8 Tips for Dating After Divorce in 2022

If you thought dating was difficult enough the first time around, after divorce it can seem like a whole new ballgame. You may be asking yourself what the dating dos and don’ts are now. How you get it right this time around. How you date with children in the picture. What your ex needs to know, if anything at all. We can help make it easier with these tips on dating after divorce.

When Should You Start Dating After Divorce?

Before we get to the ‘how,’ let’s dive into when the right time is to start dating after divorce. The answer is that it depends. The end of a marriage can make you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about relationships, the opposite sex, and even yourself. What’s more, the emotional impact of even the most amicable divorce takes time to process. 

That’s why, according to Psychology Today, as a general rule it’s recommended to wait at least one year before getting into a new relationship. Taking this time allows you to:

  • Adjust to your new normal
  • Mourn the loss of your marriage
  • Become confident in your independence
  • Sort out living arrangements, custody, and joint assets
  • Adjust to a new financial status

That said, one year is really an arbitrary timeline. Some people are ready to get back into the dating scene sooner and some may take longer to feel ready. Factors that affect the timing include:

  • Length of the marriage – The longer the marriage, the longer it can take to grieve.
  • Who divorced who – Typically, the one who initiated the divorce is ready to move on sooner.
  • How you cope – Those who have healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with loss and stress tend to take less time before dating again.
  • How or why the relationship ended – If infidelity or abuse was the catalyst that ended the marriage, those wounds understandably take longer to heal than having mutual differences or growing apart.

Dating Tips for Divorcees

Once you feel emotionally, mentally, and physically healthy and ready to date again, we recommend these tips:

  1. Be honest with anyone you date that you are divorced; it’s nothing to hide!
  2. Be honest about what you are looking for – With yourself and anyone, you date. And that should not simply be finding someone to complete you or to fill a void you may feel. If you’re unsure what you want, consider what went wrong in the marriage from both perspectives and work from there.
  3. Trust your gut – Many people sound good on paper or on that dating app you’re trying out, but if your gut is telling you something is off, then listen to it. Don’t put yourself in danger, emotionally or physically, just for the sake of getting back out there again.
  4. Be open to new possibilities – While it’s good to trust your gut, at the same time don’t close yourself off to new possibilities just because something could go wrong. Or, always follow the same old patterns; maybe what you always thought was your ‘type’ really isn’t.
  5. Set reasonable expectations – It’s certainly possible to find love again, although it may not be with the first person you date after your divorce. Instead of comparing everyone you date to your ex or to romance novel standards, look at this as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and this new life you’re creating. 
  6. Know your worth – However, setting reasonable expectations doesn’t mean settling for someone who isn’t really what you want, changing yourself just to make someone else happy, or ignoring red flags. You have every right to walk away and no reason to waste your time on someone who doesn’t deserve you!
  7. Be careful when online dating – You know this, but it’s worth repeating. Make sure you know the dangers, common scams, and how to stay safe. At the same time, research the sites/apps to find the ones most suited to you as some may target specific niches like people over 50, newly widowed, or divorced, for example.
  8. Tread lightly when sharing the news – If you don’t have kids, then your personal life is no longer your ex’s business. And that holds true even if you have kids together, to an extent. You certainly don’t have to keep everyone apprised of every date you go on, but if you are dating someone that you’re becoming serious with you’ll want to talk to your kids and your ex about it. As far as your ex, stick with how your relationship may or may not affect your co-parenting schedules. When it comes to the kids, assure them that they’re always first in your heart and encourage them to share their feelings and concerns and to ask questions.

For additional information on how our online coaching and mediation services can help you in during and after divorce, contact us today to learn more.

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