Dating after divorce is a fresh start. A new beginning.
When a marriage ends you go through a whole range of emotions. You are not sure now if you ever knew what love was or you doubt yourself or blame your ex. Instead of playing the blame game, be honest and explore yourself on a deeper level. Explore your needs and desires so that you can have some idea what you are looking in your future partner. Take time to grieve, heal, let go of bitterness and come to a healthy emotional state before you start dating again. And when you feel ready, make a list of traits that are not acceptable to you. It is important to have them to make sure you have a successful and fulfilling relationship before you start dating after your divorce.
Non-Negotiables for Dating After Divorce
Each person has her or his own non-negotiables. There are no rights and wrongs. These can be both positive traits as well as dealbreakers. I discovered my non-negotiables after I got divorced. I was hellbent on making my next relationship healthy for both sides. For instance, one of my non-negotiables is an insecure man who as a result becomes needy, suspicious and wants to be around me 24 hours in the name of love. That is not acceptable to me. Some people need space and alone time to function properly, time for hobbies or passions, or time with other people – friends or family. Without this time, they feel suffocated and caged. This can result in resentment which is not good for any successful relationship/marriage.
Once you figure out your non-negotiables, it is always a good idea to share them with your potential partner. This is not an easy task but you must put yourself first. If you are not happy with yourself, your choices, and your life, you cannot be happy in a relationship.
So, when is the right time to discuss your non-negotiables with your potential partner?
It depends on the situation. If for example, having similar political views is very important to you and both of you begin having a political debate, that would be a good time to talk about your non-negotiable.
Sharing your non-negotiables also depends on what stage of dating you are at. Some feel that it is better to talk in the initial stages of dating and some share when it becomes exclusive and committed. Whenever you decide to share, it would need tactful communication.
Once you share, you have to stick to them. Remember, these are your non-negotiables, these are the things that make you who you are, and you don’t want to compromise on your core values for your relationship bliss, no matter what. Stay true to yourself. Love and know your own worth.
There are many needs and wants that can be worked on to thrive in a relationship. If you are willing to respect one another’s needs and work together towards finding solutions to your disagreements, you can have a fulfilling and happy relationship.
Dating after divorce doesn’t have to be hard! Create healthy relationships with mutual understanding and trust, and you will be on the right track.
Sonali Kukreja is a Certified Life Coach, Psychologist, Visual Artist. Her Ph.D. research was on Marital Adjustment and being divorced herself, she made her a mission to help others by presenting thought provoking questions and spreading awareness about relationships. Born and raised in India she currently lives in South Florida, United States. www.serenecompositions.com