You don’t have to be rich to find happiness!
She took the house, the only decent vehicle you had in the garage, and some part of your dignity for a while. Welcome to the club, freshly single man, you are now officially divorced. We don’t hold any “secret” initiation rituals. Why? Because we can’t afford to! Divorce is expensive and more than likely 70% of your salary has gone to pay for an attorney, who gladly watches and holds your hand as they lead you to poverty with a smile. Another 20% is going towards the essentials like rent, electricity, and Netflix.
What does that leave you? A whopping 10% to go have a whale of a time living on peanut butter crackers and crashing the weekly rodent poker tournament for beer nuts and chips. Third world country denizens won’t be envious of your diet at times. As much as you can’t fathom the thought of going out with another woman, eventually you will realize that is an exercise in futility, and it’s time to hit the dating scene again. Take notes, fellow club member, you have to get real creative at times juggling between reading books by candlelight or showing a potential lady friend a good night out.
There are many books and articles written on re-entering the dating scene. Read them if you must, but since your aforementioned lawyer has tested the “squeeze blood from a turnip” corollary, you can throw a lot of that advice out the window. It’s not 1975 anymore, and unless you are Adonis or have the confidence of Leonardo DiCaprio, meeting potential suitors at the grocery store or gas station is rarer and rarer these days. Hitting the club sounds good in theory, but paying $15.00 dollars for a round of drinks is going to suck your dating pool money dry quickly. Time to get that online dating subscription for a world that you never in a million years thought you would journey into.
Online dating isn’t exactly cheap either, but, take my advice, and pony up the dollars for a paid subscription when you can eventually afford it. You are actually taken serious, and you don’t have to deal with a single mom in her 30s from Kalamazoo, Michigan by the username of DoubleDDiana trying to sodomize your computer with her “How to boil water” webcam service. It’s a new thing for you, and you can go at your own pace until you finally get the confidence to actually ask someone out.
My first date after my divorce was a combination of excitement, nerves, and thoughts like “how in the hell can I afford this and still text her the next day when (not if) they shut off my cell phone service?” I’m old school and believe chivalry isn’t dead, so in my world, as long as we aren’t eating truffle oil infused brownies for dessert and putting away bottles of Hennessey like water, I’m paying and it’s not even up for debate. Sushi dinners and a few drinks will get expensive and are not something you will be able to afford all the time.
Luckily, I knew how to operate a stovetop for more than making scrambled eggs, and you, new club member, should figure it out quickly yourself! I would always suggest a first date be somewhere in public, so there is no getting around a hit in the wallet initially. Depending if there is some chemistry after that first encounter, you can have a much cheaper second or third date with the “retro” idea of dinner and a movie at home. Pick up all the dirty clothes and stuff them under the bed, get the weeks’ worth of dishes out of the sink, and tidy up your place. Make a nice dinner, go for a walk at a nearby park, and then watch a movie. It’s much cheaper than a night out, and there is a good chance your date hasn’t had someone cook them a meal in eons.
If you are newly single and found someone that has been single for a longer period of time and insists on fancy dinners all the time…. run! That is a professional dater, and you are nowhere near ready for that, nor can you afford it! Hook them on the first date by being yourself, and then let your character do the rest. Research free and low budget activities in your part of the world. I can’t stress enough, you learn more about a person walking in a park or treating a department store as an air conditioned exercise track in the sweltering summer heat than you would listening to loud music and sweating how much you have in your checking account when the bill comes at a restaurant!
You’re part of a club you never chose to be in, mentally you will eventually embrace it and then wear it like a boss. Dating doesn’t have to be that expensive if you don’t want it to be. Bone up your kitchen skills, learn that popcorn and an HD TV is much cheaper at home than going to a movie theater, and, since your single anyway, there should be no reason you are living on the pizza diet and testing the theory of gravity at home!