After any divorce or separation, no matter how long or painful it may have been, there may come a time when the desire to being in a stable relationship will arise, and the daunting task of dating will have to start all over again. But how do you know if you’re ready to date after your divorce?
Are you truly ready to take the plunge?
The good news is that there are no rules or timelines for this – you’re under no pressure. Some people may be ready almost immediately after the divorce, while others may need more time to prepare themselves. The best advice would be to trust yourself and go with your gut-feel. When you are ready, you’ll be the first to know.
There are, however, a few signs and indicators which will tell you that you are ready to take this step.
Wait Until Your Divorce Or Separation Is Final Before You Start Dating
From a legal perspective, plunging into the dating pool before your divorce is finalised, may not be the wisest move to make. By now, you should be wanting this painful process to be over as quickly as possible, and you don’t want to complicate it any further.
But then again, if your divorce becomes a long drawn-out affair, which may last years, nobody can realistically expect you to wait for that long, before you start dating. However, you may want to seek some advice from a family lawyer about the implications of getting into a new relationship, including mixing your finances with your new partner, moving in with them, or moving away with them.
To avoid a long drawn out divorce, chat to our family lawyers in Perth. We aim to finalise matters for divorcing couples as quickly and amicably as possible.
You’re No Longer Angry About Your Divorce
It is perfectly normal for you to feel angry about your divorce, particularly if you feel that your partner was at fault in some way. Dealing with this anger, however, is vital before you can move on and will require patience and time.
Give yourself as much time as you need to go through this process and allow yourself to feel this anger, before it can die a natural death. Ignoring it, will only prolong the agony and the healing process, which is an absolute must before you are truly ready to move on.
If you are still finger-pointing, and bad-mouthing your ex at every opportunity, you are not ready to date anybody. Your anger may have them running for the hills in no time. Accept your situation and find peace within yourself. If you are battling to let go and feel angry and resentful all the time, do not despair but consider seeking counselling – there is help out there.
You’re Happy On Your Own
Being happy in one’s own company is the key to happiness for anyone at any time. It is a state of mind. You cannot expect others to enjoy being around you, if you are not happy with yourself. You have been through the pains of separating and you are surviving comfortably on your own.
You may be alone, and yes, you may be longing for companionship or even love, but you are not lonely. You will thus not date for the sake of dating, or because you are lonely, but because you are emotionally ready. With such a mindset, you are likely to attract the right partner.
Are You Afraid Of Commitment?
Let’s face it, every single person is afraid of commitment, until the right partner is found. Any divorce or separation can trigger waves of emotions, such as mistrust and fear of being hurt again, which may become the only thing preventing you from dating and meeting someone new. These emotions are perfectly normal and it would be unusual if you were not afraid of commitment after what you have been through.
Perhaps at this stage, you need to take the pressure off yourself by seeing dating as a simple means of finding a friend or companion, someone who is pleasant and shares your values and interests. That would be a great start. The romance can come later, which, by then, will make commitment a much easier step for you to make. Until then, there is no need to commit and you can still be happy on your own.
You Don’t Constantly Relive The Past
You haven’t have forgotten the experience and lessons learnt from your divorce, but you don’t constantly relive the past, around your friends and family. It does you no good to be continually blaming your ex or yourself and wishing you both did things differently.
There has never been a better time to let go. If you find yourself being able to talk or think about your previous relationship, without invoking anger or any other negative feelings, chances are you have put the past behind you and ready to date again.
Are You Willing To Go On Multiple Dates?
The first thing you should accept is that it will be highly unlikely to meet your future spouse on the first date. But once again there are no rules on this one.
If you find yourself comfortable going on multiple dates, seek people from different walks of life with different interests and mindsets to find someone who truly fits with you.
Don’t Rush To Introduce A New Partner To Your Family
For most of us, family comes first and with a new relationship in the making, their needs also need to be considered, particularly if there are children, as there often are. If you have small children, it may be wise not to tell them anything until you are in a serious relationship.
But make no mistake, kids aren’t fools, so they may want to know from the very start. If that is the case, it may be best to be honest and just say that you have made a new friend. Also do not ever compare your new partner to their father or mother…ever.
The very fact that you have read this blog may just be the first sign that you are indeed ready to start dating again.