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Dating After Divorce: When is It the Right Time?



When marriage becomes divorce, the challenge of dating new people can be overwhelming. Deciding when to date again is simpler when you know how to recognize the signs that you are ready. These tips can help you listen to your own inner voice about moving on from a previous relationship.

Factors to Consider

How long you were married, the way the marriage ended, and whether you have children from the relationship are all important to consider before you begin to date. Perhaps the most important factor is how you feel about the end of the marriage. If you were just living together as friends and had a comfortable separation, you may be ready to date before someone who was surprised by the end of their marriage.

Children can also make dating more complicated, especially if they haven’t accepted the divorce yet. Finding the time to date is also something to think about when you have children. This is also a period of adjustment financially for some. The stress of a new career and responsibilities at home take time to grow accustomed to. Dating shouldn’t begin until you are fairly comfortable in your new roles at home.

Your Dating Experience

After marriage, dating skills can be rusty. Taking the time to learn about yourself and what you expect from dating is recommended. You may find that you have changed considerably since the last time you actively dated, and as a result are more aware of what you are looking for in your next relationship. If you aren’t sure what you want from a partner, now is the perfect time to evaluate your personal needs. Being able to recognize what you want, and what is unacceptable to you in a partner, are valuable tools for finding the right person in the future.

Time does heal. Even those who are happiest about their split may find they have unresolved issues stemming from their marriage. People who are most comfortable in the world of dating are those who have realized and dealt with these issues before moving on. Taking a few months or longer before looking for someone else gives you time to truly heal and tune in to those you are dating.

Get Involved

Listen to yourself. There isn’t a book or manual that tells you how to feel after a divorce. Realizing you are ready for dating can happen gradually, or within a few short weeks of formally ending the marriage. It is common to feel lonely after a divorce. Being involved in your local community, whether taking a class, volunteering or simply going out with friends, allows you to rediscover your individuality without the stress of dating. You will know you are ready to date when the time is right.