We all need dating wisdom from time to time, but dating advice after a divorce can feel extra nourishing. Here are five tips to take into the dating world.

Getting burned out after a failed marriage is not that uncommon. In the United States, researchers estimate that 40–50 percent of all first marriages, and 60 percent of second marriages, will end in divorce.

There are many reasons marriages don’t enjoy a happy ending, like getting married at a young or impassioned age, coming from a family of divorced parents or lingering feelings of insecurity.

Whatever the case, some people find it hard to move on and break free from the feeling of uncertainty and self-doubt. The lack of commitment one received may cause them to shy away from the prospect of dating. They are rusty and not habitual of going out in search of someone new. They might even be scared of attracting or being attracted to the wrong person again.

It’s natural to take all the time you need to get back in the game. Some people jump back into the dating pool too quickly. They might not be ready. Others risk further isolation, alienating themselves from the concept of true love.

With the help of these few tips, you’ll be up and about in the dating game in no time!

  1. Don’t take too long to meet up.

Online dating forums have become increasingly popular. It might not be how you envisioned finding your soulmate, but research indicates that couples who meet online are more likely to end up together.  They are 25 percent less-likely to end in separation as compared to those who met through traditional or “normal” means.

That said, restricting conversations to messages along, does not reveal everything about a person. With this in mind, it’s best to arrange a face-to-face (or ear-to-ear) sooner than later. Before you plan to meet, you can arrange a video chat or phone call to paint a better picture. This may make you feel more secure early on, as you can get to know a person behind the safety of a screen first to get a sense of whether or not a person is worth your time.

Delaying that meet up can increase the chances of facing a huge disappointment; sometimes, your true chemistry (or lack thereof) is only truly felt with real-life interaction. The longer you wait to meet, the greater the risk of projecting your own fantasies onto the blank canvas, too. Without a face-to-face experience, we may fill in all the holes to mold a person’s image according to our own emotional preferences.

And just in case your date does turn out to be a disappointment, don’t feel let down. Instead, count it as valuable experience. Look at why it didn’t work out as you had hoped. Why wasn’t the person right for you? Did you think they might fulfill a particular need? Anything is possible.

  1. Be open, honest, and authentic.

While it’s good to be who you are and be proud of it, it’s also necessary to make an effort. Be authentic in your profile and don’t paint a false picture. When you fail to do that, you have a hard time living up to the image of you you’ve created, ultimately painting yourself in a corner and causing an enormous amount of unnecessary stress.

When you’re ready, you can exchange social media accounts. This will give you a chance to scout their profile and get a better idea of the person, and vice versa. Do your interests match? Do they align with your soulmate wishlist?

To be clear, being open and honest does not mean you have to overshare; this can be extremely off-putting for someone who is not yet ready to connect on such an intimate level. You have time; don’t rush the process.

  1. Don’t bring your ex into your next relationship.

This is an important one. You might be thinking that it’s an obvious point and no way would you mention your ex in a conversation. That’s where you’re wrong. You do not need to refer to your ex via their name to show you’re still impacted by your fallout.

It can be seen in your demeanor, your attitude, as well as the topics you choose for conversation. Snide remarks and blunt references are a definite no-no. Don’t hint at your emotional insecurities in your profile. If you write something like, “I’m looking for someone who won’t crush my heart into little pieces,” you’re clearly still healing from past trauma. It goes to show how much your ex is still impacting your present life—and no one wants to go out with someone like that.

On a related note, dating because you felt bored or because your ex started dating again should not be the sole factor in your decision to begin dating again. This shows you’re still letting your ex direct your life’s choices and your decisions. Whether you like it or not, your date will ultimately detect your uncertainties.

  1. Don’t look for your ex in other people.

You suffered a failed marriage and the emotional impact it left upon you has begun to take its toll. You’re experiencing a natural cycle of grief—and there’s nothing wrong with that. That does not mean you start looking for your ex in every person you date. In fact, you might miss your perfect match solely because you keep comparing your dates to your ex.

Subconsciously, you might be trying to find someone exactly like him or her. Do you really want the same kind of person who hurt you? Even if your divorce was a mutual agreement, how can you not expect the new person to not turn out to be the same?

Or it could be the exact opposite as well. A prospective date might like the color pink. Because that was your ex’s favorite color, you move past it. Who knows if that person had turned out to be someone you can see a future with?

Be as objective as possible with your dates; finding new grounds to connect, rather than constantly holding them against your past. Better to look for someone you click with mentally and share their interests.

  1. Desperation looks good on no one.

It’s natural to desire the company of a companion; don’t let desire turn to need. When we use a relationship as a healing salve for a failed past, we run into big problems down the road.

Give any new relationship space and time it needs to develop organically; love is not something we ever want to rush (nor can we).

Not to mention, coming across as too forward, too anxious, too needy in the relationship a the fast-track to relationship disaster. Know your worth; let the other person see the authentic, extraordinary you—the one who doesn’t NEED a relationship, but one who understands the beauty and gift of being in one.

Divorce is a personal and moving experience. You might not feel confident about dating right now, and that’s OK. All we can do is learn from our mistakes, accept where we were wrong, and transform the experience into something positive moving forward.

Hopefully, keeping these pointers in mind, you’ll be able to sail smoothly in the waters of the dating pool in no time!