You don't have to meet the perfect person. You just have to get back out there!
Depending on your personal situation, your feelings about getting divorced may vary widely.
You may have been separated physically and/or mentally for a long time and staying married for the kids or financial reasons or just because you were afraid to be alone. Or, there might have been some form of stinging betrayal that ended your marriage abruptly and with extreme anger and pain. Perhaps you’ve just slowly outgrown each other and your divorce was completely consensual and amicable (Lucky you!). Maybe you divorced because of mental or physical abuse and you're partly ecstatic that the torture is finally over.
Regardless of the circumstances, divorce can leave you with some pretty raw nerves and emotions — hurt, rejection, anger, failure, blame, confusion, and the terrible loneliness!
In my case, I was happy and relieved to get divorced. He was mentally abusive and a habitual liar. When he admitted to cheating on me, I had absolutely no hesitation at all with booting him from the house. 6 years of feeling alone with someone right next to me was agonizing, but I lacked the courage to walk away. I was starved for attention and my self-esteem and self-image were at an all time low.
I was very fortunate to have the support and love of family and a dear friend in a similar situation who became the best roommate ever. We were both scarred and traumatized, so having each other to lean on was a Godsend. We immersed ourselves in our jobs, took up hobbies together and absorbed each other’s families as our own. I also pursued an alternate career path in Massage Therapy, which kept me occupied with night classes and satisfied my mind and body’s need for connections and touch.
Without that healing time, I’m certain I would have jumped right on the dating train and dove head first into another destructive relationship. I was far too needy and desperate — not a good formula for attracting the right kind of man.
Taking that break and focusing on myself gave me the chance to evaluate myself and grow emotionally and spiritually as well. I relished in learning who I was again. I discovered my self-worth.
I had the opportunity to ponder the role I played in the relationship and had to face my personal demons head on. I set healthy goals for my next relationship. I definitely knew what I didn’t want and was determined to be my best so that I could attract the best.
Hear it from the Professionals.
If you're experiencing a divorce right now, listen to what our team of YourTango Experts have to say on how to get yourself ready to date again. I’m sure you’ll relate to their experience and advice in some way, and it will give you a good perspective on what to expect when dating after divorce.
Melanie Gorman (YourTango Experts SVP) hosts this extremely informative and thought provoking session, and there are some wonderful perspectives from Author John Gray, Personal Development Coach Jan Bowen, Speaker/Presenter Jill Crosby, and Marriage/Family Therapist Nasrin Barkhordari.