After divorce, I’ve heard differing perspectives. Neither are wrong. It’s what’s right for you. Some people feel like they shouldn’t start dating right away. Some feel that the relationship has really been over a long time, and it’s been long enough that they’ve not moved forward.
I’ve not been married, but I have gone through dating in the different decades and stages of my life. Throughout time, much has changed for me. It’s likely, if you have been married for a good while, that the dating scene has changed in some way, or you have.
I remember a friend handing me a book called, The Rules. Do those rules still apply? Do they work for you? Another book a friend introduced me to was, Ten Stupid Things Women Do to Mess Up Their Lives”. If I was a man, I’m not sure what book a male friend would’ve handed me. Men and women: Even though someone writes a book, it doesn’t mean it’s right for all. Going along with that, anything here can be accepted or rejected. Please take with you whatever might help, and reject what you think just won’t.
When writing one of my most prominent research papers in grad school on what couples stated as their cause for divorce, one thing I found is much of what I have seen in my work now. Many do marry young as a, “Band-Aid”—thinking that marriage will make everything better. If there were problems in your relationship prior to your marriage, the act of marriage will not make them go away. I spoke to my mother, who is still married to my father, about my findings. Her take on it was that when you become married, if you have problems, “They are 10 times worse once you get married.” Was that the case for you?
Do you need your time? Do you need time to feel like it’s “right” to move on and begin dating again? Do you feel you need time being single because you married your high school sweetheart, or were married young? If you feel like you need your time, you’re probably right. Always be true to yourself so you get what you need. With this, you are able to truly move on, being open to another when it happens.
Are you ready to start dating? Do you feel strong in your convictions that dating is right for you now? Do you want to date casually; or are you ready to see if you can meet someone who might be better suited for you--because you learned some valuable lessons on what will work for you, and what won’t? Can you be honest with whoever may enter your life what stage you’re at in dating--so everyone is informed, and nobody ends up confused or hurt? Can you practice safe sex, if that’s what you decide to do? You may be used to not using protection when you were married, but there are always health risks to consider so you’re better safe than sorry. (No, I’m not a Mom.)
Take this as a time to transform. Remember to not project feelings or beliefs you had with your previous partner onto a new one. Another way to say this is to not let yourself become bitter so you won’t put yourself in a place of sabotaging any possible new relationship. If you understand what things contributed to it not working for you in the past, listening to your gut--remaining mindful of what led to the dissolution of your past relationship(s)-- can help you to not to fall into the same pattern again.
Dating at an older age can be a benefit. Now being older, you have had more of a chance to “grow into” who you really are as a person. You may now feel more comfortable with yourself, feel stronger about your beliefs, and in finding someone that matches up with, or compliments, you.
Man or woman, Stella can get her groove back! When you first entered into your past relationship, you most likely had to be vulnerable then too. You were able to get to the point of marriage. Now you get to be open to possibilities again! You might be in a better place to pick a partner that mutually is a good match for you. What are you looking for? What do you need in a partner? You get to choose again. Here’s some inspiration that may help: Relationships--Counselor's inspirational on being vulnerable
The message here is to be true to yourself. If you are at a place where you are comfortable in your own skin, you will be more likely to be comfortable next to someone else’s. It is tough to go through the end of a relationship. We all have our own way to heal so we can then move forward. Here’s a past article that may help you during your struggle. The end of a relationship sucks--period.
If this resonated with you, it may also resonate with someone else. Please feel free to like and share with anyone. Please also always feel comfortable to reach out if you are struggling with making your transition back into the single life, or are having a hard time in the dating scene.
1. Do you need your time?
2. Are you ready to start dating?
3. Take this as a time to transform.
4. Dating at an older age can be a benefit.
5. Man or woman, Stella can get her groove back!