The month of love is here. The stores are full of red paper hearts and the restaurants are booking their reservations for romantic dinners. So of course we want to talk about dating. This month will be a two part series on dating post divorce and how to talk to kids about your new partner. Let's first talk about our exes.
Even the happiest people post divorce have a reaction to their ex moving on without them and finding a new partner. Some might feel relieved, elated, angry, or ambivalent. It is quite common to be curious about the new relationship. If you don't have children, it is less complicated when your ex moves on however the emotions can still be very strong.
When is it appropriate to move on? Well, that is up to each person. Some people start dating before the divorce is final and some wait for years after. Most important to understand when an ex moves on is to not compare yourself to them. You no longer can fully know what their life is like. Your imagination can tend to fill in the blanks in a way that is self sabotaging. To fixate on the life of others is a distraction from your own. If you haven't started dating that is ok. If they started dating too early in your opinion, well, it is ok to have that opinion. What is most important is how you are taking care of your life.
Now let's talk about you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering moving on:
-Am I ready? Is there space in your life to put energy into another relationship, even if it is just casual? If you aren't sure if you are ready, it is ok to give it a try and if it is too much or uncomfortable, you can change your mind.
-What do I want? Always remember you aren't just looking for certain traits in your ideal mate, but also understand what you are wanting in your life. You may want commitment, flexibility or both. This is about living life on your terms and not in fear of repeating the same relationship again.
-Do you understand what happened to you? Making sense of your divorce will give you understanding into your future relationships. You don't have to meet the same person again, but often if we haven't taken the time to understand what happened before, we will repeat the relationship over and over again with others.
If you have decided to start dating again, then good for you! There are lots of ways to meet people, from friends to the internet. Divorced singles are moving on with their lives and finding love in new ways.
Next time we will talk about telling your kids about your new mate!