How Long Should You Wait to Date After Divorce?

Perhaps you've been divorced for a while. Are you ready to start dating again?

People and situations are different. One person's history and experience are not the same as the next person's. Many factors may play a role on what is right for you.

In case this topic has been on your mind, here's a starter with some suggestions. It's not intended to be comprehensive or authoritative. You can always research further and read more at Kyzmet: When Is the Right Time to Start Dating After Divorce. Sometimes it's nice to step outside our own heads and get a fresh perspective. So perhaps it's worth considering these 3 things:

1. Are you thinking about the future more than you are the past?

If the idea of dating causes you to spend more time and energy thinking about your past marriage than your future, that's probably a sign you're not ready to date again. Naturally, in the context of getting to know someone new, past relationships -- marriage or otherwise -- are bound to come up.

But if your own energy and mental focus is on your past marriage, it can be difficult to make a new relationship work. Going through divorce is its own type of grieving process. You need to let yourself work through it.

When the idea of dating leads you to thinking of the possibilities awaiting you in the future, then you might be ready. If the thought of dating leads you immediately back to the marriage that didn't work out, you're probably not ready.

2. Are you ready to try something new?

If the thought of "new" and "different" makes you cringe, you may not be ready to date again. If you feel open to trying something different, then it may be a sign you're truly ready to move on.

The old adage "it takes two to tango" may have its place, but it doesn't always accurately describe divorce. Sometimes, one spouse is more of the reason for the dissolution of marriage.

That doesn't mean either party is perfect. But it also doesn't mean that if you were divorced you need to do every single thing differently. But if no part of you wants to do anything differently, it may not be the right time for you.

3. Can you see a potential date with an "open slate"?

Picture yourself on a coffee date with someone. Maybe it's a first date in person after some good conversations via an online dating site.

What do you envision going through your mind? Are you interested in what your date is saying? Are you curious about that person?

Or, do feel like you would be, consciously or otherwise, comparing the person to your former spouse? Naturally, it is inevitable you will do some mental comparisons. But if your natural inclination during this coffee date would be to make a list of check marks in the "similar" and "different" column, comparing to your former marriage, it may mean you're not quite ready.

Opening yourself up to someone new means treating a potential future partner as a unique individual. Because that's exactly what that person will be. A potential future boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife is not your former spouse.

A longer versions of this was posted on Kyzmet: When Is the Right Time to Start Dating After Divorce