You’re sleeping alone in a king sized bed. You want someone who loves and cares about you. You’re dipping your toe in the online-dating waters.
And at the same time you are wondering, “Is it too soon to date after my divorce?”
If this is the question you are asking, here is the response I give most often when asked the question by recently divorced men and women who are thinking about jumping back into the dating pool.
If you are asking whether or not it’s too soon to date after divorce the answer probably is, “Yes, it’s too soon to date after divorce.”
But how can you know for sure?
Here are some tip-offs that tell me you and/or your date are not ready to date after divorce.
- You and/or your date talk about your divorce, legal issues and/or your/his/her ex-spouse at length and in depth on the first, second or third date.
- Your mood and/or your date’s mood is noticeably affected by your/his/her interactions with the ex.
- In between dates you find yourself yearning for your ex-spouse
- You and/or your date still hold on to the hope of reconciling with your/his/her ex
- Your life is unstable because you are still learning how to co-parent, earn more, spend less, go back to work, work less, adjust to your new life as a divorced person, etc.
- You and your spouse or your date and his/her spouse have been separated for years and for one reason or another, haven’t gotten divorced yes (you and/or your date just say you are divorced because it is easier. A note here for dating men and women, including those using online date services, “divorced” means legally divorced. It does not mean separated and/or in the midst of the legal process. If you are in the midst of the divorce process or “currently separated”, you shouldn’t be dating. It is too complicated and can complicate the legal process of getting divorced.
Why do I believe it is too soon to date in these instances?
Because dating when you and/or your divorced date aren’t ready usually means and/or results in one or all of the following:
- You aren’t or your date isn’t emotionally available
- You and/or your date often will not be physically available
- You or your date may become attached to the comfort or distraction when you aren’t really a good match
- You and/or your date can be heartbroken if you or your date reconcile with your/his/her ex-spouse
- Dating can prevent your and/or your date from healing after the loss of a marriage and spouse.
- Your children or your date’s children may receive less attention than they need after divorce to help them transition smoothly, heal and adjust to their lives after divorce
- Your children or your date’s children are not ready for their parents to date and as a result, may come to resent or dislike you and/or your date
- It is painful to go through a break-up soon after getting divorced.
Of course there are some men and women who are, or will be, ready and able to date soon after divorce. In my experience, these people had amicable divorces, no children, grown children, minimum, no or only friendly contact with their ex-spouses.
If you are on the fence about whether or not it is too soon for you and/or your date to date after divorce, I suggest taking time to figure out what’s best for you and/or to take dating after divorce slowly so you can see how you feel while on/with a date.
I can assure you it is much nicer and fulfilling to date when you and your date are healed and healthy after divorce. When you both have the attention and energy for each other, dating after divorce can be a wonderfully fun and fulfilling experience.
I am not a therapist or a doctor (sadly as they are often more loved than lawyers). My suggestions about/on dating are simply my personal opinions and experience as a divorced, single, dating divorce attorney who lives in the San Francisco bay area. I share my thoughts with you in the hopes that they will help make your divorce easier and/or marriage stronger.