This article was written for the divorce blog of an auction website for jewelry. It provides the reader with practical tips for deciding when to date again after a divorce.
How to Know When You're Ready for Dating After Divorce
You've heard it all before, right? Divorce is like falling from a horse. The important thing is to get back into the saddle, which put simply means dating after divorce. But how do you know when you're ready? A divorced friend of mine once said, "The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else." That may explain why she hasn't remarried! So what is the best way? How long should I wait to date after divorce? These are questions that only YOU can answer, but there are signs of readiness to help you determine whether or not it's time to get back onto the bandwagon.
1. Am I OK with being alone?
Of course nobody wants to be alone. But before you open up your heart to someone again you need to accept the fact that you may not find the partner you're looking for, in which case it helps to be happy with the only partner you have – YOU! Learn to enjoy your own company, develop new friendships and partake in a variety of interests. Only when you're content to be by yourself will you be ready to share your life with someone else.
2. Do I know who I've become?
It's only natural to be daunted by the thought of facing the dating scene again, but try to look on the bright side: what you've lost in time, you've gained in wisdom. Remember that you're not looking at marriage through the eyes of a blurry-eyed, love-struck twenty or thirty-something now. Your experiences have changed who you are and made you stronger. Most likely your expectations about marriage and finding the perfect partner have also changed. What are they? Make a list. Once you know who you are and what you're looking for, you can open yourself up to finding a suitable match.
3. Have I learned from my mistakes?
Closely examine your relationship and try to figure out where you went wrong. Don't beat yourself up about the past, but acknowledge the fact that both you and your spouse made mistakes. What have you learned from your mistakes? Once you become aware of the reasons for your failed marriage, you'll know what not to do with a new partner and you'll feel more confident about dating after divorce.
4. Have I let go of the past?
Does the subject of your ex still come up regularly in conversation? Do photographs of your ex still adorn the mantelpiece or occupy a space in your wallet? Do you feel a tug at your heart at the thought of parting with your wedding or engagement ring? It's hard not to cling to memories from the past, but imperative to let go if you want to find out when to start dating after divorce.
5. How long/soon should I date after divorce?
Divorce is a traumatic experience leaving scars that can take years to heal. Nobody expects you to instantly forgive a spouse who has milked you for every cent you own, prevented you from seeing your kids, or run off with your best friend. Remember though, that you need to confront all those feelings of anger and resentment; only then will you be emotionally ready to date after divorce. Divorce statistics in the U.S. show that most people wait three years to remarry after divorce. How long should I wait to date after divorce? The answer to this question is very individual, but it's advisable to take more time rather than less.
'Divorced' may not be the world's most sought-after title, but unless you're Zsa Zsa Gabor or Larry King, hopefully you won't repeat your mistakes. Even Danielle Steel, the "Queen of the Romance Novel", has been divorced five times, so don't underestimate your ability to get over a past relationship. When are you ready to date after divorce? Answer the above questions truthfully and you should have a better idea.