Most people who have struggled through a painful divorce are in no rush to start dating again but for some the idea of finding love again is too tempting to resist. There is something special about this time of year when the weather calls for snuggling and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
So when is the right time to move on? The answer is deeply personal and is different for everyone, but if it is on your mind there may be a few things you should keep in mind if you are thinking about dating again.
Give yourself some time.
Divorce is a loss and just like any other loss it takes time to grieve. Allow yourself space and time for that grief. While no one is going to give an exact timeline for moving on, most people find it helpful to take at least a year away from the dating game.
Wait until the divorce is final.
Your marriage may have been over for some time before officially filing for divorce but you never know how ugly the process can get when one side’s feelings are hurt. Moving on before the final paperwork is done can cause issues you never expected both legally and emotionally. Let the ink dry and let yourself reflect on the relationship before you go and start a new one.
Examine your reasons
If you feel eager to get dating again, make sure you have examined why. Is it because this new person is someone you seem truly compatible with or is the urge just to fill a void? Are you trying to make an ex jealous? If your interest in a relationship is truly because you have an interest in a person and are not just seeking validation then you should follow your wishes but be careful about it.
Adjust your expectations
Dating is not going to be the same after divorce. Even if you find someone who is a good person with the same values as you, you are not the same person you were before your divorce and you probably have different expectations of your partner as well. Take some time to recognize which expectations are healthy and which are a result of a bad experience in the past. Don’t move forward with unfair assumptions and stick to the new boundaries you have created for your life.
Start out slow
If you do decide to date again, take it slow and be open and honest. Be honest not only with yourself and your future partner but with your former spouse as well. While they should not ultimately control who you see and how soon you start dating, you should respect how your dating life may impact them–especially if you share children.
Ultimately it is up to you when you start dating again. When you feel ready, move forward with confidence.
Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.