12 Tips To Prepare You!
Being married one day and then divorced the next should not be taken lightly. You have probably heard the rule of thumb to wait 1 year for every 5 -10 years of marriage. These rules and guidelines are not an exact science. Here are 12 tips to help you gauge if you are ready to begin dating.
1. Needs vs Wants. If you feel you need to date, you are not in a good space to make good dating decisions. If you want to date, that is a good place to be, however, continue reading our list to confirm you are truly ready. Rushing into a new relationship comes with risks.
2. Time. First of all, you should wait until your divorce is finalized. Even if your previous partner did not or will not wait, there are benefits to holding off. Some states have it in the family law code that you must wait or face penalties. Some of the penalties can include jail time if found cohabitating with a new partner while still married. Yikes! Take your time. Allow for the legal system to legally end your marriage and then take time to disengage from your previous partner.
3. Disengage. If you can feel happy for your previous partner and can acknowledge that you no longer have any hurt feelings towards them, you are in a great centered state of being. You do not want to bring unprocessed feelings for your former spouse or partner in a new relationship. This can derail a great relationship before it even gets started.
4. Ready For Rejection. Going through a divorce is hard to endure. You will want to be recovered and prepared to have another relationship stop or not even start. Rejection can be doubly hard if you have not disengaged and healed from your divorce. Many have told me that jumping into a new relationship shortly after their divorce and being rejected is twice as painful as the divorce itself. Take your time!
5. Homework. Make sure your home life is secure and intact. You do not want to begin dating if you are still struggling with hurting children and/or you are struggling to keep your day to day home life afloat. A new relationship will only complicate your schedules and time allocation for your home needs.
6. Know your No’s! You will want to evaluate your boundaries. Healthy boundaries are a must! If you have felt like a doormat to your previous partners, then you need to learn to say no and mean it! I love this quote from Dr. Henry Cloud “You get what you tolerate!” Seeming desperate, needy, or codependent is a recipe for misery.
7. Financially Fit. Dating can be costly. You will want to make sure you can afford to date. If you are looking for your date to always pick up the check you are going to be sorely disappointed with the quality and variety of your dates. If you find you are ready to date but on a tight budget, find something to do that does not require a lot of money. I enjoy going to a local coffee shop and talking with my date. Look for a budget dating guide post soon!
8. Research. If you haven’t dated in a long time, you will want to become familiar with the new dating terminology, communication expectations, and social norms. This will keep you from being caught off-guard by terms and text you may not understand. Getting to know how to date in this decade can help level-set your expectations/boundaries.
9. You enjoy dating YOU. When you become content with taking yourself out to dinner, or a movie, or a solo vacation. You will have the clarity of mind to begin to think about adding a plus one to your schedule. Self dating is a great healing exercise and shows self-love and compassion. Our minds and bodies need us to take care of them too!
10. No Pressure. If you find yourself caving into friends or family that are pushing you into a new relationship, you need to practice Tip 5 Above and tell them NO! If you can withstand the pressures of family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc.. all wanting you to get over it and move on with your life, then you are in a great mental space. You can relax in knowing you know what’s best for you. You can reassure those well-meaning friends and families to trust that you will know when you are ready to explore new relationship opportunities.
11. Take it or Leave it. If you can think of dating as a fun addition to your life and not the primary need, then you are in a good space to approach dating. Many find the partners they really enjoy being with when they were not even looking for a partner at all. Call me old fashion, but I do not friend zone people. I actually prefer to start off as friends. This friendship approach, for me, tends to lead to my most enjoyable dates.
12-Disengage! I know that I put this in twice, but it is vital. The way I explain it to my clients is this. “If you can take a good hard look at your past with your previous partner and not FEEL the past, you are well on your way from disengaging from them.” You do not want to bring the feelings, trauma, hurts and hang-ups of the past into your present relationship![sc name=”pinsave” ]
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