Many divorcees ask the question, “How long should I wait before dating after divorce?” The answer varies for each individual and can be summed up as simply as stating that when you have the desire to begin dating again, the timing is right for you. If you are not ready to date, there is no desire and the thought of dating may even repulse you.
Being curious about dating is a sign that you are ready to get your feet wet. You may feel terrified to step out into the world of dating. It is 100 percent completely normal to be afraid. After all, you have been with the same man for many years. It is just a date; it is not a lifelong commitment and does not have to lead to a second date. You are afraid because you are stepping out of your comfort zone. In order to move on with your life it is imperative that you face your fears.
Know the reason why you want to date. There is no right or wrong reason to begin dating after divorce. It is just important that you know what your personal intentions are. You may want to date to satisfy your sexual cravings and find a friend with benefits. Another reason may be just to socialize, meet people and have fun or you may be looking for that special someone to spend the rest of your life with.
Are you ready to find that someone special? When you are ready to settle down again, the pain your divorce caused you needs to be healed. Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up to find the same man, with different looks and a different name, which may lead to more years of unhappiness and possibly abuse. One way to know that you are completely healed is to be able to answer the question, “Am I content with the thought of living the rest of my life single?” with a yes. Answering yes means that you will not settle for someone out of fear of being alone or out of a need to be taken care of.
It can be quite scary and intimidating when you first start dating after divorce. You do not know what to expect and may have heard horror stories from meaningful family and friends. Think of a date as an interview on whether or not you want to be friends with this man – not as interview for a new husband. Ideally, your first date should be in a public place such as at a coffee shop. Coffee dates are great, because they can be as short as a half hour. This gives you enough time to get a feel for the guy. If there is an instant dislike, you can easily say good-bye. On the other hand, if you hit it off, the date can extend to lunch, a walk in the city or a movie.
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