The general rule-of-thumb is the best way to solve problems is to prevent them. This is best accomplished by knowing in advance what risks you may encounter, so that you may either avoid or deal with them.
There are a number of potential risks for those who are newly divorced and preparing to begin dating again. As it has become quite a trend for people to be told that they need to expend an outrageous amount of time and energy in “healing,” if you take this subject too much to heart it can not only lead you to waste time but keep your focus on what you are trying to leave behind rather than what you are trying to accomplish. There is always some degree of emotional distress connected to leaving a marriage, but except in circumstances of extreme abuse which necessitate a modicum of professional help, the focus should be on moving on with your life, not prolonging the emotional ties to your previous marriage or your former spouse.
Unfortunately, one area where your emotional vulnerability can present a serious problem is that there are always those who are willing to take advantage of it. For some, it is as if they can sense such vulnerability, and have no reservations about exploiting it for their own ends. This in itself is a good enough reason to begin your dating with people you already know, or those who are known to your friends or family.
One additional, and very important, means of safeguarding yourself from being exploited is to keep the focus of casual dating on the word ‘casual;’ you are keeping your best interests in mind if your social life does not include filling your dates in on details about your marriage, former spouse, or other personal information. If anyone whom you have chosen to date on a casual basis begins to pry for such information, and does not respect your need for privacy on personal issues, this is not a sign of interest, it is a sign that he or she is attempting to get in too deep where he or she should not.
If you have been out of the dating arena a long time and are unsure as to what is appropriate, it is wise to stick to such topics as what you like to do in your free time, what type of work you do, and similar basics pertaining to your everyday life; how you get along with your children or your parents, what your previous relationships were like, how much money you make, etc., are not in the range of appropriate conversation material with your dates.
In some instances you may inadvertently cause such a problem yourself, if you make the mistake of seeing your new dates as an opportunity to talk about these types of personal issues. If you find it necessary to discuss private topics, it is better for you to reserve it for your close friends or family members, not the people you meet in your new social life. It is not in your best interests to disclose intensely-personal information to those you are dating on a casual basis.