Q & A Wednesdays: How long should I wait before dating after my divorce?
I’ve been divorced for six months, and I am confused about whether I should be dating or not. I have two young children, and I am overwhelmed with managing my finances. In addition, my parents are not well, and I’ve been taking care of them. I just don’t feel like dating, but I don’t want to wait too long. I miss being with a man, but how can I possibly date with all that I’m juggling?
Dating after divorce can be daunting. It took me two years to even think about dating again when my 23-year marriage ended. Like you, after my divorce I was busy managing a home, trying to keep my kids emotionally healthy, getting certified as a life coach and creating a coaching practice from the ground up. My focus was far from dating.
I usually recommend waiting a minimum of a year to date after a long-term relationship has ended.
The problem with dating too soon is that people often choose a mate based on the wrong criteria. Your ex-husband wasn’t intellectual enough? You might choose an academic this time, but he could be wrong for you on so many other levels.
You’re feeling needy and alone? You will probably choose the wrong man. It’s best to come to a relationship when you are whole and relaxed, not desperate, needy, or stressed out.
Even though I wasn’t yet at a point where I missed having a man in my life at the two-year mark, I decided to take the plunge into online dating. I figured it was better to date when I wasn’t feeling desperate. I didn’t realize then what a great decision that was.
I decided to sign up for an online matching dating site. This was a site where a matchmaker is assigned to you, and you sit back and let them do the matching. It seemed like the least scary option.
I’ll never forget the day that I signed up, my hand shaking, a little nauseous. I thought, “Only losers date online.” The whole process was overwhelming. “How do I write about myself? Where do I get a good picture to post? What kinds of men are out there? How do I even act on a date?” I clicked the pay button and held my breath.
I’ve come a long way since the first guy I dated, a short, sweet chief of surgery who bored me to tears. In those days, I spent way too long on the phone with men before meeting, building up a fantasy of who they were, ultimately disappointed when they didn’t live up to my dream.
I’ve learned which men are more suited to me, how to avoid men who are players, how to get a second date with someone I like, and how to break up with dignity.
Since that first mismatched date, I’ve learned about dating successfully so that I can also help you save time and heartache in your journey to lasting love. My passion is in help you attract real love. And it all starts with YOU.
The first step is in knowing yourself.
So, Cynthia, you’ll get there. After a year, when and if you feel that you’re ready to date, and you’ll probably instinctively know it, get out there and start meeting men. Make sure you know why you’re dating and who would be a good fit for you.
Dating can be a fun journey, and it can add so much value to your life.
One more thing ~ make sure you get some support. It sounds like you’re juggling too many balls in the air. You can’t do it alone without feeling stressed out.
Who can you approach for help? A teenaged neighbor, a friend? Support is so important as you go through the stress of being a single mother and all that comes with it.
Best of luck to you!