You've been out of the dating scene for a long time. You've also just gone through the stress of divorce. You want to date and possibly build a new relationship with someone new. But how do you know you are ready for a new relationship?
Knowing when to date after divorce means you must know yourself and your relationship patterns. It also means being ready mentally, emotionally and physically. Are you ready?
Attitude is Everything When Dating After Divorce
There are people who allow the end of their marriage to destroy them. They hold onto painful feelings, resentment, and fear of spending the rest of their lives stuck in the past. Others refuse to give into the negative feelings by working through the process in a proactive way.
These people find that divorce is not only an ending but also a new beginning. They don't live life based on what was done to them in the past but instead on what is possible for them in the future. They are the ones who thrive and survive and find fulfilling new relationships after divorce. So, before you consider a new relationship, be sure that you can see the bright side of your past experiences.
Personal Growth Precedes New Relationships After Divorce
There is no greater motivator than emotional pain when it comes to taking stock and gaining needed insights into one's own quirks and negative behaviors. People who are able to move on to rich, rewarding lives and relationships after divorce don’t allow anger and resentment to keep them from finding a better way of living.
It takes determination and a willingness to heal old wounds before you are ready for a new relationship. Owning the role you played in the demise of your marriage, working to make needed adjustments in the way you interact in a relationship gives you a better chance at succeeding in your next relationship.
There Are Lessons to Be Learned Before Dating After Divorce
No one is blameless when it comes to divorce. Take responsibility for your mistakes. If you don't you will carry the same mixed up perceptions and "baggage" into the next relationship.
Examine your expectations of what a relationship should be and work at identifying any skewed beliefs you have. Work on correcting negative issues you have and then get on with your life. Just remember, the pain is there for a reason. Don't let the lesson you need to learn to get away from you.
Forgiveness Is for You—Not the One You Forgive
Any anger and resentment you have toward your ex will linger until you are able to forgive them. I know that is easier said than done but, forgiveness is given so that you can empty your heart of any negative emotions. Negative emotions that will affect you emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically if you hold on to them.
Until you can let go of old resentments, you have nothing to offer in a new relationship. So, drop the "baggage" and get on with your life. Lighten your load by forgiving what was done to you. You don't have to forget it—that would be letting your guard down and opening yourself to bad treatment in future relationships. Forgiving is about ridding yourself of negative feelings that hold you back from being able to engage in a new relationship with a clean slate.
Your Marriage is Dead, Not You
Divorce marks the end of a marriage. Mourn the loss and then lay it to rest. You are still very much alive. Your heart still beats and your soul still yearns for an attachment to another.
Your marriage may be dead but you are alive and kicking. Nurture your heart and soul by treating the ending of your marriage as a new beginning. An opportunity to grow, hold yourself responsible and practice the art of forgiveness. If you can do these things you will find that love the next time around will be better than you thought possible.