Whether you initiated it or your ex did, divorce is difficult and you may be left with emptiness or panic. You may be drained from a long relationship that left you wounded or grieving. You may be completely closed off to the idea of having another relationship. Or, you may want to start dating after divorce and jump right into another relationship in quest of immediate soothing, or desire to prove to yourself that you are still attractive.
Jumping into another relationship before you are ready can lead to more disappointments and hurt. It’s important to work on grief and divorce recovery if you want to get to the right place to start another relationship. The following are the four things to work on before getting back into the dating world.
4 Things to Consider Before You Start Dating After Divorce
1. Healing your self-esteem
Break-ups and divorce can take a toll on our self-esteem. You may have been lost in the marriage and neglected your needs or your self-care. You may be physically and emotionally exhausted. You gave yourself completely, but did not nourish your own interests or goals. You may remember how lively you used to be before you got married. The marriage and your family might have consumed you completely. Now, after it’s all over, you are standing above the abyss. You feel like you don’t have the ground under your feet. Taking time to rediscover your passions and taking care of yourself will put you in a better space to find a relationship that you truly want.
2. Figuring out what you want in a relationship and life in general
Allowing for the time to heal can help you sort out your feelings and allow you to determine how you want to live your life. This will help you when it comes to dating after divorce and finding the right partner. The more you are clear about yourself, the easier it can be to find the right partner with whom you will have a lot in common. You are a different person after a marriage under your belt. Your values and needs are different than when you were on the dating scene last time. The good news is that you already may know what you don’t want based on your last marriage. It may be the time to gain clarity on what you want, and this will help you with creating an intent that will lead you to your goal.
After a divorce, you may feel victimized and powerless. When you take time to reflect, you can acknowledge your part in the dysfunction of your previous marriage and take responsibility for your own contribution to your situation. There was a need that this person met for you at some point in your life. You were attracted to them. Even though your ex may be narcissistic, violent, or rude, there is a part of you responsible for the relationship. It could be the fact that you didn’t know better, or maybe you settled by disregarding your values and needs. Or, perhaps, you were so young and you didn’t even know your true values and needs. Now, you have grown apart. You were madly in love with him, and there was nothing that your family or friends could have said to sway you away from your decision to marry him. They may have been right when they warned you.
You went through a lot with him. It’s important to note that you are not responsible for the abuse you endured, but you can gain the insight into what attracted you to this person and you can make sure you avoid being attracted to the same or similar person in the future. Learning these things will help you avoid similar mistakes when dating after divorce. Taking responsibility can lead you to feeling more powerful, instead of feeling like a victim. This can put you in the position of creating your own life and making choices that will work for you instead of being a passive recipient and dependent on being liked and accepted by a potential partner.
4. Creating clear intent and figuring out how to get to your goal
After healing and the grieving process, you know what you want, you took responsibility for your part in the past relationship, and you are able to have a clear vision of your desires and goals. Now you can create an intent that will further lead you to have a powerful attitude in regards to your life. Do you want a casual relationship, another life partner, better relationships with your children or even yourself, or are you just OK with the way things are?
Working on the above issues will help lead you to be in a better place to make your goals happen. You will be more clear, confident, happy, satisfied, and authentic. All these qualities are attractive to good confident men in the dating world and may help you when it comes to dating after divorce. Moreover, you will be able to make choices that will work for you whatever your goal is in terms of relationships or anything else.