Getting back into the dating game after going through a divorce can be a tricky process and isn’t something that you should do until you are ready. The chances are high that you will have a fair number of “trust issues” with new people that you will need to work through before you can confidently begin dating after divorce.
If you are thinking about dating after divorce here are some of the things you need to be thinking of:
Are you ready? This is very different from the more popular “are you lonely?” You are going to be very lonely after your divorce and might be tempted to jump back into dating to “fill up the space” that has been left behind by your spouse. You should resist dating after divorce until you honestly feel ready to be in a relationship with another person. Usually this won’t be until you have worked through the baggage left behind by your marriage and divorce. Realize that dating after divorce is not just about you, it is about the person you are dating. Is it fair to them to enter into a dating relationship before you are truly ready?
How is your confidence level? Are you comfortable with who you are now, as a single person? Going through a divorce is often extremely damaging to a person’s self confidence and it can take a while before that person feels like they are strong enough to handle entering into a new relationship of any kind, even casual dating.
Who do you want to date? Think about the next person you would like to have a relationship with. Think about the qualities you would like that person to have. Your instinct may be to find someone who is the polar opposite of your ex, but this is probably not a good idea. After all, you married your ex for a number of reasons. The failure of that marriage doesn’t mean that those are the wrong qualities to look for; it just means that you and that person were no longer compatible.
Be prepared for a few disappointing experiences. The first few dates back into the dating scene are often the hardest. You will have built up expectations based on fantasies of what dating was like before you were married, and you might find yourself comparing your new date to your ex-spouse. You’ll be quicker to pick up on similarities that used to drive you crazy and qualities that you miss that can bring back the pain of the divorce.
Dating after divorce is a complicated experience. You might be anxious to get back to dating after divorce to cure the loneliness, but taking some time to heal from your divorce and to figure out who you are going to be now, as a single person, is a better idea. The more time you give yourself to heal from the divorce the better off you will be when you decide to begin dating after divorce.