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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Divorce Magazine offers some helpful tips for re-entering the dating world.
TORONTO, ON (Feb. 13, 2015) — Before separated or divorced people should even consider dating again, they need to make sure they’re past the “walking wounded” stage following their relationship breakdown. How long will it take to reach this stage” According to divorce experts Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert Alberti, the co-authors of Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends: “Studies indicate that on the average it takes about a year to get up above the tree line (past the really painful, negative stages of the climb), and longer to reach the top. Some will make it in less time, others in more. Some research suggests that a few in our climbing party will need as long as three to five years. After separation or divorce, you might be ready to start dating again if:
- the thought of your ex-spouse no longer generates intense feelings of anger, hatred, or grief;
- you no longer feel the need to talk about or badmouth your ex ad nauseam;
- revenge fantasies don’t excite you anymore;
- you realize that you haven’t even thought about your ex in months.
Before separated or divorced people start dating again, however, there may be one more crucial obstacle to hurdle: their relationship with themselves. During and after divorce, self-esteem can take a real beating. “If someone doesn’t think he or she is a pretty great person with lots to offer a new partner, they need to work on rebuilding their self-esteem before going out in search of a soulmate,” advises Diana Shepherd, Editorial Director and Co-Founder of Divorce Magazine. “The first thing divorced people need to do is to restore their self-confidence to a healthy level. At the same time, they should work on discovering their new, single identity.” Divorce offers people the opportunity to re-invent themselves: either as the person, they were before marriage, or the person they’ve always wanted to be. “Separated or divorced people need to find out who they are now before they can start looking for someone to date,” says Shepherd.
Tips for Dating after Separation and Divorce
- Do try to look good. Some people neglect their appearance during their marriage or divorce; now’s the time to update that hairstyle and buy an outfit from this decade!
- Do prepare a short, sane answer to the question: “What caused the divorce” This is enough information for a first date: “I’ve been divorced for about two years now. It was a friendly divorce, and I wish my ex all the best.”
- Do listen at least as much as you talk, and make lots of eye contact.
- Do remember to smile: dating is supposed to be fun!
- Don’t start spewing hate and vitriol or burst into tears when discussing the ex-spouse or divorce. If this happens, rethink dating at this time.
- Don’t interrogate the other person. The object is to have fun while getting to know each other – not to interview for the position of “next spouse.”
- Don’t fight about who picks up the check.
- Don’t sleep with him/her on your first date.
For more about rebuilding self-esteem post-divorce, read “Recovering Your Self-Esteem”. For more advice about relationships and dating after divorce, go to: www.divorcemag.com/relationships-and-dating