As a divorce attorney, I have observed some clients express their excitement in dating after their divorce was finalized. I have witnessed some wait months until after the divorce process was over, while some barely let the ink dry on their paperwork before they enter the dating scene again. While, in my opinion, there is no “specific” timeframe to guide you on how to know when you’re ready to date again. However, based on my observations, I’m sharing these three pieces of information to hopefully help you successfully make the transition from newly divorced to dating.
Have you taken the appropriate time to heal after your divorce? Are you dating for the right reasons? Be honest with yourself and determine if you are dating to fill a void or seriously looking to get married again. If you feel as though you’ve healed and you are willing to be vulnerable again, those are possible signs that you are ready to enter the dating scene.
2.Leave the Past in the Past
When you start dating again, leave the past where it remains–in the past. Try not to discuss your ex-spouse (especially in a negative manner) during the initial stages of dating. Take things slowly. Please get to know your new person without any biases and comparing him/her to your ex. This is often easier said than done, but it can be done with conscious effort and intentionality.
3.Don’t Be in a Rush to Get Married Again
This goes back to the first piece of advice and ascertains your underlying reasons for dating again. As a Bergen County, New Jersey, and Monmouth County, NJ divorce lawyer and family law attorney, I have seen cases involving multiple divorce filings for just one person because of a rush to move on. That is why I believe it is important to slow down a bit, take time to heal, and truly internalize your reason(s) for wanting to date again. The next relationship you should build after a divorce is the one with yourself. Then, when you feel completely whole, you can pursue dating and getting to know other people.
All in all, a divorce can take an emotional toll on anyone. Some have found that dating helps to take their mind off the pain and stress, but in my experience, those are the wrong reasons for dating after a divorce. To successfully transition from divorce to dating, please take time to heal, seek therapy from a mental health professional, release all baggage, and take your time with your new dating prospect(s) to ensure you are making the right decision.
This article contains general information and opinions from Sheena Burke Williams and is not intended to be a source of legal advice for any purpose. No reader of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information included in this article without seeking legal advice of counsel. Sheena Burke Williams expressly disclaims all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any content in this article.