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You’re divorced but you don’t want to be alone forever. You want to start dating after a divorce, but when is the right time? This answer will be different for everyone.
I’m going to share something quickly before I jump into things. I think that it’s perfectly okay to be single. In fact, I love being single. I date a few people here and there, but they’ve never got to the point where I introduce them to my children. I don’t know if that’s something that I want, or if I just see red flags a little easier now. All I know is, I’m happy with the peace that comes from being single.
That being said, I know a lot of people who do want to date again. I know plenty of people who don’t like being single, and that’s okay. Although, I would say don’t date just so you’re not single. Date for you and pick the right person.
Waiting after your divorce is worthwhile. Sure, play the field and get to know people, but don’t get into anything serious right away. You want to spend some time getting to know who you are. So, when is the right time to start dating after a divorce.
Get to know your own likes and dislikes
I’d suggest spending some time getting to know who you are as a person. If you married young, you may not have had the time to figure out who you are in that time. You became a wife and then probably a mother. You need to figure out yourself as a single woman.
Figure out what you like about the world, your hobbies, and in the people you date. Figure out what you don’t like. Gain confidence in this. It will help you find someone who you connect to when you’re dating.
Of course, if you’re just dating around to get some freedom and waste time, you don’t need to figure out all your likes and dislikes. You may figure them out along the way. But before you date seriously, spend time dating yourself.
Figure out your own issues before you start dating after a divorce
We all have pasts, and we all have issues. There is no way around any of that. Some of us gain issues from childhood, while others gain them from dating in our adult years. Your recent marriage may have involved traumatic incidents or abuse.
As soon as I got out of my marriage, I immediately worked with my therapist to deal with the entire situation. I was able to get help to deal with trauma from years earlier and the trauma from the abuse cycle of my ex-husband. This was important to get to know who I was.
You see, I jumped straight into dating after my ex-husband told me he was having an affair. Why should my abuser get to be happy and not me? The problem is, I didn’t actually want to date people. I realized that while I was on dates, but I couldn’t admit that to myself. It was part of my trauma cycle that I needed to break, and my therapist helped with that.
Since then, I’ve been able to work through all my issues. Well, I acknowledge them. It’s important to do this and start treatments so you don’t bring your issues into a new relationship.
If I see someone I’m dating still has issues with their ex, I’m out. I don’t care if it’s them or the ex causing the problems. I don’t want to deal with that. My sanity is worth more.
Be open to the possibility
You may be a little closed off after you divorced. That’s normal; a lot of people are. You may not be sure you’re ready to start dating after a divorce, and that’s perfectly understandable. What is worth doing is being open to the possibility.
You don’t need to be on dating sites. In fact, I hate them, but Tinder is good when I’m bored for the weekend. Be open in other areas of your life. You don’t know who is out there or where they are. The chances of those grocery store run-ins that you see in the rom-coms are unlikely, but what about where you take your kids for their extracurricular activities, or what about the hobbies that you have?
Be open once you’ve figured out what you like and don’t. Do it when you’ve started working on your own issues. This way, you’re ready to dive into whatever The Fates send your way.
The simple answer to when you should start dating after a divorce is when you’re ready. By honest with yourself. Don’t date because you’re scared of being alone or because you need validation from other people. Date because this is something that you want.