Kate Gosselin is used to being in the headlines. The star of the TLC hit reality show "Jon and Kate Plus 8″ went through a very public divorce with Jon Gosselin in 2009 after ten years of marriage. Kate recently spoke to E! News announcing her open-minded approach to revisiting the dating scene.
Related: After Very Public Divorce, Sara Evans' Back With 'Stronger'
The mother of eight (sextuplets and twins) will likely face some new challenges as she re-enters the world she thought she left behind in her twenties. To help Kate - and the millions of other single women on this journey -- our dating experts offer their advice on dating after divorce.
1. Time. "Recovering from your divorce is a process that cannot be rushed," says Rachel Sussman, LCSW, a marriage and family therapist based in NYC. "It will take significant time to go through all the emotions you may be feeling - sadness, failure, guilt, anger, elation, freedom and fear. Your progress can be slowed or stopped if you are not allowing yourself to feel these feelings, process and validate them, and then build the right foundation for recovery.
2. Respect your process. Take responsibility and educate yourself about why your marriage ended. Moving on will be difficult if you do not create and work through your own narrative, and this is best done with a trained therapist.
3. Find comforting activities for the moments when you are feeling sad.
4. Build a support team. Get daily encouragement and inspiration from friends, family, therapists and online communities.
5. Keep your eyes open. "I caution people beginning to date to look for deal breakers early on in the relationship in order to avoid becoming blind to them during the subsequent months," says Dr. Alan Tepp, clinical psychologist who works with parents and special-needs children. "You want to avoid tunnel vision designed to avoid seeing problems, but at the same time, you want to avoid being intolerant of even minor difficulties. It tends to be true, however, that bad behaviors tend to get worse over time, not better."
6. Gently move out of your comfort zone. It helps to get out of your habits. If you believe that you can only date a certain type of person, go out of your way to date someone who violates that criteria for you and try to be open about that person. It can be a very psychological enhancing activity for us to make ourselves over and get out of the habits that often got in the way of making our previous relationships work out.
7. Avoid the urge to jump into a new relationship immediately after divorce. "Sometimes there's this desperation to find intimacy, so there's a tendency to jump into the first relationship you come across," says Dr. Janet Taylor, clinical instructor of psychiatry at Columbia University. "Ask yourself: Are you lonely? Afraid of being alone? Are you really ready for a partner?"
8. Think about really enhancing things you like to do already. For example, if you like running, join a running club on the hunt for a potential mate, or a painting club if that piques your interest. Even ask friends if they know someone who may enjoy similar things as you.
9. Online date. As a single mom of eight children, it isn't likely for Kate to have extra free time going out to meet men. Online dating is a great and practical way to meet new people. See Cyber Dating Expert Julie Spira's online safety rules to live by.
For more tips from genConnect relationship experts:
- How to Start Dating Again by Dr. Alan Tepp
- Online Dating Safety Rules with Julie Spira (VIDEO)
- Navigating the Challenges of Divorce
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