex. Take an opportunity to read books, think about what you do and don’t do not like in the bedroom, and take time for yourself.
- Do not take responsibility for your ex spouses sexual behavior. Just take responsibility for yourself. Don’t kiss and tell. Talking about failures in the bedroom is a turn off.
- Take a “Safety first” approach. Talk openly and honestly about your sexual medical history with potential partners. This is not the time to be embarrassed. These conversations show maturity, willingness for full disclosure, and consideration for the other individual’s well being.
- Be sure that you are comfortable with any individual with whom you might take the next step. Do not rush a situation or relationship you are not ready for.
- Be realistic. Sex after divorce might be awkward and scary, but it might also be exhilarating, toe curling, and magical. Have a positive attitude and hope for the best.
- Embrace who you are. If you are dating again, chances are your new “other” may be as worried as you about the satisfaction of this experience.
Enjoy the opportunity to desire and be desired. Meghan Trainor said it best, “Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.”