But remember, you were good once! You must have had something going for you, to convince someone at least once to think that she was going to spend a lifetime with you. It might be hard, thinking about getting back out there again, sitting across the table from a stranger and presenting your broken little self up for examination.
Don’t kid yourself that you’re ready for primetime. Even if, in the failing days of your marriage, you were already out there, already having your secret rendezvous, your walkabouts, your stepping out - that stuff is not dating. Dating is about presenting yourself to another human being as a candidate suitable for a relationship. Having an affair is about deception. Even if the two of you know what’s going on, hell even if the three of you know what’s going on - you, your mistress, your wife - you are not going about trying to present your best self. You’re actually explicitly presenting a self that is dishonest or incomplete at it’s core.
So dating is going to be hard now, because you haven’t been doing it recently, and at one point you thought you were done with it forever. And the first real date you go on after your marriage is over is going to be the hardest. In fact, it’s likely to be the worst date you’ve ever been on.
Each one of these is a very specific problem with very specific solutions. Now is not the time for these solutions. If you haven’t gone on your first date yet, there’s only one piece of advice you need, the shortest advice you’ll ever hear:
Just go on that first date. It’s going to be a disaster, there’s no getting around it. It doesn’t matter how much you prepare, how much you plan, how dumb you are, how smart you are, how healed you think you are, how messed up you are. None of it matters. You’re not you yet, and you’re not going to be you until you crawl through this minefield. That first step is a doozy, just take it.