How Do You Know If You’re Ready To Date Again After A Divorce?

How Do You Know If You’re Ready To Date Again After A Divorce?

Divorce shakes you up radically and there’s no way around it. Even if you were the initiating party or you saw the split as inevitable, it’s still a cataclysmic event. Your entire way of being is changing drastically and you will need time to ground yourself and process your “uncoupling”.

Who we become when we are divorcing is not who we truly are. Divorce isn’t for the faint of heart. It is an ugly process that rarely involves any dignity. Lawyers and other strangers are reading court papers dissecting your flaws and the history of your married life. To endure these trials and assaults we become a shadow of our true selves. It is not until we come out the other side that we can start to see how far from our best selves we may have been. It’s very hard to create a new romance from that place. Divorce is in many ways the loss of a dream and healing the heart takes time.

Once you’re well into your second chapter, a divorce can ultimately lead to a lot of beneficial personal growth. It’s an opportunity to redefine your goals and what you might eventually require in a future partner. But dating is something to put off in the beginning. While you might like to think you’re ready for it, it will likely compound whatever else you are feeling. Dating adds excitement and distraction – and who isn’t desperate for a distraction? But it also adds uncertainty to what is already a tumultuous time and that comes with a high emotional price tag. Plunging back into the dating pool too quickly can make you even more vulnerable if it isn’t going well. A few early disappointments could leave you feeling bleak about your future dating prospects.

Marriage is work, as we all know…

One positive thing that the painful process of divorce taught me was that it put the fear of God in me of screwing up and making a huge mess again. It has made me work a hell of a lot harder in my second marriage than my first. Marriage is work, as we all know, but it’s also a living breathing entity that affects many more lives than just the immediate couple’s. Getting a divorce is a nightmarish process, no matter how evolved you are. It just is and it’s designed to be that way as a deterrent.

When you’re not in pain every moment, when you’ve stopped thinking about, obsessing or railing against your ex, then you might be ready. Everybody is on their own unique timetable. Only you know when you’re ready. Why rush? There will always be people to date. Men often jump back in quickly but giving yourself the necessary time to grieve and process the complexities of your new life pays great dividends. Ease back in slowly and be gentle with yourself. Easy does it and remember – Tinder isn’t a great plan for the newly single!

Tara EllisonAbout the author: After enduring her own ‘miserable divorce’ Tara Ellison realized that what she needed most was a good laugh and she turned to her passion for writing. 


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