All dating situations can be challenging in their own way and dating after divorce is no different. In this scenario there is a lot more to take into consideration than just where you will go for your date.
One of the best things you can do before you start dating after divorce is to make sure you are totally ready. For most people, it is a bad idea to start dating before the divorce is official. Some people start dating while they are separated but this is probably not the ideal situation in most cases.
Let’s face facts, if you start dating while you are separated you are technically committing adultery since you are still married. Probably not the best way to set off on this new phase of your life.
On the other hand, you do have to take your unique situation into account. In some cases, one spouse will try to drag the divorce on for years and hold the other one hostage.
If this is your situation, starting to date at some time may not be so bad. It is difficult to put your life on hold any further just because of a difficult soon to be ex spouse. Only you can determine which path is best for you.
So, how do you decide that the time is right to go out and start dating again? That is a very individual question that you have to answer for yourself but I can tell you what not to do when trying to figure it out….
1. Don’t rely on family and friends pushing you to “get back out there”. They mean well, but they don’t necessarily know what is best for you, they only know what they think is best for you.
Ultimately only you can decide when you think you are truly ready to love again.
2. Don’t rely on some stupid mathematical equation either. I’ve heard people say that you should mourn the loss of a relationship for so many weeks for every year the two of you were together.
That may (or may not) work as a general rule of thumb but that is all it should ever be. Everyone is different and you don’t want to rush through the grieving stage as unpleasant as it is.
If you don’t allow yourself to grieve over your lost relationship you are far more likely to carry around that baggage with you into your next relationship. Not a good idea.
3. Don’t rush. Take some time on your own. Even if the marriage was basically a good one and the two of you just grew apart, you will still have issues that should be dealt with.
If there was any type or level of abuse in the relationship you will have even more issues that should be dealt with before you move on.
Again, failing to deal with these issues will doom you to repeat your mistakes in your next relationship. Probably not what you want.
Take these things into consideration before you decide to start dating after divorce. If you just don’t seem to be moving on at all you may want to find a counselor to help you sort it all out.