Coming to terms with a divorce and achieving closure will help you open up to other relationships. Relationship counsellor Mary Ovenstone answers our questions.

How do you rebuild your confidence?
People often need counselling on relationships and gender relations after a break-up to find out what role they played in the relationship and what they can learn from it to help them prepare for further relationships. With this new knowledge, you can begin to trust yourself to navigate and manage new relationships better than before. Trusting yourself is vital to forging a sustainable, fulfilling relationship with a suitable partner.

What challenges do divorcees face when dating again? How can they deal with it?
The fear of getting hurt again and a lack of trust in potential partners are the biggest challenges people face when starting to date again after divorce. It’s important that you make it a priority to process your emotions, particularly feelings of resentment, anger, hurt and betrayal. Once you’ve adequately dealt with the emotions from your previous relationship, you can combine it with the knowledge you’ve developed of yourself and others to enter into a new relationship with more insight and with the knowledge that if you do get hurt again, you can survive it.

What are the best ways to start dating again?
Online dating is a good strategy for dating or meeting new people. It fits in with modern-day lifestyles that rely heavily on access to the internet and social media networks. Managing expectations are part of meeting people and dating, no matter how you choose to do it, and online is no exception. Other ways to date and meet new people would be to let your friends know that you want to start dating again and that you welcome introductions.

Are you recently divorced? Tell us how you got back into the dating game.