Date After Separation and Divorce
Edited by Olivia, Lynn, Donna, Eng and 2 others
To date or not to date? This is the most asked question when one is already separated or divorced. Indeed, there are many things to consider when you're once a married man or woman.
Have you heard the line from a song, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy"? A man or woman who has experienced the process of divorce or separation may be a bit apprehensive about dating again. Some may date right after the divorce papers have been signed, but may not get emotionally involved. This may hurt the expecting partner. How will you know if you are ready to date after a divorce? How will you date after separation?
Are you ready to date?
Just because you're officially out of the past relationship that you've had does not mean that you're ready to date again. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide:
Are you angry with your ex?
If you are still angry with your ex lover, then you might not be ready yet. Chances are, when you start to date other people, you may end up comparing, consciously or subconsciously. You may have a mental checklist of the character traits that your ex has. Checking it against the character traits of the person you're dating is not fair. There are instances where some may go on a date hoping to run into your ex to spite him. It is not healthy in a sense that you are using your date to make your ex realize that you are a loss to him or her. You should date only because you like the person you're dating.
Can you afford to trust now?
When a relationship ends, most of the time, the reason is the other partner found someone new. This leaves the other partner angry and unable to trust. As such, he or she tends to see potential partners as unworthy of his or her trust. Though you date the person, you may end up investigating past relationships your date has had.
Do you blame yourself or the other party for the failed marriage or relationship?
Remember that "it takes two to tango." This means that, for a relationship to work, the individuals involved in such relationship should do their best to make it work. It is a known fact that each human being is unique. As such, individuals see relationship problems differently. Consequently, different individuals solve relationship issues differently. One may blame the other for his or her infidelity, while the other may blame himself for the failure of the relationship. Remember that a relationship that existed between two people will only remain existent depending on the willingness of the two persons. If one wishes to be free, then there's no relationship to maintain. Thus, no one is at fault. The relationship ended and you should not go on blaming yourself or anyone else.
Therefore, if you do not blame yourself and you're not angry with you ex partner, you may be on your way to healing the feelings of hurt you've experienced. If you feel that you can start to trust a potential partner, then you're ready to start dating again.
How to date after separation or divorce?
Now that you are ready to date, how can you go about asking that sweet colleague of yours to go out with you? How can you really say you think you like the idea of sipping coffee while the sun sets with that friend of yours?
Do not rush.
It's fairly common to get invited for dates, especially when your divorce becomes official. Men who've been wanting to ask you out might rush in and grab the opportunity. Though this is a nice compliment for you, you should not get overwhelmed and date each one of them. Take time to know them with interaction first, especially if they are colleagues of yours. If you're not comfortable with one-on-one dating, then you can go out as a group. It is much safer and more fun. You get to see how the person is with your friends or other colleagues. You can get to know them by observing their behavior and actions with other people. Men should also not rush into dating other girls right after the divorce. One should first take time to heal the past hurts, as well as resolve issues from the past relationship.
Consider your children.
Men and women who recently got divorced should not rush into dating because they have to consider their kids, too. If your kids are still young, you should take them into consideration when you want to date, especially if they are living with you. Unlike adults, kids do not have the same maturity level to cope with parents' divorces. Many of them will either hate you or your partner and could end up in a bad company. Focus on your children first and try to talk to them about the possibility of you taking a new partner in life. By doing so, you're showing that you respect their feelings and take them into consideration in this important aspect of your life.
Voice your limitations.
If and when you finally think you're ready to see and date a potential partner, make sure to voice your limitations. State what you expect from the date and that it may just be that you're just being friendly. It is entirely perfect to enjoy someone's company without getting involved romantically. There is no rush to jump into the next relationship after divorce. In fact, the divorce should be a reminder that you should take time before you choose your next partner.
Questions and Answers
Can someone put in a separation agreement that their spouse cannot date anyone for one year after the date of separation?
They want to put this in because they are saying that it is in the best interest of the children for the spouse not to date for one year, as it will focus the attention away from the kids.
I have heard of this agreement but understand that the term dating will need to be explained for this will not stop a person from having a person of the opposite gender as a friend or a person they are "talking to" yet are not dating.
Can I date right away after divorce or is it doomed to be a rebound relationship?
Waiting a year to get in a new relationship seems like a long time. Shouldn't I grab the chance for a new relationship while the opportunity is there today?. I have tried: I have tried to hold myself back but he is only visiting here for a few weeks.. I think it was caused by: He is a long-distance relationship prospect and I fear if I don't act now I will lose him to another woman.
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Recent edits by: SearchingLight, Eng, Donna