Dating After Divorce: When And How To Find New Love
By: Robert Porter
Updated February 08, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Cessel Boyd
Getting through a divorce is not necessarily going to be easy. When you're trying to move on after your previous marriage didn't work out, you might not even know how to approach finding someone new to love. If it has been quite some time since you have dated, it can be a somewhat scary process. Try not to worry because you aren't alone in feeling this way. It's possible to find a new love interest and to reignite the flame of romance in your life as long as you keep certain things in mind while looking.
Don't Rush Into A New Relationship
One of the biggest mistakes people make after getting divorced is rushing into dating someone new too fast. You might feel like you want to connect with someone new romantically, but your heart might not be ready for something yet. You need to try to give yourself some time to process what has happened. This will allow you to feel prepared for something new with someone, and you won't just be jumping into a relationship when you're emotionally vulnerable.
There are situations where people will try to find someone new to date to make their previous lover feel jealous. Even if you think this will make you feel good, it's not going to be something you should do. Finding a new romantic partner is a good idea, but you need to do it on your terms. This should be something that you want to do for yourself, and you should do it at a time that feels natural for you.
Some people feel emotionally ready to date again after a divorce fairly quickly. It might take you a few months to gather your thoughts and get ready to date someone new. Other people might need to take a year to enjoy being independent again. Don't rush yourself simply because you feel like you should be with someone. Also, don't concern yourself with whether your ex-husband or ex-wife is dating again already. What your ex is doing shouldn't play into the decisions that you make for your love life.
Dating Doesn't Have To Mean Sex
You should also keep in mind that dating doesn't necessarily have to mean sex. At least at first. Becoming comfortable with someone new might take you a bit of time. Once you meet someone nice, you might want to enjoy getting to know them for a while simply. Going out on dates can be about building a connection, and it doesn't have to lead to sexual intercourse. Your relationship might become sexual later on down the line, but it's good to take things at your own pace.
Going a bit slow when getting into a relationship with someone new after a divorce is recommended. You might wind up feeling hurt over your failed marriage for quite some time. It's possible to move on, but you want to feel like things are progressing naturally with your new relationship. Try to date someone comfortable with taking things slow if that is the direction you want to go.
You Don't Have To Date Exclusively At First
Finding the right partner can take some time, and you won't always know if you have a connection until you've had a few dates. You might want to consider not dating exclusively so that you can meet multiple people and see how things go. The idea is to find someone nice that you're going to be compatible with. Limiting yourself to one person at a time and going exclusive too soon might wind up being counterproductive.
Consider going out with several people casually to see if you have a connection with them. Eventually, it will become clear if you're feeling a romantic inclination toward one of them. Once you start feeling this way, you can see if they're interested in dating exclusively, and things can progress from there.
What About My Kids?
Another problem that recent divorcees encounter is figuring out how to move on while still raising children. If you're taking care of your kids, then bringing someone new into their lives might feel like a bit of a problem. You don't want your kids to feel like you're trying to replace their mom or dad. Even so, you deserve to have a partner who loves you, and you shouldn't have to hide that once you find someone that you mesh well with.
If you start dating, you can take your time to get to know this person before introducing them to your children. Of course, it's imperative to date someone comfortable with the fact that you have children. If the relationship is more than a fling, they must be able to get along with your kids. When you introduce them, take your time and understand that your kids might need some time to adjust to this new dynamic.
The fact that your kids will likely still be reeling from the divorce is another reason not to jump into a relationship right away. If you have adult children, then it will be less of an issue. Even so, it can still be a bit awkward to have to introduce the new man or woman in your life. Just wait until you know that your new partner is someone special and that they will likely be sticking around for a while.
Meet People In Natural Ways When Possible
Meeting someone to date might feel like the most intimidating part of the process. If you were married for a long time, then you might feel like dating is completely different than what you remember from a decade or two ago. Things are indeed a lot different than they used to be. In modern times, many people date using dating apps or online dating websites. These can be good ways to find people to go out on dates with, but you don't have to go this route if it doesn't feel like a natural fit for you.
It might wind up being better to try to meet people in natural ways simply. For example, you might encounter single men or women while attending church or through other types of social groups. Meeting people at the gym or engaging in a volunteer activity might feel like a natural way to connect. Just understand that you don't have to make a Tinder profile to get a date. You can go that route if you would like to, but there are still natural ways to meet people.
If you are interested in certain hobbies, you might meet people just by doing what you love. Music lovers often meet like-minded individuals by attending concerts. Meeting a potential romantic partner at church makes sense for religious people since you'll be meeting someone who likely shares your values. Just keep your wits about you and use your best judgment when looking for a new partner.
Dating Apps Can Be Good Too
Dating apps can be good, too, if you're willing to embrace them. If you're serious about finding a new partner, then a dating website or app could be a fast way to meet other singles who are looking. Depending on your level of comfort with such things, this might even feel completely natural. Honestly, many people date this way in modern times, and it isn't unusual at all. Many would even go so far as to say that it's very convenient.
You need to decide whether online dating makes you feel comfortable. It's possible to meet people online, and you might have an easier time finding people quickly if you're feeling like making an amorous connection fast. Just remember the earlier advice about not jumping into anything too fast. You don't want to go faster than your heart can handle, and you also don't want to hurt someone else due to not being ready for a true relationship.
Remember To Take Time For Yourself
Dating is good, but you shouldn't forget to take time out for yourself. As a recent divorcee, you don't want to feel like you're putting yourself back into a situation where you aren't free to do as you please. There is nothing wrong with wanting to spread your wings a little bit to experience life from new perspectives. For this reason, you should be ready to take time out for yourself even when you do start seeing someone new.
Take the time to focus on your hobbies and have fun with your friends. Your love life can become a part of your life rather than being something that takes over your life completely. If you can find someone with a similar outlook on life, this could just fine. Try to nurture your life interests and be ready to enjoy the new and more independent you.
Counseling Might Be Necessary
Healing after going through a divorce can take time, and you might even need professional help to get over certain issues. Reaching out to online counselors is a great idea if you're trying to put yourself in a position to find new love. These professionals will be able to help you at any time, and you'll be able to get help without needing to leave home. It's convenient, and it's a good way to get over emotional trauma on your own time.
If you are dating someone new and wind up needing help to get your relationship where it needs to be, then you can even count on online couples counseling to help. This will help you develop good communication to avoid the issues that harmed your past relationship with your ex-husband or ex-wife. Don't hesitate to contact online relationship counselors if you want help.
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