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Florida Women's Law Group

Preparing Yourself To Date Again After Divorce

Author: Florida Women's Law Group
Date: Aug 31 2021

Preparing Yourself to Date Again After Divorce

After marriage, the thought of dating again can seem overwhelming and scary, but it can also be exciting.  If you were in a long-term marriage, it’s probably been a while since you were in the dating scene.  Was the last time you were single before mobile phones and the internet?  Last time I dated, a guy had to call my home phone and leave a message on my answering machine if I wasn’t there.  Boy, times are different now!  You can cyberstalk any potential date and learn about his family, pets, job and friends before you even talk to him. 

When to Start Dating

How do you know if you are ready to date after your divorce?  There is no set time limit established to say when you should start dating, it’s different for everyone.  Jumping into a new relationship while you are separated or as soon as the divorce papers are signed is usually not a good idea.  It’s best to wait and take the time to be alone and rediscover yourself.  This could take months or years; it is all subjective.

Mourn the Marriage

Before moving onto another relationship, it is a good idea to spend some time mourning the marriage and life you left behind.  Even if the divorce was your idea, taking a minute to heal is necessary.  Divorce is tough and there are lots of changes, especially if you have children, giving yourself time to adjust and learn your new life is beneficial.  If you haven’t given yourself the time to truly get over your marriage you are not being fair to yourself or anyone you might date.  When you really take the time to grieve and heal emotionally you will be more open and receptive to a new relationship.

Rediscover Yourself

If you were married for a long time, you are likely not the same person you once were when you were last single.  Marriage comes with a lot of compromises and sometimes we give up things that once interested us for the sake of our partner.  Now that you are on your own again, figure out what makes you happy and what you want for your future.

Physically you are probably a lot different than the last time you were single.  You may be carrying around a few extra pounds, a few wrinkles, a few grey hairs and a little bit of baggage.  Get comfortable with how you look now and appreciate what your body has done for you over the years.  You are entering the dating world now with things you didn’t have before, but you also have wisdom, compassion and maturity.  If you can love yourself, you are more receptive and open to loving someone else.

Evaluate Your Marriage Objectively

You want to go into your next relationship emotionally healthy and aware of patterns you do not want to repeat.  In most situations, a marriage doesn’t end because of the actions of one person.  Try and look at your marriage objectively and identify where it went wrong.  Look at it from your perspective and that of your ex-spouse.  Can you see how you contributed to the problems and its demise?  If you can see mistakes you made, it can help you identify patterns and habits that you don’t want to repeat in your next relationship.  This may be the time to enlist the help of a therapist to help you discover areas you need to work on so you can avoid making the same mistakes next time.

Make a Relationship Map

You’ve taken the time to mourn and heal yourself.  You’ve spent some time with yourself and have learned all about the new and improved you.  Now, think about what you want in a new partner.  Make a list of the things that are must-haves and deal breakers in people you will date.  Prioritize what you can and can’t put up with in a relationship.  As you begin to date, this list may change and evolve but it’s important to have an idea of what you need from a relationship.  There is no rush to date or get married again and if you have children you don’t want to bring just anyone around them.  Stick to your standards, you deserve the best.

Now you are ready, it’s time to jump back into the dating pool.  Where do you begin?  How do you date these days?  Does the thought of online dating sites make you literally sick to your stomach?  Unfortunately, these days they are the best way to meet someone new.  There are sites for every genre and type you can imagine.  In our next post we will go into detail about online dating and how to make the most of your new dating life.

Divorce is just the end of this chapter in your life, not the end of you.  At Florida Women’s Law Group, we are here to represent women just like you to help you get through this and onto a better and happier life.

 

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