If a marriage didn’t end in a happily ever after, it doesn’t mean that you will never, ever meet your knight in shining armor or your beloved princess. It could’ve been that they were trapped somewhere else, also in an unhappy marriage, and that you are bound to meet them in later life.
It might not be your ideal setup, especially if you already have children or something that you share with your spouse in your first marriage that makes things a little bit difficult to sort out. But this shouldn’t stop you. You should be able to move on from your divorce and enjoy the world as a carefree divorcee. [Read: 20 reasons for divorce that couples overlook]
Dating after divorce – How to get back into dating again
Don’t put your entire love life on hold, just because you’ve gotten a divorce. Here are some ways you can still date with ease.
#1 The kids are always right. If you do have kids. And well, maybe they aren’t always right, but they have great instincts when it comes to their parents. They will take sides between you and your spouse and might even choose to ignore you and curse you when you start dating.
But this is a normal reaction for any child of yours. Always remember that if you have children, and if you are going through a divorce and then started dating, you might not always get your children on your side. In fact, it takes a lot of time for your child or children to start warming up to another parental image.
It would be better for you if you tell them honestly that you are dating, and that you will introduce them to this person when all three parties are comfortable enough with it: you, your new partner, and your children.
#2 The ex-love of your life. There are always two scenarios to how this divorce could end. Either you end up completely swearing off your spouse or you remain in contact and as friends. Either way, when the ex-love of your life starts to spend their lives with other people, then it can be overwhelming.
Imagine if you see your ex-spouse having children with someone else, when you have promised to be with each other through thick and thin years ago? And how will it help if your children are a splitting image of them?
Always remember that whatever you feel toward them when you find out that they’re dating someone else, will also be what they feel toward you, even if they won’t say it. Being sensitive about this situation will definitely provide proper insight into how you should behave before you start dating. Empathizing is the key. [Read: 8 ways to deal with your ex seeing someone new]
#3 The disease called comparison. Everyone does it. Everyone compares the past that they have to the present that they are having. And you know that it will only hold you back.
You left your past for a reason. Something went wrong, and you no longer wish to be married to your ex. Keep thoughts of your ex in the past, and see potential new partners without the impulse to compare. [Read: 10 signs your past relationship is holding you back]
#4 Your calendar is still popping. Whether you choose to spend this time getting back into the dating game or not, that’s entirely up to you. But having more free time does take a bit of getting used to, especially if you’ve been married for a long time.
The time you used to spend with your ex-spouse can now go to improving yourself, spending more time with your kids, trying out new hobbies, and more excitingly, getting out there and having fun with all the singles in your city.
#5 Quality time is family time. Always put your family first. Especially now that you are spouse-free, try to spend as much time as you can with your children and your parents. You need them now more than ever to give you the support you need.
Though it may sometimes be tempting to spend a majority of your time looking for new potential partners, give yourself some room to breathe first. You’re going through or just went through a divorce. During those times, you may not have spent a lot of time with your family. Now would be the perfect time to make up for that.
#6 To be honest or not to be honest. You should date. There’s no doubt about that. But the first thing you need to do is to figure out if you are ready for a relationship or not. And you should be honest about this to the person that you are dating.
You can tell them that you are open to love, but you cannot promise a relationship and a happily ever after. If you’re dating someone who’s understanding of your situation, they’ll understand. However, if the person you happened to date is hesitant to wait until you’re ready, then this person might not be right for you. [Read: 8 things you shouldn’t talk about in a new relationship, and 4 things you should!]
#7 Take it slow. If you choose to be in a relationship right away, have the courage and bravery to face the consequences that it will have later on. You may not be able to give yourself enough time to recover from your divorce, and this new relationship may end up being a rebound.
Ask yourself first if you’re emotionally ready to let another person into your heart. Figure out if the person you’re thinking of dating will understand the wants and needs of someone who was married once before. One painful lesson of divorce is that it can teach you that though things may seem perfect at the start, they can go awry eventually. Keep this in mind before diving right into another relationship.
#8 It’s all about you. Before you even start dating or minding your family, prioritize yourself. You are the person of interest here, and you need to be self-aware. Are your emotions okay? Is dating a really good thing for you right now? Are you just looking to date to fend off loneliness?
Why don’t you stop and smell the flowers for a while? Pamper yourself. Start new hobbies or continue the old ones that you seem to have put on a halt, because of the busy family and work life that you had. It’s always important to have a bit of alone time before seeking the company of another potential partner.
#9 Stop looking for Mr. or Ms. Right. We were brought up to believe that there is one and only one person that we were meant to be with. And this notion of having just that one person is no longer realistic in this day and age.
There are people who have had two or three wives, and only during the fourth marriage did they realize that they’ve met their soul mates. Your ex-partner may have been right for you at the time, but as you both grew, you realized that you’ve drifted apart. In cases like this, you have to realize that when you date someone, you should be thinking of the long haul, and not just the immediate future.
#10 Join the club. At first, you may feel like a complete and utter failure for not being able to keep your marriage together. But when you look around, there are tons of divorcees out there who have continued to live successful lives despite that one bump in the road.
Don’t be afraid to mingle with them. After all, they know what it’s like to be married once, and they can also empathize with you, as they also know what it’s like to step out of a crumbling one. A divorce isn’t a sign of emotional baggage. It’s a sign that a person had the strength to want to move on from an unhealthy relationship. [Read: 10 reasons you’re allowed to be relieved after a breakup]
Marriage is one of the most wonderful things that could ever happen to anyone. And staying in an unhappy marriage for a long time will have negative effects on you. But ending a marriage is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, you feel more relieved if you do this, since you can start another chapter in your life.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of dating after a divorce, especially after not being in it for so long. You’re now free from an unhappy marriage, and it’s now your turn to get out there and find your happiness!