Dating After Divorce: What You Need to Know
After going through the stress of going through a divorce, even if it was an uncontested divorce, home can feel a bit empty and it’s easy to start feeling like it’s time to get out there. But it’s important to take some time to mourn if you haven’t as it’s a natural process when someone who’s been close to us is no longer a part of our lives. Take a little time to be self-reflective and get reacquainted with yourself and your individuality. Once you’re ready, here’s a few tips to help you move forward.
Ensure Your Divorce or Separation is Finalized
Your relationship may have been over for some time, and while you may even be living apart, It’s a good practice to give it some time before you start dating after divorce. While there’s no ‘right time’ to start dating again, many relationship experts suggest giving it a year or so after your divorce is final. Yeah, it’s tempting to lick your wounds and seek attention from others, but it can inhibit the healing process.
Are You Dating for the Right Reasons
It’s important to ask yourself if you’re dating for the right reasons. Be honest with yourself if you’re looking to avoid feelings of hurt, anger or loneliness. If you are, then it may be best to take a little more time for healing and self-reflection. If you feel the need to get out of the house, keep spending time with friends and family. If you’re willing to embrace all the emotions that dating can come with, then it’s a good sign you’re ready. Dating requires a certain amount of vulnerability, tolerance and uncertainty. Your willingness to accept those emotions is a great sign it’s time to move forward.
Set Reasonable Expectations
It’s easy to think about what you want and don’t want in a person based on what you’ve had for years, but remember that you don’t have to marry or continue seeing the first person you date. Keep it casual and light.
A common mistake in dating after divorce is thinking a new relationship will be problem free. That one can solve the previous issues with a new relationship. However, we are all just imperfect humans, and life will continue to have challenges. Build a friendship and see where it leads.
Be Honest About Your Past
If you can accept yourself and your past with all if it’s foibles and imperfections, it makes it much easier for others to feel that acceptance from others. Be yourself and allow others to accept you and your past as is. While you don’t have to share every detail on the first date, it’s good just to be honest as questions arise, and as the relationship grows, so can the amount that is shared.
Dating after divorce can be a bit scary or even intimidating. Just remember why you got divorced in the first place – To live a better, happier life. So allow the dating process to be about meeting new people more than ‘finding someone’. It will be a natural result.
Written by: the Divorce Fast Team
Our team of Ontario lawyers has over 15 years of experience handling divorce and other family law matters.
All of our lawyers are in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, and have the knowledge and experience to help and guide you through your family law issues. Whether your matter pertains to divorce, separation, custody/access, or support claims, we are the firm for you.
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