Dating after your divorce can be exciting but stressful. Transitioning from a married woman to a single person takes time. Many issues, such as children, your marriage experiences, work responsibilities, relatives and other relationships, can determine your readiness to date after divorce. Like other losses, the ending of your marriage can create feelings of grief and a time of transition. You may need time to work through the many stages of loss before you start dating again. Being honest with yourself will help you realize when you are ready to begin dating.
Scrutinize your feeling toward your ex-husband. Make a list of the things about him that still make you furious. Mark these items off as your anger subsides. Ongoing anger and unresolved feelings toward your ex-husband can cause issues in a new relationship. Work on forgiving him and yourself. Talk to a respected mentor or spiritual leader to help you accomplish this tough task. Forgiveness allows you to move forward in your life and relationships.
Examine your self-image. Divorce can damage your confidence, making it difficult to form new relationships. Boost your confidence by getting in shape, consuming a healthy diet of nutritious foods and taking care of your appearance. Feeling good about who you are allows you to form healthy relationships with others.
Observe your fluctuating emotions. You may feel negative emotions, such as fear, sadness, guilt, anger or anxiety. According to the “Psychology Today Magazine” website, these feelings can cause you to feel desperate, make poor decisions and jump into a bad relationship. These post-divorce feelings may take time to resolve. Consult a professional therapist or counselor, if you have trouble processing your emotions or feel stuck in sadness or anger.
Talk to your children. Like their parents, children require time to adjust to life after divorce. Children may feel confused and displaced after a divorce and may experience difficulties adjusting to this big change in lifestyle. Encourage your children to discuss their concerns and feelings. Assure them of your love for them and let them know that new friends in your life, including male friends, won’t take you away from them or cause you to love them less.
Ask yourself if you are ready for a change. As feelings of sadness and stress begin to fade, you may feel a desire to get out and have some fun. Wanting to meet new people is a positive sign that you may be ready to date. Allow yourself time to grieve, but give yourself permission to move beyond the sadness and to begin dating again.
- happy couple image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com