There is a certain philosophy that touts the best way to get over someone as getting under someone else. When we peruse the headlines and photos that cover those magazines at the check-out line, it seems clear that most Hollywood celebs certainly subscribe to this way of thinking.
Although Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kris Humphries isn’t even finalized, there’s talk about Kanye West designing her engagement ring. Plus, we’ve seen photos of their romantic trip to Italy for her birthday and heard rumors of them moving in together. Her recent marriage, albeit a short one, should have still been a significant part of her romantic life. It seems as though it’s long forgotten - almost as if it didn’t exist at all.
Thus, we wonder, when is “too early” to start dating after divorce? Here are a few lessons learned from Kimye's whirlwind romance and a few tips on navigating the dating world after divorce and answering the question, “How soon is too soon?”
1. It’s okay to stay private about your romantic life. Kim’s relationship with Kris, their wedding, and their subsequent divorce was splashed across every news outlet, gossip rag, and television station, practically documenting every minute of every day of her most private moments. Then, just weeks later, we got to watch concerned Khloe meddling in her sister’s relationship business further as she questions Kanye about his relationship with Kim.
After a somewhat catastrophic end to a 72-day marriage, Kim pledged to keep her private life under wraps. But it seems as if she’s been more enthusiastic than ever to share her life with millions, which could prove to be her downfall. While we know People will most likely not be camped outside your door, it could be yours too. If you were recently divorced or your divorce was just finalized, it is not necessary (nor do we recommend) to announce to the world your newfound status. (This includes minute-by-minute tweets and Facebook status updates.) There’s no glory or dignity in “punishing” your ex by going public.
Moreover, subscribing to Facebook as “Vaguebook” is also not recommended. Posts such as “So over it” or “Remind me never to trust men again” aren’t going to help you recover in the long term. Avoid sharing your pain publicly, as it ultimately only creates ill will, makes friends of both you and your ex uncomfortable, and leaves everyone feeling shocked and helpless.
If you feel ready to date, however, get out there! Whether it’s six months post-divorce or two years, there’s no need to call everyone in your social circle and ask if they have anyone to set you up with. We say keep it on the down low and take it easy. Also, consider your underlying motives for putting “the word out” to the general public. If it makes you fiendishly delighted that your ex finds out your “good news,” thereby thinking you have “moved on,” it’s time to re-think your dating readiness. Any sort of delight in his possible pain means you still have some healing and forgiving to do before diving into the dating pool.
In fact, Kim may even be taking a bit of our advice; she has stated that if she does indeed get married again, “The next time, I want to do it on an island with just my friends and family, and that’s it.” Kim, we gotta tell you: we 100 percent agree.
2. Take your time. Kim says of her marriage to Kris Humphries, “I think I fell in love so quickly and wanted that to be my life so badly, but I just didn't take the time to find someone." Taking your time applies to standard dating as well as dating after divorce. Some of the biggest losses you’ll experience in divorce are things like having regular love in your life, a warm body next to you, an activity partner, and someone to rely on.
So while it may seem like Kim is barely heeding her own advice by jumping quickly to a serious relationship with Kanye, she does note that they have known each other for 10 years; perhaps she did, in fact, “take her time.” What’s important to remember is that jumping into anything will not get you any closer to happiness if you forget about your actual needs.
Related: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down
Check in with yourself post-divorce and evaluate if your needs have changed. You might be looking for someone different because you yourself have also changed. Remember, more than 60 percent of second marriages fail, and more than 70 percent of third marriages fail. That’s typically because men and women marry the same person with a different face again and again. Make sure you reflect on your dating patterns and do the internal work necessary to change those patterns. Fixing your broken picker now, before you head back into the pumpkin patch to look for your horse and carriage and the Prince Charming who comes with it, can help you prevent making the same mistakes.
3. You are in control of your life. Kim has a string of rocky relationships and two failed marriages behind her, but she hasn’t let that affect her faith in love, marriage or happiness. One of the main reasons people wait to start dating after a divorce is caution about the prying eyes of family and friends, along with worries about what others will think about your new dating life. Kim seems to have skipped over that part rather breezily, and she has many more people to contend with than you probably do.
She has stated she ignores negative comments and no longer follows gossip blogs. If you’re worried about what people around you will think when you begin dating again, avoid bringing up your dating escapades right away. But if it’s making you feel good, just remember that you are in charge of your own happiness. When it comes down to it, it’s you, yourself, and you - not anyone else.
Marni Battista, founder of Dating with Dignity, is an expert dating and life coach with a 10-step system to manifesting love for your self and others. You can contact Marni at firstname.lastname@example.org.