Who doesn’t need a little solace from time to time? Whether you're struggling with a breakup, missing someone special in your life, or feeling overwhelmed by the daily grind of work, kids, you name it, sometimes you need to escape and find peace.
No matter how long you have been divorced – or if you’re starting the process - you may or may not have any strong feelings about your divorce or ex-soon-to-be ex-spouse. If there are, that person must likely be influential but get ready; they may have moved on from
all emotions towards you, like anger or sadness, whether you like it or not. However, most people don't move on that quickly in real life. Some take longer than others, depending on how long you were married, how close you were with each other before marrying, if you reminisce about good and bad times, etc.
So, when you start dating again, you may be nervous and a bit self-conscious, which is normal. It doesn’t mean every relationship you pursue after becoming single again will end in such an emotional rollercoaster. Dating when you're divorced has its challenges; however, it can be difficult because some people may assume they need to treat you differently than they would otherwise because of your past relationship status. If they don’t, then you have a clean and fresh slate. Terrific! Now you can reinvent yourself and be who you want to be.
It's vital for anyone who has recently been through a divorce or breakup to remember their value as a person regardless of whether they were married before or not and how that marriage went. If someone treats me differently because of a past relationship history instead of treating me equally across all aspects of life, then that person isn't worth my time. Do I hear an amen?
And JSYK, taking time off from dating is OK when you're not ready. Don't rush into another relationship too soon. Focus on yourself and your needs right now. If you need some space for dating and romance, that's completely fine, so don’t force yourself back into the ‘scene; if you’re more comfortable being there right now. Remember, this is your time.
That stated, reflecting on what went wrong with your last relationship can be helpful before jumping back into things (or never jumping at all). If you have an abusive situation or are unhealthy, consider seeing a therapist who specializes in relationship issues so they can help guide you through making healthy choices about who enters your life this time and whether another person should be involved. Note: If it's been a while since your breakup, do you still feel sad? That's OK, too, because it doesn't mean anything is wrong with you or you aren’t ‘normal’; it just means you need extra time and support.
You may be wondering how long you should wait before dating again. There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but here are some things to keep in mind:
It might be best to have time to heal and get your head together after a breakup. Your ex will probably still be on your mind and could even come up in conversations with people who don't know what happened between you.
Tread lightly on the above, especially if it’s a perspective new romance, because too much or too little info may be hard for some people to grasp. Yes, they should know what happened, but you don’t have to go into your entire life history with your ex.
Breakups can be messy and cause sadness and grief, so give yourself as much time as possible before trying anything new, especially dating. If it feels right, then go for it. But again, tread carefully…
I know it's hard to go through breakups and bad relationships, but you don't have to rush into another one immediately, and in my humble opinion, DON’T. Not yet. You deserve time to discover your solo happiness; focusing on that might be more fruitful. You be you, and when you are ready, it will happen. Promise!
Take care out there,
How quickly did you go out on your first date after your divorce?
How did that go?
Did you feel like it was too soon? Did you feel confident this is something you wanted to make happen?