To date, or not to date: that is the question — and one you should not be afraid to ask yourself.
Is your heart still too tender from your break-up? Will you be able to appreciate the unique personal attributes of your new prospective partners, or will you spend the whole date comparing them with those of your ex? Will you be looking for excuses not to connect in order to “protect” yourself from another heartbreak?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then definitely take time off from the dating merry-go-round. Here are five more warning signs that you’re not ready to jump back into the dating fray:
Sign #1: You are still angry at the way your ex treated you. When we can’t address our anger to those who have hurt us, we sometimes lash out at others. Don’t bash a whole gender just because the apple you picked was rotten. Instead, seek counseling to put your past situation into perspective, and let each relationship you have stand or fall on its own merits.
Sign #2: You cannot quit talking about your ex and how your marriage ended. A date will empathize with the problems you confronted in your marriage — to a point. But if you go on and on about what went wrong, soon you’ll be viewed as a one-note symphony, and an off-key one at that. Your new friend isn’t looking to dwell in the past with you, but to perhaps share a future, so move forward.
Sign #3: You shy away from any emotional connection offered by your date. You have every right to feel vulnerable. That said, it’s wise for you to wait on dating if the mere suggestion of moving your new relationship to a more exclusive stage makes you want to flee in the other direction and never turn back. Face it: you may be ready for new friends, but you aren’t ready for a new relationship.
Sign #4: You now have trust issues. If every offhand remark made by your dates causes you to question their honesty, or, because some action on your dates’ part puts a damper on the evening because it reminds you of something your ex did, don’t waste your time or theirs. Instead, find a therapist who can help you separate your past from your future.
Sign #5: The thought of physical intimacy either leaves you cold or becomes a cold-hearted game. After a divorce, many men may use physical intimacy as a barrier to emotional intimacy. Many women will shrink from any physical contact whatsoever. Both reactions make it more difficult for them to get back in touch with the joy of intimacy with a partner — primarily because they are unable to love or trust at this point in their lives. First things first: you must first open your heart to others in order to move beyond lust and into love.