Use Caution in Post-Divorce Dating

Couple.jpgAccording to a recent article appearing on, people emerging from a divorce may not find much luck in the dating department immediately thereafter. Though for some who had to go years without any new romance this is not only normal, it’s also healthier than a rebound relationship.

New York psychologist Leah Klungness, Ph.D. and co-author of The Complete Single Mother, says that while a divorcee may be experiencing pain and confusion following a divorce, it’s better to go through that then to numb yourself with an instant attempt to date. The distraction actually makes the healing process take longer.

As the single time drags on you may want to figure out why you’re dateless. Usually there are two main reasons for a post-divorce dating drought.

1. You’re not ready to date yet
You may feel lonely, your friends and family may try to set you up with someone but that does not mean you’re actually ready to date again. “Emotional preparedness for dating doesn’t happen magically because the final papers have been signed,” says Dr. Klungness. “Anger, bitterness, thoughts about betrayal and infidelity can linger. If these feelings aren’t worked through, they quickly surface, even in casual dating situations, and can sabotage any chance of romance.”

The best rule of thumb according to Dr. Klungness is that, “When the thought of dating starts with an ‘I should’ instead of an ‘I want,’ it’s a red flag.” Rather than rush into something you’re not really ready for, regrouping and giving yourself time to heal is the best plan. Use the time to do the things you love, concentrate on yourself and put yourself first for once.

One sign that you may be ready to date is when people start to genuinely look attractive to you. “Repeated instances of being attracted to different people suggests the authenticity of your feelings,” explains Jerald Jellison, Ph.D., author of Managing the Dynamics of Change. According to Dr. Jellison, when you’re attracted enough to consider spending time with five different people you should be ready to begin dating again.

2. Your approach to dating is outdated
If you’ve given yourself time to heal and still aren’t meeting the right kinds of people then maybe your problem is logistical. You’re likely meeting people at the wrong places or with the wrong group of friends. The same strategies you employed while you were young likely won’t work today, you’ve matured and so should your approach to meeting new people. Trying online dating, organized functions, engaging in activities you enjoy and meeting others involved are all possibilities.

Do things with a potential mate because you enjoy them and have common interests such as exercising, hobbies or professional activities. Dr. Jellison says that “After you identify people with whom you’re comfortable doing different things, then see if romantic feelings develop.”

Perhaps most importantly, avoid trying to recreate what you had with your former spouse. “The number-one cause of post-divorce dating disasters is the desire to regain what was lost from the social life of the marriage,” warns Dr. Klungness.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, you need to contact an experienced Charlotte family law attorney who can help guide you through the confusing process.

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