Divorce is a difficult process to endure. Whether it was a mutual decision or one you were given no choice in, it is painful, uncomfortable and an ugly event to experience. There is, however, life after divorce. As with any major change in a person’s life, divorce has the ability to alter your perspective on life and your willingness to be adventurous and discover the deeper parts of who you are. This can come in a variety of forms. You may choose to travel to places you’ve never been, try things you’ve never done, or explore new groups of people with whom you can have deeper connections with. If you have chosen to embark on the journey of finding love and companionship once again, take the following questions into consideration.
Have I healed emotionally?
Whether or not your divorce was a result of infidelity, it is likely that you experienced emotional pain and hurt in the relationship during the course of separation. Take the time to work on yourself and explore the places where that pain emanates. Many individuals choose to engage in divorce counseling or support groups; either or both of these can assist a person in discovering the depth of the pain and hurt experienced and can provide a variety of perspectives from which to look. Though it may feel at first that the pain will not go away, with the right encouragement and pursuit of forgiveness and healing, you may be surprised at how easily you are able to pick up your life and move forward.
Have I taken out time for myself?
Before stepping into the realm of seeking another’s affection, take this into consideration. Have you given enough time for yourself to heal and explore what you want in your journey? Have you taken time to pamper and spoil `yourself, time to rejuvenate and relax? Think of your needs – while this may sound selfish, it requires two people to create a lasting and happy relationship. If one person does not rely on other to fill that void, any relationship will be difficult and full of hardships. Take the time to gather yourself again before pursuing love and affection. You will find it much easier to engage with like-minded people if your mind and heart are healthy.
Am I really ready?
Is dating someone right now what you truly want? Are you looking for something long term or just a quick fix to feel temporarily satisfied? While these may seem to be silly questions but they are important ones to ask yourself. Dating means opening up your heart and mind to another person, perhaps even several! Being ready to date again does not come with a timestamp or a seal of approval. It is a decision you only must make. Only you know when you will truly be ready to let another person into your life romantically. If that time is now, then go for it! Do not be afraid to take risks or be adventurous. And whether or not you are ready right now, make sure you have a list of qualities in mind. Do not waste time on those who do not measure up to your deepest desires in a significant other. Do not settle for “nice” when you desire “kind”. Know yourself and your needs before pursuing someone else.
Above all, know the real you. There is never a perfect time to begin dating again. And despite what you may be told, it is never too soon or too late. The timing is yours to choose. Have your heart and your mind in the right place, and you cannot go wrong! There may be a few expected bumps along the way, but if you stay true to yourself, there is no bump too big to overcome. Dating life will not be perfect, but seek the encouragement of those who know you best. Ask for their wisdom (not their opinions!), and learn to listen to your own instincts yet again. The marriage that ended does not have to project onto the life moving forward – it is a time to be happy and rejoice in newfound love for yourself and your worth!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.