Why It's Essential to Wait to Date After Divorce

Many newly divorced people receive advice from loved ones and friends to "get back out there" and date right away, advice that is rarely beneficial. Since the fear of not finding a person with whom to spend one's life is real, dating advice makes sense to many people. It also may seem to be a good way to alleviate the myriad of emotions floating around in the mind and heart, like loneliness and uncertainty.

But entering the dating scene immediately is not the right decision when it comes to healing post-divorce. There is a reason why second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first, so do yourself a favor and don't rush into dating before working on yourself. Let's look at some ways to get ready for dating post-divorce.

Finding the new you

Getting ready to date after divorce starts with tuning deeply into the heart to recognize and feel all of the feelings. It is ok to get mad, cry, scream and feel sorry for oneself for a time… but then those feelings need to be replaced with positive action — planning a new life and envisioning what it will look like.

Our brains are programmed to present more of what we focus upon, so if we fall into a victim state (a negative state where we believe things happen TO us and don't recognize we have control over our own lives), our brains will continue to bring more negativity. To attract the "right" person — the one who best compliments the new version of us — we must first work on ourselves and create a plan for moving forward from divorce. In other words, we need to discover the new "me" before we can again become "we." This is the only way to give any new relationship a chance to succeed.

Stop blaming and accept what IS

Divorce can lead to a build-up of negative energy, which can easily push one into a victim state. From here, it is common to blame both the ex-spouse and oneself for the marriage's demise and any ramifications. Still, both have some level of responsibility as marriage involves two people. Accept that there is no blame — it just IS.

As the past cannot be changed, focusing on the present will help tweak the mindset to get out of the victim state, and these big weights, once lifted, will pave the way toward a new love relationship when the timing is right. Try to catch yourself every time you blame or judge your former spouse or yourself, then come back to the present moment and focus on moving forward.

Shifting energy

Truly knowing ourselves and what we want is how energy is shifted. A positive mindset is key to changing energy levels and creating a new existence after divorce; it leads to self-love, which is necessary before one can truly love another. When the mind is positive, happiness prevails, and it is easier to get through temporary bouts of frustration, sadness or stagnation — which do happen along the journey (since we are human).

A few fun ways to start feeling more positive are to journal feelings and experiences throughout the healing process, get outside in nature and move the body daily, eat healthily, listen to inspirational music, cut out television, laugh as much as possible and find the right support network.

Knowing when it's time to date

As you do the healing work (keeping in mind that healing oneself is never truly "done"), there will come a time when you will feel infinitely better, stronger, more focused and excited about life and the future. Most importantly, you will own your self-worth, know how the new life will look, and feel energized to take steps toward it. A lightness from within will be felt, which comes from shedding negative beliefs, people and situations that do not serve your new life goals. It will be easy to notice the change in energy, and others may even comment on it. It is around this time that it will be clear one is ready to date.

At this point, it's smart to list qualities one desires in a mate. The list can be short or long and divided into "must" and "would be nice" qualities if desired. Really listen to intuition and your heart in creating this list. Use visualization to see the person you envision — picture yourself doing things you enjoy together and having conversations where you and your partner-to-be can communicate and share feelings openly.

If you are not a fan of online dating, that is ok, but you need to get out and do things with friends so you are exposed to potential people to date. You also can sign up for classes — but not online! It is imperative to physically go to the classes. There you will meet like-minded people. If you can find something active to do, that is usually a great place to meet people you may decide to date.

This can range from participation in sports or lessons to Meet-Up groups, classes and local community events like beach/nature cleanups or charity events — the list is endless. The only rule is to choose something you enjoy or want to try.

New love relationships post-divorce

Whether one decides to use dating sites or meet people organically, the changes made within oneself will attract people who are different from that one may have attracted before healing, so the new relationships will have a higher chance of lasting and bringing joy. Love with a partner after divorce can be magical when patience is exercised at the beginning of the journey. Taking time to heal and establish self-love and a plan for moving forward from healing can lead to a beautiful love connection with another person, one filled with mutual respect, support, vulnerability and truth.

Make a commitment to work on healing after divorce before dating. It will enable you to define the new you, design a beautiful new life and understand what you desire and need from a partner so you can attract the right person and a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship.


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