A divorce is a very strong emotional issue to deal with. The feelings that you may be experiencing might leave you exhausted physically and emotionally. If you have children, another layer of feelings is thrown into the melting pot. When to start dating again is a personal issue, and one that will depend on how well you have dealt with the feelings after your divorce and if you have any children. When there are kids involved, it may take much longer before you bring someone new into the picture. Children take longer in dealing with the effects of a divorce, and they have contact with the other parent, as they may visit him/her on weekends. Therefore, for kids, the reminder is always present.
Some parents will stop dating altogether until the kids get older and are able to grasp the concept better, others do not. Whatever your point of view, take into consideration that kids will mind you dating, and they will see your date as a replacement for the parent who left. This is a normal feeling that you must understand. The reason is that kids may not welcome a new relationship right away and you must allow time for it to happen. Do not get mad at them because they will in turn see your date as the enemy.
When you do not have kids, the situation is easier, but not less traumatic. Before starting dating again, sort out your feelings and forgive any grudges to your ex. By forgiving, you are positioning yourself to receive love with peace in you and are letting your ex finally go his/her way. By doing this, you are opening the door to spiritual and personal growth, as well as loving another person again – and loving again will require trust. Therefore, by forgiving you are allowing room for trust in your new life.
When you start dating avoid speaking about your past relationship to your date, at least in the beginning – you want to resist the temptation of falling again into self-pity or speaking ill of your ex. If your date asks, then be honest and answer, but do not get into offering tons of details of how the relationship failed or how she/he wronged you. Focus on your new relationship not the old one. Nourish you new relationship, and see where it takes you.
Avoid making comparisons between your new date and your ex. You will try to find similar characteristics, either because it will remind you of your ex or because you want to stay as far as possible from someone like him/her. Be aware but do not become obsessed with finding something wrong.
Let the relationship take its course and do not rush it. Just because you were married does not mean that you must prepare for your next marriage. Enjoy being single again for a while. Who knows, you may discover that you do not need to date right away and that you want to do other things and cultivate other interests before starting to get serious about someone. Give yourself some time.
These are a few tips to help you with your decision to start dating again after a divorce. The main issue here is time – for you and your family – if you have one.