When Should I Start Dating Again After a Divorce?

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At SingleDad, we provide our members with the best possible resources and referrals. Please read the latest article from Dr. Deborah Hecker, our SingleDad.com Toolbox Family Counselor. In this feature, Dr. Hecker discusses how long to wait to start dating after a divorce.

This is a question I am asked over and again. Dating after divorce is a complex and much debated topic due to the psychological and emotional impact it can have on people. In spite of the confusion surrounding the issue, I will give you some things at you need to consider before getting your feet wet.

The moment to start dating again after a divorce is not something that you can answer by looking at a calendar and counting the days. There is no one answer that fits all to this question.
How soon to date after a divorce needs to be decided on a case by case basis.

Let’s face it, a divorce is a fragmenting experience and before people can go on with their lives, they need to be able to pick up the pieces. As a separated/divorced person, you have moved from being invested in the "we" of your marriage to the "I" of being single. In large part, you will learn to become single through the mourning process, the natural way of letting go of someone you have been attached to. Remember, the pain of a divorce is not something you can put in a box and forget about.

While it is true that before one can genuinely heal and be ready to date again, they must mourn the loss of their spouse, a process that needs to take place through spending time on one’s own, it is important to recognize that people grieve at different rates. Therefore, the time when a person may feel ready to start dating again after a divorce or separation will depend upon the individual’s circumstances as well as their own reactions to the divorce. However, the process one will go through to enable them to reach the "dating again" stage will be very similar for everyone.

In a perfect world where no temptations crossed your path until you were ready to deal with them, I would recommend you resist getting involved in a "serious" relationship, which takes time and energy, until you have spent time developing confidence in your new identity as a single person. It is crucial that you not use dating as a way to avoid doing the work you need to in order to heal from the pain of your divorce. As a divorced person, you are in a position where you will be making decisions that affect you and your children for years to come and you need time to self-reflect.

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”