Relationships after a divorce are not a breeze, too. They don’t magically become better just because you’ve been through hell with a divorce already. The men and women you meet after a divorce are not necessarily better than your ex-spouse. At the same time, your ex-spouse is not the better partner either. If you think of these comparisons, you will never be able to move on from the divorce. The most common question that divorced people ask after the proceedings is “when is it the right time to date again?” While there is no specific time frame, the most common answer you will receive is “wait until the divorce proceedings are completed or at least about a year after you formally separated.”
But even if you think it is the right time already, there are some issues that you still have to face. As much as you want to believe that these issues shouldn’t faze your ability to manage a relationship, the reality is that you will still be answerable to your children and even to some loved ones who think you should wait before dating again. So, what are these issues and how can you manage them better?
The first issue is your kids. Do you have children? If you do, how ready are you to tell them you’re dating again? Can you answer the questions? Are they old enough to understand that you need to be with someone? Are they okay with either of their parents dating or is there a gender issue here (some children are okay with their fathers dating again, but not their mothers)?
Considering your children’s feelings is part of being a parent. Sure, they’re not the ones who are lonely at night and who want someone to talk with, but they’re your kids. They have a say on who’s going to be a part of your little unit. Talk to them and be open with them about your feelings.
Of course, the biggest hurdle is to find someone again. More than a year after the divorce, you might want to start getting to know others again. You can attend a matchmaking event or sign up for those online matchmaking platforms (though make sure they are safe first). You can ask friends to help you find someone. Maybe they have a cousin or an acquaintance who is also looking for a partner? You won’t even have to ask your friends to help you find someone. The moment they realize you’re ready to date again, they’ll probably give you a list of names.
As for your ex-spouse, if you are friendly, you can inform him/her that you’re going to start dating again. Otherwise, you are not obligated to tell him/her of your plans. You are divorced, after all. Informing them is you being friendly and casual. And if you share kids, it’s also better that they know someone is going to be a part of your children’s lives again.
The other matter is your former in-laws. If you are lucky enough to have a good relationship with them, keep that relationship for the kids. Your children should grow up with both sides of their families intact. As a form of respect, tell your former in-laws that you might be dating again soon. They will appreciate your candor even if in their hearts, their kid is still the best person.
You will be surprised how your self-esteem has taken a knock. You haven’t been on a friendly date for years. Plus, the years of arguing with your ex-spouse have taken their toll on you. Divorces always have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem and confidence. You might want to take a look at how you can regain that first before dating. Maybe you can spend more time with yourself and your kids first? You can go to the gym, lose or gain weight, enroll in a yoga and meditation class, or travel by yourself.
This is always a major issue for people who want to date again after a divorce. No matter what kind of issues you’ve had with your ex-spouse, you will feel that you have been betrayed. There is a common sense of mistrust that comes from having to end a marriage. How can you trust someone again? The relationship with the person you promised to be with for the rest of your life didn’t work. How can you make sure that this other one will? There is no assurance to that. You only have to love yourself better, take the plunge, and work on the relationship every single second.
Humor yourself and go on a date. Your first date doesn’t have to be the one that will last forever. It doesn’t need to end up in marriage. You have to test the waters. And as long as you and your kids have an understanding, you should be able to enjoy a simple date night.