Dating After Divorce [Part 1]
Divorce offers opportunities to make a fresh start and improve your life. If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you go back to read our earlier blog, Positive Perspective on Life After Divorce. For help with your divorce in Chicago, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.
There is no specific time frame for when someone is ready to date. Separation and divorce can be considered one of the most traumatic experiences someone can ever experience in their lifetime. Researchers from the Journal of Psychosomatic Research have ranked divorce as the number two most stressful life event, right after the death of a spouse or child and before being imprisoned or having a health crisis. With that being said, everyone deserves to find happiness with a new person again. Divorce presents people with an opportunity for new beginnings. For those who are ready to start dating, here are 10 helpful dating tips!
Let’s start with Tip Number One: Pump the Breaks!
Remember to wait until your divorce or separation is finalized before you start dating! If you have not finalized your divorce yet it is highly recommended that you refrain from posting on social media, spending money on a paramour, and overall dating in general. Also, remember to avoid taking divorce advice from friends and family (that’s what your attorney is for) and never lie or hide any information from your attorney!
Tip Number Two: Healing First!
The golden rule is ‘Healing First, Dating Later’. Make sure you have taken at least a year off to focus on yourself. Take this time to learn yourself again and to adjust to being comfortable being on your own. It’s important to make sure that you are actually over your ex and truly ready to date. Everyone, divorced or not, comes with some level of ‘emotional baggage’. Before you begin dating make sure you’ve addressed your baggage and have put in the necessary work to heal first.
It can be beneficial to temporarily avoid using social media for some time too.
Old feelings and memories may pop-up from time to time, this is a completely normal experience and part of one's healing process. Find a good therapist and a positive group of friends or family members to surround yourself with. Try picking up a new hobby, learning a new language or a new skill to keep busy. Take some time to travel if you can too.
Experiencing different places and different cultures is always a healthy outlet and can be very therapeutic and fun!
Tip Number Three: Expectations & Boundaries
Ask yourself why are you dating? What are your expectations? What are your boundaries? It’s important to know yourself well enough so that you are prepared for the dating world. Dating should be fun and exciting! Make sure you are honest with yourself about who you are, what your expectations and boundaries are and overall, what you are looking for in a person. Let people know what you are looking for. It’s important to recognize that your expectations will change over time. Take the time to learn about others' expectations too.
Tip Number four: Get Educated!
Let’s remember it doesn’t matter if it’s only been a few years or many years since you last dated… the dating world is always dramatically changing and things have definitely changed since the last time you dated. Get informed about the online dating world. It’s always helpful to ask single or other divorced friends for dating advice and to listen to their dating experiences. Also! Forget what you think your “type” is! Dating is about creating new experiences. It’s about learning who you are and what the new version of yourself looks like. Get out there and meet new and different people and make memories!
Just a friendly reminder… remember that chemistry (no matter how amazing it may be) does not always mean a long-term connection. Guard your heart, body and soul in the process.
Tip Number Five: What’s the Rush?
Take your time and go slow. Don’t rush the dating process. If you feel like you are in a rush to meet your new spouse, you are probably not ready to date and you may benefit by doing more self-reflection and therapeutic work on yourself before you dive into dating (see Tip Number Two). Permit yourself to take things slowly…long-lasting relationships with a solid foundation should never be rushed.
Remember the old saying, “The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.”
For more information on this topic: Fields, Lisa (2013) Dating After Divorce: When Is the Right Time?, WebMD Web Retrived: https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/dating-after-divorce
Regan, Sarah (2020) How To Start Dating After Divorce: 13 Rules From Marriage Therapists, MbgRelationships
Lascala, Marisa (2019) 12 Smart Ways to Make Dating After Divorce Easier, According to Therapists, GoodHousekeeping
Web Retrived:https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/relationships/a26537409/ Anderson, Charlotte (2019) 14 Tips for Dating After Divorce, Oprah Daily Web Retrieved: https://www.oprahdaily.com/life/a25858170