Dating after divorce is complicated. For one thing it can be hard to choose dates when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. However, dating after divorce will help you get to know yourself.
Liv was in her early 30’s when she left her marriage. That was seven years ago and since then she’s remarried and had another child. In between leaving and get remarried, Liv learned much about dating and herself. Here’s Liv:
By the time I left our marriage, our sexual relationship was a mess. The fact that we even conceived a child was amazing. It was almost a virgin birth really.
My son was 2 1/2 when my daughter was born and he was just barely toilet trained at the time. My daughter was in diapers and breastfeeding for the first six months. I didn’t even think about dating for a year.
Then I went out with some very, very close friends of mine and it kind of got the ball rolling. From there I didn’t look back.
I would say I made a series of relationship choices that were not probably the best move in the long run but they all kind of worked out. I dated a lot of people and I think there were definitely a few men in my life who kind of opened my eyes to me.There are a couple of guys that I dated at the time who I still keep in touch with them. We’re very good friends.
I think that some of the really poor relationship choices I made and even my ex, pushed me in the direction of, “OK, I don’t want this, this is not who I am or what I want or who I want to be with.”
I was in a relationship with a guy who was fantastic but he was not completely available to me due to distance and time and age and where he was at his point in life and where I was in my life. That relationship meant a lot to me because it kind of brought me around to the fact that I am an attractive woman and I hadn’t felt attractive for a very very long time.
You get into the whole Mommy trap and you don’t think of yourself that way. To start thinking of myself that way again was amazing. That he was absolutely enthralled by me was just eye opening to me. He taught me a lot. He taught me a lot about myself and who I could be and what I was looking for and we had really deep conversations about where my life was going to take me.
The way that I left my mariage is not typical so I don’t know if I am the poster child for how long you should wait to start dating. I guess it really depends on how your divorce happens.
If there was one thing that I had to say about dating after divorce it’s take your time because there is a lot of getting to know who you are again. When you are married you’re not yourself, you’re married, you’re a mom, you’re a whole bunch of roles that you’re not necessarily going to be again. When you are single and in my case I had time without my children while they were with my ex, you have to get to know yourself again.
I think that as I slowly stepped into myself again, the men I was dating were helping me to know who I was again.
I was trying to figure out and become acquainted with myself again. That’s part of the process. If you think that you have healed a little bit and you are kind over the whole the nastiness of the divorce you’re starting to heal then you should start dating.
You shouldn’t start dating if you don’t feel like you need to or if you have other things going on. You need to take some time out to figure out who you are and where your going and what you want out of life. Clearly where you were wasn’t working out for you and you have to figure out why that was. It took me some time to figure that out. I made a few missteps along the way but in a grand scheme of things, they all helped me to figure out where I needed to be. And I think I’m there now which is great.
The Divorce Coach Says
I’ve learned many tips and strategies for dating after divorce from all my interviews. One message I’m sure of is that there is no predefined length of time to wait until you start dating – it all comes down to time and timing: you have to have the time available and you have to be emotionally ready.
If you have very little free time, then dating as a single parent may be difficult and frustrating. Online dating is a great way of meeting potential dates but the people I know who’ve met a future partner online have devoted time each and every day to communicating.
Being emotionally ready is a little harder to recognize. Some people start dating, then realize they’re not ready and decide to wait. Some people may even be waiting too long.
I’ve met others who, like Liv learned about themselves, got reacquainted with themselves through their dating and there’s nothing wrong with that … provided you recognize that is what’s happening. I disagree with people who say you must wait a year before dating but I do agree that taking your time to really get to know someone before getting remarried is a must.
Follow Liv’s blog at Live By Surprise and follow her on Twitter and Facebook @LiveBySurprise