Five years ago, I ended an abusive relationship.
During the divorce, my ex did everything he could to make it hellish with scandals, threats, and humiliation. So it was no surprise that I did not want to date after we parted ways.
“Why is dating after divorce so hard?” my friend asked me one day while she was trying to revive my broken soul again. “Do you think your future partner will be like your ex?”
This question stuck in my head and became the starting point of my journey into the world of psychology and post-divorce relationships.
How to start dating again after divorce? Is it worth starting at all? How soon should you start dating again after the divorce? Is there a chance of finding a loving life partner if you failed to save your previous marriage?
I began to study these questions and realized that I was not alone.
Every second, a woman does a Google search hoping to find the right answer. But there is no right answer. We are all individuals in different life situations.
I attended courses and received training. I knew I had problems. And if I wanted to have healthy relationships after my breakup, I needed to work a lot on myself and my attitude towards men. That is how I became who I am today—a certified life transformation coach. Based on my personal experience and clients’ cases, I developed a formula for why women do not want to start a new relationship after divorce.
1. I am not ready
After separation, you need to give yourself time to heal. Find the strength to let go of your past and your feelings. It may take a month or years.
My healing continues to this day. It’s not that I can’t forget my former husband or still have feelings for him. No. I’m not ready to make someone a significant part of my life.
Instead, I focused on self-realization, self-development, and self-esteem. These are important. Until you are in harmony with yourself, you can not fully be in a new relationship.
But if you need an answer to how long to wait before dating again after divorce, I would say—on average—one year.
2. I love freedom
After an abusive relationship, I found my happiness and relief in freedom. I was finally able to do what I wanted when I wanted.
Many divorced people like me, having lived alone for a long time, find it difficult to live with someone under the same roof again. After all, it is necessary to adjust habits and routines to each other.
3. I’m afraid to be rejected
According to Worthy’s Research, about 15% of women get divorced and never date again. You might think that these women are not interested in dating, but in fact, they are driven by fear of unrequited love and self-doubt.
A divorced status does not mark us with the stigma of a second-hand or an expired product. No one will avoid you just because you were unlucky with your first marriage. Instead, it is more important for potential partners to understand what kind of person you are, what aspirations, values, and interests you have, and whether this coincides with their view of the world.
4. I’m worried about how the kids will react
Children’s reaction to their parent’s new love will always be front and center in new relationships. Many divorced women refuse the opportunity to go on dates, fearing that their children will be hurt or estranged.
From my own experience, before rushing into a relationship after divorce, you first need to talk to your children about what they think about your possible relationship. Have a heart-to-heart. Talk about your feelings and experiences. Show them that their opinion is important to you. They are more likely to respond with understanding and support if you do.
However, don’t introduce your children to every new partner that comes along. They can easily attach to a new person, and your breakup will be another severe loss. Until you’re serious about each other, they don’t need to meet.
5. I hide my past and children
It is easy for us to talk about our children when we meet colleagues or acquaintances. But as soon as it comes to meeting a potential partner, many women and men hide their past.
Who wants to mess with a woman with a “trailer?”
Who wants to take responsibility for someone else’s children?
If a man is not ready to accept you and your children, why would you want such a man? A person who loves you and has serious intentions will not judge or leave you because of your kids.
Be honest from the start. Children are your pride, not a burden.
6. I have high expectations
We all have certain expectations from relationships and people in general. This is a good thing.
But it’s a mistake to think that the first or second relationship after a divorce must end in a happy marriage. Let your life unfold organically without forcing anything.
7. I meet the wrong men all the time
My ex-husband was completely my type. And how did it end?
Divorce and property division.
Do not be afraid to meet with those who, at first glance, do not match you at all. People are like books—you need to read a couple of chapters before you know if you want to read the rest of the story or leave it in the bookstore and browse something else.
Divorce divides our lives into “before” and “after.” But you don’t have to let those be your boundaries.