If you're recently divorced, it's likely that anyone you ask will tell you to wait until your divorce is done and dusted before you think about dating again. But then, divorce can be a long, drawn-out process, and you might find yourself more than ready to find new love months before your divorce comes through.
If you’re in this situation and feel ready to put yourself out there, go for it! There’s nothing legally stopping you. However, there are a few non-legal things you might want to consider when deciding when to date after divorce.
The first thing you should do is to familiarize yourself with how modern dating works, especially if you've been married for a while.
Dating is totally different now than it was even a few years ago, with online now the second most popular (for heterosexual couples), and even the most popular (for homosexual couples) way for people to meet.
Also, the sheer number of sites and apps to choose from is fantastic. There are so many ways to find singles online - interracial dating apps, religious preference dating apps, even apps for people who want to date men or women in uniform.
Wait until you're ready.
It sounds obvious, and there may never be a moment when you're 100% ready, but you'll definitely know if you aren't ready to be back in the dating scene. This moment will be entirely personal for you.
It might be something you want to do right away if you had emotionally checked out of the marriage long before the divorce, or something you want to think about for a while if the divorce wasn't exactly your idea. Focus on healing, and let dating come when it feels right.
It's never a good idea to hide from a potential new partner that you're going through a divorce. They don't need to know the details, but they do need to know that it's going on. Talk to them about it. Most will be completely understanding and glad you've not kept it to yourself. If they don't, you probably don't want to date them anyway.
One red flag to be aware of - if you can't talk about your divorce without getting angry, you may not be as ready to date as you thought.
It's effortless to get totally caught up in a post-divorce relationship and overly romanticize it to the point where it becomes unachievable.
Keep your expectations realistic, and understand that your first, second, third, twelfth post-divorce relationship might not be the one. That doesn't mean you'll never find lasting love again. It just means that you might need to date around a bit first. That's life!
You should also keep your expectations of new partners realistic. Don't assume that your ex is the only non-perfect person in the world.
All relationships have issues, and all people have things they don't like to talk about. Expect to have highs and lows, and that your new relationship won't be this perfect solution to what happened in your previous one.
No matter what your situation is, dating after divorce can be tricky. Stay calm, be safe, and you'll be fine.