The divorce is final and you are free to make your own decisions after years of consulting and coordinating with another person. Before you decide to start dating again spend some time making your life ready to welcome a new relationship. Common post-divorce dating mistakes include not grieving your lost marriage, not knowing what kind of person you want, and being too clingy once you find someone. Work to avoid these problems, and you’re on the way to a happy after divorce dating life.
Give Yourself Time to Grieve
Even if you wanted a divorce you will need time to grieve for the relationship. Spend some time honoring the good in your marriage in your own way. For some people that honoring will be more ritualistic, but others may want to look through photographs or read old emails from when times were good. Give yourself time to ponder what went wrong and why and think about what you will miss about your spouse. Don’t get lost in this phase but be sure that you are over your marriage before you put yourself back into the dating pool.
Know What You Want from a Relationship
Understanding what went wrong in your marriage will help you to know what you need in a new relationship. Perhaps your ex-spouse worked 60 hours a week and had little downtime. If that didn’t work for you, then you’ll know to stay away from people with a similar work ethic in the future. Not sharing interests or having different life paths can be significant factors for the ending of a relationship.
Before you head out into the dating world, you should be clear with yourself about what you need and want from a future partner. Also be clear about whether you are looking for a casual or serious relationship to avoid getting yourself into a doomed relationship in your post-divorce life.
Practice Your New-found Independence
For people who spent many years with their lives closely enmeshed with someone else’s life, breaking free from that set-up can take practice. Have very consistent boundaries with yourself about what you will and won’t tolerate with a new partner. Let’s say that you and your ex-spouse fought every year because he wanted to spend holidays only with his family. This year, you are going to go to your parents’ home for Thanksgiving. Don’t give in if your new beau wants to go to his sister’s house instead. Stick to your guns and create for yourself the life that you want to have. Consider dating after divorce as another chance at finding the fairy tale romance.
About the Author: Bridget Sandorford is a grant researcher and writer for CulinarySchools.org. Along with her passion for whipping up recipes that incorporate “superfoods”, she recently finished research on Pastry Chef Job Descriptions and International Culinary Schools.