Pretty much no one wondered when to date after a divorce when they were saying their I do’s.
But, at least half of those married will face this question at one point in their lives, as statistics of the divorce rate remain high.
Some divorced choose not to date. But many want to, although often aren’t sure when and how to approach this new stage of their lives.
So, let’s talk about dating after a divorce, and how to know when it’s a good time to get things going.
Read about dating after divorce 101, and the four questions to consider before you get things going derived from a psychological Relationship Readiness Questionnaire.
Dating After Divorce 101
The most common mistakes for those who want to date after divorce is, as we’ll discuss in more detail in a bit, twofold.
Some think that they must wait for years or decades before they get back on the dating scene. There was even some ad-hoc advice out there that it takes half the time you were in a relationship to get over it. For some, it would mean waiting ten or more years to date again.
Which is truly unnecessary. Others get back to the singles market and announce their availability way too soon.
Not that there’s a prescribed waiting period (although that would be neat), but there’s such thing as jumping into a new relationship too quickly.
A divorced person isn’t ready to date if they are still overwhelmed by emotions towards their ex-romantic or the ugly ones. This isn’t a good place to start a new relationship from.
So, what you should do to make sure that when you do start dating, it’s going to be fun and fulfilling?
Great place to start is finding some new friends that would make a fresh start complete. Rebuild your self-esteem before you start looking for a new partner. Get rid of all the self-harming tendencies or your new partner might be your self-destruction weapon without you knowing it.
Start new hobbies and build new interests. And, prepare for disappointments and setbacks.
They will happen, but it doesn’t mean you should give up.
Question 1 – Do you believe that you’re a worthwhile partner?
Divorce itself has a great potential to lower one’s feeling of self-worth. You could feel like a failure in a huge segment of your life.
No one gets married and prepares for a divorce.
You’re alone again and often many things your spouse used to take care of now you have to deal with. And this can really make you feel inadequate. Adding to that is a lack of self-esteem many bad marriages cause much before the separation.
However, to be able to earn respect from new people in your life, and especially if the dating itself turns into a meaningful relationship, you need to respect yourself first.
So, don’t start dating before you start believing in yourself again. If you don’t do that, you might end up with an abusing partner, which is the last thing you need right now.
Question 2 – Do you believe that losing that important relationship has made you a stronger person?
If you respond positively to this question, it shows that you got over the grieving process. Which is really the only healthy place to start a new relationship from.
Every suffering in life is a means of developing your character and personality. At the end of each hurt is a new, improved you.
Before you get back to dating, ask yourself if you feel that you’re over the old pains. You need to be so that you don’t transfer unresolved issues to a new partner. But, also, to be able to find a better partner compared to your ex, you should be better than your old self too.
Question 3 – Do you still trust that people are basically good?
The immense disappointment of getting a divorce usually causes, at least temporarily, a loss of faith in people. Whatever the cause of the divorce, it surely wasn’t anything good.
Every divorced person has a lot of resentment towards their ex.
But, you need to start believing in the good in people before you can commit to someone new.
Question 4 – Do your friends tell you that you’re healed from your loss?
Finally, you might be eager to date again for many reasons. Not all are pretty (e.g., desire for revenge or meaningless sex). You might even feel ready for new love. But, before you jump back into going on dates, ask your friends if they think you’re over your ex and your loss.
Let them be objective and well-meant judges of your readiness for a new relationship before you move on with it.
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.