Everyone has an opinion about when people should begin dating during their separation and/or divorce, but there are no hard and fast answers as to the appropriate time. However, there are a couple of general suggestions and guidelines that can help you have positive dating experiences and create healthy relationships.

When you shouldn’t date

Beginning a new relationship after your marriage requires caution. Rebound relationships are very common for adults experiencing a separation or divorce.  Although these relationships are designed to help you get over your ex, if it becomes too intense too quickly or it is not particularly rewarding, the relationship can backfire. A failed relationship following a divorce can do a lot of harm to your self-esteem and confidence.

If you want to date for any of the following reasons, then you’re not yet ready.

  1. Your goal is to find somebody who is the opposite of who you have just left.
  2. Your former spouse has started dating, so you should as well.
  3. You want to prove to yourself that you are still worthy of somebody else’s attention.
  4. You have a particular goal, such as to make your ex jealous or remain in your social circle.
  5. You can’t do this alone and need someone to lean on.

Entering a relationship for any of these reasons should be avoided because it will cause pain for yourself and the other person.

How to tell when you’re ready to date

Dating should begin when you feel good about yourself and you would like to meet somebody who you can enjoy spending time with. When you’re ready to share interests and experiences with someone, then dating can turn into a successful, long-term relationship.

Dating is a process that, when done in a healthy manner, allows both people to create a relationship where they can experience a mutual connection. Finding a compatible partner provides a significant boost to your self-esteem. People in happy relationships report an overall feeling of satisfaction in all areas of their life.

Introducing your new partner to your children

When you begin dating, don’t involve the children in this process. They’re adjusting to a new reality and processing the separation of their parents. You shouldn’t rush to create a new reality for them or the added burden of another separation if the relationship doesn’t work. Your children shouldn’t meet the person you’re dating until you’ve established a long-term relationship with your new partner.

In conclusion

Leaving a marriage is a big blow to one’s self-esteem, and resolving the hurt and anger of a failed marriage should occur before you begin dating. When you feel confident in yourself and your future, you will increase your chances of finding a mutually satisfying relationship. Returning to the dating world is an important step to take once you’re ready, and a successful relationship will boost your life meaning, contentment, and overall well-being.