For so many people who are going through a divorce, the point when you start dating again after divorce is a huge milestone. There are so many factors at play with this milestone, such as marking that the relationship with your ex-spouse is truly over and you are moving on and letting go emotionally from the past,
With this in mind, it's easy to see why some people want to jump right into the dating scene again while others really want to take it slow and easy. There is no denying that even with the friendliest of divorces there are some emotional and psychological issues that you need to work through before you start dating again. Whether you are trying to take things slowly after your divorce or you feel like you are ready to sever all ties and enjoy a fast, clean break from the past, there are some things to consider before you start to date again.
Here are some key points to weigh thoroughly before dating after divorce:
You Aren't the Only One Getting Divorced. You may think that a divorce is a separation or severing of your marital ties to your ex-spouse, and while this is true, there is more to it than that if you have kids. A divorce is difficult for you as an adult on many levels, and in large part because your family unit is being dismantled. For your kids, they also are experiencing the waves of emotion that go with seeing their family as they have known it for their entire lives being dismantled, too.
If you are considering dating again, you may very well be ready to move on and enter a new period of time in your life, but kids often have more difficulty letting go than adults do. They may be clinging to the hope that their family may come back together, or they may simply need more time to adjust to the new living situation. You should take time to discuss the possibility of you dating again with your kids to ensure they are in the right place emotionally to handle you seeing new people.
There May Be Legal Complications. Many people are so eager to get started dating again that they want to date before their divorce is finalized. If you think about divorce from a purely emotional and psychological perspective, the milestone of dating marks a point where you accept that your marriage is over, and this can be huge indeed. However, there are legal considerations to factor in before you reach this important milestone.
Many divorces are completely friendly, but others can be messy with difficult custody issues, disputes over marital assets, and more. Dating again before the divorce is finalized can open up a can of worms for you from a legal standpoint. Take time to discuss with your lawyer how dating may affect your footing in the divorce. It is often best to get the green light from your lawyer if your divorce is still on-going than to risk further legal issues with your divorce.
Listen to Your Heart. People start dating after divorce for many different reasons. Some find that taking that plunge and going on a first date after a divorce gives them that little bit of push to emotionally let go of the past, and many find that it gives them that extra boost of self-confidence that is needed to really start looking for a new mate. For others, dating again simply gives them a casual way to have fun and meet new people, and they have no intentions of looking for or developing a deep, intense relationship where their emotions are fully vested.
The heart can be a difficult thing to live with. Your brain may be logically thinking that you are ready to let go of the past or that you are not ready for a serious relationship, and so you may be starting out dating thinking one thing. Yet your heart may be in a different place altogether. You should really stop and look deep inside yourself, listening to what your heart wants out of the prospect of dating. Then make sure that you are emotionally ready to handle where your heart will inevitably lead you.
Plan For The Future. Before the thought of divorce crossed your mind, you no doubt were going through life in marital bliss, fully planning to spend the rest of your life with your partner. Most married couples do share some pretty long-term plans for the future together, and this may include financial planning, making plans to raise a family together, pursuing professional aspirations, and even sharing retirement dreams, too.
When you are divorced, however, you often find that most, if not all, of your plans for the future are now up in the air. Before you start dating again, you should take time to really think about what you want out of life. You will find greater happiness in life when you have developed a lifetime road map that contains plans for your professional, family, travel, volunteering, and any other goals and dreams. By developing such a plan, you put yourself in a better emotional state where you take responsibility for your life.
Think About Who You Are Looking For. Before you married your ex-spouse, you no doubt had a certain “type” of person who you dated. This may have included some physical characteristics as well as some personal traits that you found attractive in a partner. After a divorce, many people do make a 180-degree turn and seek out a new mate who is completely the opposite of everything an ex-spouse was. While it is understandable to have that strong emotional response, you should take some time to pause and really think about what you truly want in a mate.
You likely learned quite a few things about yourself and what you want in a mate from your marriage and divorce, but if you are honest with yourself you will find that there likely were a few traits in your ex-spouse that you still want to find in a new mate. When you take time thinking about what it is exactly that you are looking for in an ideal new partner, you will be in a better place when you do start dating.
These are all important things to think about before you start dating. Now, if you find that you truly are ready to start dating or if you have realized that perhaps you need to wait a few weeks or months before you should re-enter the dating scene, you should absolutely embrace this new part of your life. There are plenty of serious things to think about, but you should also take time to really have some fun and let loose with family and friends, too!
About The Author
Internet dating advocate Sarah T. Connor is a reputable author of dating advice articles for singles on the website Free-DateHookup.com, a popular singles dating service online. Sarah T. Connor attended the University of Maryland, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree.