How To Know You’re Ready To Start Dating Again After Divorce

We all know that life can be a bit messy and unpredictable and so I don’t believe we can ever be 100% ready with every area in our lives in perfect in harmony.  But, there is a lot you can do to get your life ready, and set yourself up for success in your next relationship.  

Take time and work out what areas in your life can potentially sabotage a future relationship, i.e. legal, financial, health, mental health or family issues, and resolve those as best you possibly can, so you don’t get derailed by it when you start a new relationship. 

There is also no time limit, formula or rules as to how long you should wait before you date again. To a large extent your dating and relationship readiness (there is a difference) will depend on the circumstances, and the way your last relationship or marriage ended, so don’t compare where you’re up to with anyone else, especially not your ex. 

You’re the only one that will know deep down when you have a longing to share your life again, whether it’s companionship, a new relationship or marriage that you are seeking.  

Here are five ways to know you’re ready …

1. You’re feeling hopeful and excited by the thought — and you genuinely want to meet new people, create more connections and expand your life in different ways.  You feel quite content by yourself and you’re not motivated to date simply by loneliness or boredom. You’re willing to allow yourself to be happy again — and to have fun! 

2. You’ve taken your time in processing your last break-up or divorce.  Grieving, healing and getting your life back on track all take time.  Letting go of one relationship while starting a new one, or getting emotionally involved with new people, can lead to a lot of confusion and heartache on both sides. You may find yourself experiencing a lot of conflicting emotions, so be kind to yourself and take your time.

3. You’ve taken time to figure out what went wrong and why — and taken responsibility for your part in the relationship or marriage breaking down. We tend to repeat habits, patterns and behaviours — even if they’re unhelpful.  Doing the same again can lead you to repeating the same kind of mistakes or attracting the same kind of person that isn’t right for you. Know what yours are and how you will be doing things differently next time round.

4. You know what you’re looking for, and what you don’t want, in your life and your next relationship.  Take your time in figuring out what you want the rest of your life to look like.  What do you want to look back on in twenty or thirty years from now? Set out to meet someone with a similar vision, values and hopes and dreams for the future, so you can support each other in making that a reality.

5. You’re feeling neutral towards your ex and can think of them, or relate to them without intense emotion. Whether it’s anger, blame, bitterness or grief and sorrow because you’re still in love with him/her — your feelings toward them are resolved they don’t have some kind of physical or emotional hold over you. 

Remember, there may be times when you feel you may not be as ready as you thought you were. That’s ok.  You’ll only discover how you really feel about being ‘out there’ once you actually start interacting with other people and getting into new relationship dynamics.  Just take it slow. Meeting new people and dating doesn’t mean you have to rush into a new serious relationship straight away.  

It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, but you don’t need to force yourself into anything either.  Be kind to yourself and pay attention to how you feel.  If you need to take a break and regroup that is fine too.  You’ve been through a lot already, you got this. 

And there is nothing to say that the best relationship of your life isn’t still ahead of you!

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