Important considerations before you start dating during or after divorce:
After you have processed your divorce, which is no easy task, you may begin to wonder what’s next. Maybe you have your ducks in a row already or maybe you are actively searching for answers to legal, therapeutic, and financial questions (for more info on these questions, check out It’s Over Easy).
And, although it may seem impossible now, maybe you will start to think about your own romantic life again. Even if you can’t possibly envision doing that right now, it’s something important to think about. Dating requires having a plan, especially during and after divorce, and even more so when you have children. Your needs and theirs matter. Before you make the decision to date, or even if you already have, it makes sense to think through, with clear intention, a plan for your behavior, not in relation to your soon-to-be-ex but for you and your children. You will never control what your former spouse does, but you can decide how you behave. When you are thinking about next steps for your own life, it’s important to consider timing, your emotional readiness, and what it’s going to be like introducing the kids to your next potential partner.
Tips to ensure that your needs are met before you jump back into the dating scene:
Here’s a list of tips to empower you as you move forward into the next chapter of your life:
The best approach to dating during and post-divorce:
So, whether you did an online divorce or duked it out with lawyers, let’s assume you’ve done the work of reacquainting yourself with your needs and are ready to dip a toe back into the dating realm. Here are a few important guidelines to help you dive back into the dating scene.
The key to a successful relationship post divorce:
In sum, yes, you can date while experiencing separation and divorce, and there is no one guide for doing so. However, it is important to recognize that the next relationship may be successful, in part, based on the work you do now to understand why your marriage ended and what role you play to make things better for you next time. Keep your kids out of your dating life and introduce them to a new partner only when you think it may be more than that. Some parenting agreements specify when you can introduce someone to your kids, and it’s not a bad idea to put thought into this for you and your former spouse. After all, you may have ended your marriage, but you both have a vested interest in your kids. It’s a business partnership that should never end. Dip a toe when you are ready, and recognize that divorce, like so much else in life, is a transition that can be managed with careful thought and action. You deserve to embrace your next chapter and make life what you hope for it to be. Do your homework, take your time, and most importantly, have fun!
You can find Cherie at:
Certified Divorce Coach, Parent Coordinator, Lawyer, Yoga Teacher, Divorced Parent