Dating after divorce: the dos and don’ts of getting back into it

Dating after divorce: the dos and don’ts of getting back into it

The journey of dating after divorce can be very confusing and challenging. Before you enter into another relationship, you must remember to focus on your personal needs and expectations and rediscover who you are outside your past marriage. As a result, a few tips about dating after divorce will help you to become comfortable as you go into your next relationship.

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Dating after divorce
Man and woman sitting on the floor. Photo:, @kindelmedia
Source: UGC

Putting yourself back into the dating world after divorce can be very hard, scary and daring. Having been in a committed, long-term relationship can make the mere thought of single life absolutely terrifying. Before you start dating again, you must identify where your former marriage went wrong and what you have learned to avoid getting hurt again.

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Do’s and don’ts of dating after divorce

Why is dating after divorce so hard? Going through a divorce can be very difficult and traumatic. No matter how long you have been married, separating from the person with whom you have been close in your life can be scary, challenging and heartbreaking. Follow these simple do’s and don’ts of dating after divorce to avoid another heartbreak.

1. Take time to heal and process your emotions

Give yourself some time to heal from the loss of your marriage before you dip your toe into another relationship. Otherwise, you will only deepen your old wounds. It would be best if you gave yourself time to come to terms with the wide range of emotions you may be experiencing rather than rushing your emotional healing.

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Your emotions and grief won’t necessarily fade away the same day your divorce is finalized. Experiencing loneliness can cause a person to start dating before they are ready.

2. Wait until your divorce or separation is finalized

Even if you know your marriage is over, you still need to give yourself some time and space. Starting dating after your divorce has been finalized works best if you are comfortable with your marriage ending. Moving on too fast can actually cause you more harm than good.

3. Establish where things went wrong

how to start dating after divorce
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Source: UGC

Before you even consider engaging yourself in another relationship, it's important you identify where the marriage went wrong. Your previous marriage was a constant standard of a relationship, and it's all too easy to bring both the good and bad of it to mind when evaluating a new relationship.

4. Identify what you want in a new partner

Before you start dating, you should identify what you are looking for in a partner. What type of relationship do you want, the values you are most looking for, your deal-breakers, triggers, and standards. This way, you will be able to identify whether someone is a good match for you or not, and it will save you from wasting time with someone who isn't going to be a good match in the long run.

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5. Speak to a therapist

A person going through a divorce may feel guilt, fear, anxiety, depression and grief. If you are unsure about moving on or progressing into a new relationship, then working with a therapist can provide a goal and rational perspective. They can advise you on working through divorce's difficulties and overwhelming emotions.

6. Be conscious of your children

It is important to be aware of your children’s feelings once you begin dating again and the entire process of introducing someone to them. When is the best time to bring it up, and how to make them aware? This conversation may depend on your children's age and the relationship between you and your ex-partner.

Red flags of dating after divorce

Boundaries for dating after divorce
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Source: UGC

Feeling loved and having a sense of connection contributes to mental health. However, not all relationships will make you feel better. Some damage your well-being instead of improving it. As a result, it is crucial to recognize the red flags before fully committing to someone. Below are some of the red flags of dating after divorce to spot to avoid another heartbreak.

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Overly controlling behaviour

If your partner tries to control your movements and decisions and is more concerned about what they want than what is best for you, this is a serious red flag. The best thing is definitely to end the relationship.

They're talking about marriage or the next big step

Your partner wants to make commitments before you are ready and pressures you to respond in kind. Lasting relationships start out more slowly. If you feel anxious about your partner moving on at an extremely high speed, it’s probably a red flag sign. Take a pause and ask yourself if what you feel for them is genuine.

Anger management issues

If you are dating a person with anger management issues, they can escalate those behaviours in the future, which can lead to abuse and make you feel threatened or unsafe during the conflict. Lack of emotional regulation is a definite red flag for any relationship and is often a surefire sign of ending the relationship immediately.

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Stages of dating after divorce
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They paint themselves as the victim of all of their past relationships

If you date someone who doesn't admit their mistakes from their past relationships, they are not likely to do the same thing to you. You may end up being the one forcing the relationship to work. It is a strong red flag since they won't own up to their mistakes when a similar instance happens in your relationship.

Lack of trust

Trust goes hand in hand with honesty, and it is an important foundation in any healthy relationship. If you feel like your partner has a hard time trusting you or telling you the truth or the other way around, it's a serious red flag.

They drink a lot

Another common red flag is dating someone who is a heavy substance or alcohol user, they could potentially have an addiction. A constant pattern of getting drunk or high suggests that a partner may be dealing with deeper psychological issues that may only worsen.

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They talk too much about their ex

It is usually not a good sign if someone talks a lot about their ex. There are high chances that they are in love with their ex and trying to get over them, meaning that you are likely one of a string of rebound relationships.

Dating after divorce can be confusing and overwhelming as you begin figuring out what you are looking for in your new partner. Before you start to date again, reflect on the issues that may have led to your divorce and what you have learned from the relationship. This way, you will be able to move forward into a new and satisfying relationship.

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Red flags help to identify the types of people to stay away from when dating. If a red flag appears more than once, it’s important to take note before the relationship goes too far. This post contains some dating red flags you should spot to avoid going down a long, embarrassing road in the future.


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