Major life changes carry with them a lot of discovery. If you’re going through or have gone through divorce, you may be on a journey of discovering exactly what you want from life. Recognizing where you stand after separation, in terms of yourself and others, can be a confusing process. You may be having realizations about your personal values, dreams, beliefs, and needs that differ now from before. The reality is that big changes push people to uncover truths about themselves. Dating after divorce is not only about physically replacing a gap that was left. It is about discovering who you are now and finding a partner who will uplift this version of you with love and understanding. In this article we share 5 tips for dating after divorce so that you can overcome any divorce guilt you may have and start your journey towards love and fulfillment.
1. Define What “Relationship” Means For You
Our perceptions of what a good relationship is are often influenced by scenarios that aren’t our own. These include what society tells us is right, what is presented to us in the media and what we see in the relationships our friends and family have. When coming out of a divorce, it is important that we also take time to define what a relationship may mean for us, so that we don’t get stuck in old patterns. This can sometimes be a long process, but often benefits from a balance of perspectives.
For example, your loved ones may have an outside look on how you approach relationships. It can be valuable to speak with them about what they have noticed in your marriage to help you outline your current boundaries and needs. Although their opinions are important, remember that at the end of the day, only you can define your needs for yourself. If you are struggling to grasp where you stand after your divorce, consider speaking with a therapist to help you find healthy ways of coping with significant change.
2. Give Yourself Time To Grieve
Whether your divorce was long and highly traumatic or amicable and simple, grief will be a part of the process. You may be familiar with the stages of divorce grieving that include denial, fear, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. It is important to allow yourself to naturally go through each of these steps, because the process will ensure that you are truly ready to move on. Reaching the acceptance stage in your grieving process is what you and your future partners need in order to begin and maintain healthy relationships. Divorce is painful and grieving doesn’t need to be done alone. Make sure you reach out and gather a stable support system while you grieve, because it will make all the difference.
3. Love Yourself First
If you have ever taken a trip by plane, you may recall the flight attendants guiding you through what to do incase of an emergency. The oxygen mask rule states that you must place the mask over your own mouth before assisting others. We know that following this rule is imperative, because an individual who falls unconscious will be unable to help those around them. Prioritizing your well-being first is always the best course of action.
The same rule should apply to dating. A healthy relationship relies on a balanced exchange of love and nurturing, so you must make sure you can provide yourself with these things first. Finding the emotional stability to love yourself first will ensure your success in dating after divorce.
4. Don’t Feel Pressured To Date
While you deal with grief and practice loving yourself after divorce, it may be best to wait on dating again. Having independence for the first time in a while can be a great way to regain a positive relationship with yourself. This period of time will allow you to find confidence and teach you to value yourself first. It is also important to remember that staying single after divorce offers many benefits. Although others may tell us otherwise, this is a time for you to find your own confidence and make that decision for yourself.
5. Have fun with it
After you have spent some time with yourself and your friends and family, you may feel that it is time for you to start dating after divorce. With confidence and a clear understanding of your values, needs and boundaries, you can have a successful, fresh start. This is a time for you to have fun, meet new people, form new friendships and regain your excitement for life.
Here are some ways you can get started on your new journey:
- Treat yourself to new clothes or a haircut to make you feel fresh.
- Try signing up for a class to acquire new skills or take up a hobby that can help you relate to different people you may meet.
- Spend time in new areas to reconnect with your city. For example, try a new coffee shop, hiking trail, library or park.
- Be open to new possibilities.
Dating after divorce is all about connecting with a new version of yourself and being ready to find a love that is right for you. When you are ready, you should feel fearless, excited and confident. If the divorce still seems to be riding on your shoulders, take a step back and give yourself some more time to grieve. There is no right time to start dating after divorce and it is never too late to find love. When we are our best selves in every way, positive relationships come naturally.
At Hussain Law we focus on helping our clients navigate the emotional and financial challenges of separation and divorce. Our office remains fully operational, and we have implemented various new procedures that allow us to continue to advise clients seamlessly during this time. If you have a family law issue that you need assistance with, please contact Ayesha Hussain at 647-428-3919.