How long after my divorce should I consider reentering the dating scene?
December 29, 2022
There is no magic period of time that a person should wait after a divorce before they begin dating again, as everyone is different. However, generally speaking, one year is usually the period of time one should aim for before they jump back into the dating scene. You want to make sure you’ve had ample time to grieve for and come to terms with your divorce, neither of which can be effectively done if you’re actively navigating through the dating scene.
You also want to make sure that you’re dating for the right reasons. Dating shouldn’t be a way to distract you from your thoughts and feelings, because you don’t like the idea of being alone, or because you’re craving affection and a self-esteem boost. Additionally, after the end of your marriage, you want to have time to reflect on what about your previous relationship didn’t work, as well as reflecting on if there was anything missing in the relationship that you now realize is important to you in future relationships. Spending time alone to reflect will also help you learn more about yourself - your wants and needs, understanding your reactions to the everyday stressors that are bound to happen in any relationship, as well whether the ways you handle specific situations could be better handled differently.
When you think about it, being comfortable and happy on your own is absolutely crucial for any long term relationship to last. You have to be able to make yourself happy on your own before anyone else can make you happy. It is much easier to learn about yourself, including your wants and needs in a relationship when you’re alone and not being influenced by or catering to someone else’s wants and needs.
Once enough time has passed after your divorce that you feel ready to get back into the dating scene, and you know more about what you’re looking for in a partner, as well as qualities you don’t want in a partner, it’s important to take things slowly. You definitely don’t want to dive headlong into a new relationship too quickly. It’s best to take your time and really get to know the person you’re dating. Being slow and deliberate when getting to know someone and opening up to them helps mitigate potential heartache if things don’t work out.
Ultimately, you want to make your feelings and emotional wellbeing a priority. Don’t make the mistake of ending one bad relationship just to jump headlong into another one. Take the time after the conclusion of your relationship to heal emotionally and reflect on what does and doesn’t work for you in a partner and relationship. Don’t feel pressured or rushed to re-enter the dating scene. The timeline that works for one person may not work for another. The most important thing is to be happy and comfortable with yourself. The rest will fall into place in due course.