Have you recently been divorced and are interested in dating again?
Or have you been divorced for a long time and are just now thinking about dating?
No matter how long it has been since your divorce, you may have questions and concerns about dating again. That is entirely normal. It does not matter if you are twenty-five or seventy-five; looking for romance can still be a nerve-racking and exciting time.
Here are some things to consider and think through as you prepare to re-enter the dating scene.
Determine What You Want Out of Dating
What do you hope to get out of dating? Perhaps you just want to test the waters and take a casual approach. You are not ready to pursue something serious right now.
On the other hand, maybe you have had enough of casual dating in the past and just want to find a serious relationship.
Be honest with yourself about what you are looking for. It can save you and the ones you date, time and hurt feelings.
What Is Your Motivation for Dating?
It is important to think through why you want to date again (aside from the points listed above). Do you find yourself bored and wanting entertainment on the weekends? Are you nervous about making it on your own financially and think it would be easier to join forces with someone else? Do you hope to have more children or start a family for the first time?
Answering these questions will help you as you take your next steps. It can determine what kind of dating app you use and where you look to meet other singles.
Know What You are Looking For
If your experience was like most people, your separation and divorce were painful and upended life as you knew it. You probably want to avoid that in the future.
It can be tempting to respond to any attention that comes your way. You might feel lonely and long for connection and physical intimacy. Maybe anyone attractive who pays attention to you will seem like a great fit.
While it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and thrill of something new, it is wise to enter dating being thoughtful and intentional about what kind of person you are looking for.
Some dating sites offer personality profiles you can take that match you with those who might be the best match. You will also want to think through things like interests, activities, religious belief, political viewpoints, financial habits, and your goals for the future related family and career to determine compatibility.
This may sound uninspiring if you are excited to hop back into the dating scene, but in the long run, it will be worth it.
What About Your Kids?
Although you may be ready for a new relationship, if you are a parent, it is important to consider that your kids may need more time before they are ready to see you with a new partner. It is important that you consider what is best for your kids and err on the side of slow and cautious.
Parenting experts advise waiting at least six months, preferably longer, after dating someone seriously before introducing them to your kids.
Divorce takes its toll on kids. They have a lot at stake in getting attached to someone new, only to lose them if the relationship ends.
Make Sure You’ve Healed Emotionally
Just as therapists recommend guidelines for introducing your kids to new partners, they also have recommendations for you. Some recommend waiting at least a year before dating again. Divorce, and a rough marriage before that, can create significant emotional impacts that require healing.
It is important to take the time to focus on yourself and your emotional healing before dating again. You want to be confident and fulfilled on your own before seeking romance again. Likewise, you want to be clear-headed enough to be able to spot red flags in someone else before things get too serious.
Returning to dating can be an exciting and rewarding time. If you are ready to take this step but think it would be helpful to talk through some issues before you start, please reach out to our office. A few sessions can make a positive difference as you start on your dating journey.