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With the possible exception of Dolly Parton fanatics and gold-diggers, divorce is not an enjoyable thought. Statistics, however, show that the divorce rate has been steadily rising since the early 1990s, with little sign of abatement. For those left newly single after the break-up of a marriage, we look at ten reasons to get back out dating:
1) Love - "All you need is love" sang The Beatles and, for most, it rings true - even after a messy split. It might be the most obvious point on the list, but if you don't go on any post-divorce dates, you are a lot less likely to find love again.
2) Fun - You might not necessarily be looking for love - not for a substantial length of time, at least. That's not to say that you can't have fun before then; and a date is the perfect time for some drinks, good times and plenty of laughs.
3) Friendship - Even if you are on the lookout for love, not every date will have the 'spark' that every relationship needs. However, a date is the perfect place to find out how well you get on with someone and, even if you don't have the requisite chemistry, a new friendship could be in the offing.
4) New experiences - Your former spouse may not have been very spontaneous, or willing to try new adventures. A new start is the perfect time to have some new experiences, with a potential new partner. Why not try a date somewhere that you would never have thought to try before?
5) Staying mentally young - Never convince yourself that you are too old to get back into the dating scene. In a world where the average age for marriage is ever-increasing, dating is no longer a young-person's domain. In fact, in many 'classier' bars and restaurants, the average age of those on a date is closer to 60 than 20!
6) Online dating - With the advent of online dating, being able to meet a partner of your own age and interests has never been simpler. With many sites catering specifically for divorced clientele, there is a veritable sea of untapped potential out there.
7) Self-Esteem - Whether it was your idea or not, it is normal to be lower on confidence following a divorce. A good date can boost your ego and self-belief massively, even if the person themselves doesn't turn out to be 'the one'.
8) Practice - Most of your initial post-marriage dates may not turn into instant romances, but - after having been out of the dating 'game' for so long -the important thing is that you are conversing and networking with the opposite sex. This is sure to stand you in good stead when you find your potential Mr/Mrs Right.
9) Excuse to pamper - What better justification for getting that expensive hair treatment, or buying that amazing shirt in the shop window? Treating yourself is a must before any date and will increase your enjoyment infinitely.
10) Life is too short- We are on this planet for only one - very fleeting - stint and we owe it to ourselves to make the most of it. So, leave the past behind you and get back on the dating circuit!
Foto © Robert Kneschke - Fotolia.com