Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dating After Divorce

Is it okay to start dating before my divorce is final?

After a divorce, there are no hard and fast rules about when you should start dating when you've just left a marriage or when your marriage has dissolved right in front of you. The truth of the matter is you have to do what feels right to you. If you feel you need to take time to really get centered again you shouldn't start dating before your divorce is final. You need to lose your anger and figure out how to build up your self-esteem again before you begin dating again. Dating artificially boosts our self-esteem, and it's confusing as we may feel like we're just trying to put band aids on gaping wounds which is really not very helpful. On the other hand, if you feel fairly resolved mentally and you feel centered, and you feel like you know what you want, and who you are you should go for it. If you've been in a marriage that hasn't been good or successful for lots of reasons and you want to start dating again, I don't think that's it's a bad idea. But I think you have to be really clear on why you're doing it and what you hope to gain from it. Some people really feel they need to prove to others they're okay and therefore, start dating again. They want to prove there's nothing wrong with them, that they're not defective, and the only way to do that is to say, "I'm dating again, I'm okay." But you may be defective. You may be temporarily defective and you had really better look at what's going on with you, and start rebuilding some of those defective parts of you first, before going back into the dating game.

What feelings can I expect to experience about dating during my divorce?

If you decide to date during the divorce proceedings you may find yourself feeling guilty. You may feel like you're actually betraying your spouse, even though you have a legal right to do so. You may also feel uncomfortable with someone new and feel awkward about being with that person.You may feel like you have to be the person that somehow this person expects you to be since you didn't make it in the last marriage. So you might now conform and be who someone wants you to be. So, you're going to feel whole different feelings than you did during your marriage but the one thing that's most important is to really figure out if you can be authentic and be there in the moment and not be distracted by your divorce. If you are doing this just to make your spouse jealous, that's the worse possible reason of all. If that person comes back to you because they are jealous, you're not going to resolve any of the problems that led to the divorce, but just artificially patch it up. So, date because you really want companionship. Date because you want to see people out there and see who's out there for you now that you maybe have more self-awareness to see what kind of partner you really want. But don't date to punish your ex, don't date to make them jealous, and don't date to fill up all the holes in you that are there because, it's just not going to work.

When should I tell someone I want to date that I'm going through a divorce?

I think it's very important, when you being dating, that you tell that person right from the beginning that you are in the middle of a separation or divorce. That's because the person you're dating needs to know that you may not be there for all the right reasons. That person also needs to know that you may go back to that spouse. You may go back and forth to that spouse until it's only fair to tell the person that you are dating that you're in the middle of a separation or divorce, so they can gauge their behavior appropriately.

Is it okay to introduce my children to someone I'm dating during my divorce?

It's not a good idea to introduce your children to someone you're dating for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, you don't know whether or not this person is going to be around, and you don't want your children to get attached to that person. Second, it does not give the children sufficient time to really get used to their parents being two separate people before introducing another possible surogate parent. So, give your children time to get used to you being alone before you introduce a new partner.


Relationship said...

Nice topic.I read & enjoyed.Thanks for sharing...

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