• dating questions 27.09.2007

    I stumbled across this question from yahoo answers, as it was on the yahoo front page. The question itself was pretty incomplete in my mind, and so was the best rated answer. I think the best rated answer was more of an affirmation that the question asker was looking for than a really good answer. Kind of like the advice that many people are looking for when calling a relationship psychic.

    There is no one answer fits all to this question. How soon to date after a divorce is going to be on a case by case basis. There are so many factors involved. A few that come to mind off the bat include:

    1. How long were you married?
    2. What are your dating goals?
    3. Have you processed your feelings and healed your heart?

    Several relationship books and experiences in my life suggest that a one third rule is pretty close. For example, if you were married for 2 years, and were in an exclusive relationship with your ex for a year prior, then you have a 3 year total. Take one third of that (one year), and you have an average amount of time that is may take to process your feelings, heal your hurts, and become emotionally ready to move on into the dating pool without too much baggage. This number varies with many factors, including how many other unprocessed feelings from other relationships you may have, and if you have slowed down the healing process by indulging in drugs or alcohol. Of course there are also methods of speeding up this process, and I recommend the mothods outlined in the book from John Gray, Mars and Venus Starting Over: A Practical Guide for Finding Love Again After a Painful Breakup, Divorce, or the Loss of a Loved One.

    Of course your dating goals are a factor. If you are just looking to get out and be sociable, have some fun and all that, then dating at anytime should be fine. I think it is important to be honest with a date about your goals. If you are just looking to meet some new people, have an excuse to put on some nice clothes and get out of the house, then say so. I always make sure to tell a would be date what mode I am in. If the person I am going out with is looking for a lover to get serious with and is thinking I may a good candidate for living together and taking care of their kids, yet I am just looking for a good time, and know that I am a while away from emotional availability, then I make it known. Sometimes people go out with different goals and expectations. It is much better to be up front about your dating goals, this will save both of you from a potential embarrassing evening.

    Processing the feelings from previous relationships is the mature thing to do. When someone takes you out, it is not their job to be an unpaid therapist, or your emotional tampon. It is not fair to someone who is looking to you for possible intimacy only to find that the slow song they want to ask you to dance to brings tears to your eyes because you have unfinished baggage to process. There are books, group meetings and counselors that can help you get rid of those old feelings so you can be open and ready to find love again, take advantage of the knowledge that is out there. You may find the real love you are looking for, but you will have a hard time finding it if you are constantly having issues with the love you lost.

    I’m sure there are many other factors around these as well. If you have kids there are sure to be more, what kind of town you live in, and religious or other cultural considerations should also be weighed. Whatever you do, don’t divorce one day and start dating a relative, best friend or coworker of you ex anytime soon. Unless you are just begging to be on the Springer show, show a little maturity and respect, it will come back to you in the future.

    Please leave your comment or dating experience in the comment field below. I am interested in other people’s viewpoints, thoughts and feelings on this subject as well.

    Posted by Steven @ 11:36 am for dating questions |

    One Comment to "How soon to date after divorce?"

    • micha says:

      I think this is an interesting article. I’m in this situation right now and am facing the challenge of not really knowing what I want. Part of me wants a stable relationship, for companionship and intimacy, nothing too serious, but consistent…other part of me though believes that I’m not ready for that type of relationship…although I just finished dating someone for one year…it is a different approach when you are older, divorced and with so many responsibilities…
      Sometimes, I just wished I wouldn’t care about the quality, but just be social and carefree, oh well.. .:-)

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