Dating after Divorce – How Long Should You Wait?

How Long Should You Wait After Divorce Before Starting Dating Again

The divorce is final: now, how long should you wait until you get into the world of dating? It arrives in the mail today. Finally. You are legally divorced.

Even though it took six months or six years, the documentation is now in front of you and you are a free man and or woman.

Excited to get back into the world of dating? Have you been dating already?

For the last 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been helping both men and women transition from a married to separated to finally a divorced individual.

Below, David talks about the time we should wait, before we dive back into the world of relationships.

“She came into my office all excited. She had been separated for one year, the divorce was going to go on for quite a while, but she had met the man of her dreams.

The only problem? She wasn’t ready.

So she played the cat and mouse game. She fell head over heels for him, but then fell back into her insecurity of not being ready to trust men after what her former husband had done to her.

It’s a common tragedy that I’ve seen in my practice for the last 28 years. Both men and women prematurely getting into the world of dating before they’re actually ready, and for most of them, before the divorce is even final.

Don’t repeat your past mistakes in life

Don't repeat your past mistakes in life

Huge mistake. And if you do this, there’s a 99.9% chance you’re going to repeat your past mistakes in life, and date someone very similar to your former husband and or former wife, because you’ve never cleared up the past.

I myself fell into this trap. Over 10 years ago, I found love with a woman who told me she was divorced, only to find out three months later as I overheard a conversation with her and her attorney on the phone, that she had been separated for five years and the divorce was nowhere to be seen.

They couldn’t figure out the financial stuff that comes with separation and or divorce.

When I confronted her as she got off the phone, she admitted that she had not told me the truth.

Now it all made sense, the constant chaos and drama between her and I, her inability to trust me and even to be honest with me.

And yes, the relationship ended right then.

I don’t care how long you’ve been separated, if you’re not divorced in my opinion you’re not ready to be in the world of dating for a serious relationship. Friends with benefits? No strings attached sex?

Don’t drag anyone else into your drama

Sure if you want to go that way, but don’t drag anyone else into your drama until you’ve been divorced and then even after that, which I’ll talk about below, as you need time to yourself.

Another client that I worked with from Australia, contacted me after her heart was completely shattered with a guy that she had been dating.

He had been separated for three years, they had been dating for two years, and the day after he got the final divorce papers in the mail he called her up and told her that he needed time to be alone.

That the separation and divorce took a huge toll on him, now he just wanted to play the field and not be in a committed relationship.

Do you see the patterns here? If you’re reading this and you’re separated and you think you’re different than everyone else… Here’s a big surprise, you’re not.

There still is a lot of work to do even after the papers are served, proclaiming your divorce is legal before I recommend anyone get into the world of dating.

Let’s look at the rules

So let’s look at our rules below that we use with all of my clients who want to be ready, willing and able to get back into the game of love.

1. Be patient

If you’re separated, do not bring anyone else into your chaos and drama

If you’re separated, do not bring anyone else into your chaos and drama. You’re on a roller coaster ride that you will do a great disservice to anyone you bring along with you. Wait.

Be patient. Or if you must, be honest with people about your inability to be in a monogamous relationship and tell them you just want to have fun. I have no judgment if that’s what you want to do do it, but don’t get into a relationship.

2. Wait before you date anyone seriously

Let’s say you’re divorced, officially, the state that you live in has sent you the documents proving that you are now a free man and/or woman.

Wait one year before you date anyone seriously.

Do I sound like your mom or dad? Well if I do, that just means they’re smart as hell.

It takes about 365 days of being single, going through your birthday, holidays and everything else on your own for you to see what it’s like to fall back in love with yourself.

Dating before you’re ready, is an absolute distraction for you to figure out what went wrong in your last relationship, what went right, what you need to let go of, what you need to hold onto.

If you want to use dating as a distraction for loneliness, insecurity, boredom or anything else,  you’re doing again a great disservice to yourself and whoever else you’re bringing into your personal hell with you.

3. Work with a counselor, minister, therapist, relationship life coach

Work with a counselor, minister, therapist, relationship life coach

Work with a counselor, minister, therapist, relationship life coach who knows what the hell they’re doing to figure out the mistakes that “you“ made in your past marriage. Don’t worry about what mistakes your partner made right now, focus on you.

When you can call yourself out for whatever errors you made, you’re on your way to healing.

4. You need to work on forgiving

With this professional, you need to work on forgiving 100%, that is 100% forgiveness for anything your former partner did. Did they cheat on you? Lie to you? Emotionally or physically abuse you? Betray you?

Until you work with a professional and clear up all of your resentments, many of them verifiable resentments, you’re not going to trust your next partner.

You’re going to be a pain in the ass to anyone you date because your insecurities are going to be carried forward in love.

So many clients that I’ve worked with initially had bucked our system, not thinking that they could be on their own for a year.

5. Take the time to heal

Take the time to heal

A lot of my clients had already set up a relationship before they were even separated, or during separation, or right after the divorce papers are served they already had their eyes on someone to fill the void. The void of being alone.

Don’t fall into this trap!

Take the time to heal. If you have kids? Oh my God maybe even take a year and a half or two years. You want to be a great role model in their lives.

If you have a revolving door of dating, where it’s one person for several months… Then a different person… You’re sending them a message that you do not want them to see: that the fear of being alone is greater than the fear of being grounded.

I know the above for many of you will piss you off, and that’s OK. Things that irritate us are often the truth.

On the other hand, if you agree with the above? Good for you. Get help now. So you can look forward to an awesome relationship in the future.“

David Essel‘s work is highly endorsed  by individuals like the late Wayne Dyer, and celebrity Jenny McCarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement.“

His 10th book, another number one bestseller has a complete chapter on profound love, and it is called “Focus! Slay your goals… The proven guide to huge success, a powerful attitude and profound love.”

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David Essel, M.S. is the best selling author of 9 books, a counselor and master life coach and inspirational speaker whose work is endorsed by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, Wayne Dyer, Kenny Loggins and Mark Victor Hansen. David accepts new clients monthly via Skype and phone sessions from anywhere.

More by David Essel

4 Tops Keys to Reduce the Divorce Rate in America

How to Positively Turn Back Time in Your Marriage?

Understanding Dysfunction in a Love Relationship

A Suffering Marriage? Turn It Around into a Happy Marriage

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