A couple of generations ago, when people got married they’d generally stay married for the rest of their lives. For better or worse, that’s not always the case today. Some estimates suggest 40 percent or more of couples will end up divorcing within ten years of their marriage. Even so, being divorced doesn’t mean one is doomed to live a life without love. Many divorced people end up finding love and getting married again.
One of the most important things people should do before dating again is simply take the time to heal. Divorce can be a painful and traumatic process and it isn’t wise to jump into a new relationship afterward before one is ready. Some people start dating shortly after a divorce because they’re sad and feel incomplete without other people in their lives romantically. You don’t need to earn a PhD to know this is almost always a bad idea. If the dates don’t go well, you could end up feeling worse than you did before and add to the wounds that haven’t healed from your divorce.
It’s common to wait a few years after a divorce to start dating. It may seem like a long time to wait, but keep in mind the scope of the change you’re facing in the wake of a divorce. Making sure you’re completed healed from your separation, or at least ready to pursue new relationships, just takes as long as it takes. Everyone is different, and if you’re wondering if you’re ready to start dating again, the only person who can decide is you. Ask yourself:
Am I completely over my former spouse?
Am I comfortable bringing someone new into my life?
Do I feel comfortable bringing someone around my children?
If you answered no to any of the above questions, then you may not be ready to date yet. Some people feel as though they’ll never ready to date, and that’s OK. If you feel that way, there’s no rush to take any plunges. However, when you do feel ready to date again, you could probably use some advice:
1. Develop a support group. Dating is a lot easier when you have a group of supportive friends and family.
2. Asses your self-worth. Make a list of your positive qualities. Realize that you’re special and you deserve a healthy relationship with someone wonderful.
3. Plan activities. Make a list of activities you want to do with potential partners.
4. Prepare for pitfalls. If the first couple of dates don’t go well, you shouldn’t let it get you down. Be willing to give someone (and yourself) another chance, or if it doesn’t feel right, to break it off and move on.
Life after a divorce can be lonely, but fortunately it’s always possible to find love another time around. However, it’s very important you take the time out to heal before you start dating again. There’s never any rush, and when you’re ready, you’ll know.
Bio: Marina Salsbury planned on becoming a teacher since high school, but found her way instead into online writing after college. She writes around the Web about everything from education to exercise.