5 Tips for Dating After Divorce


Going through a divorce is not easy. In even the gentlest of circumstances, it can be life-altering, painful, transformational, and at times debilitating. That being said, it is quite natural for us to desire companionship and even partnership post-divorce whether it’s sooner than you think or after a bit of time. Done with intention and care, dating after divorce can be a beautiful step towards healing and growth. We’ve compiled a handful of our best tips for post-divorce dating that will help you navigate the process with care and, hopefully, success!


Take time


When navigating the discomfort of a divorce, it is not uncommon to seek companionship as a way to cope or move on from the previous relationship. While there is no “ideal timeframe” for dating after divorce. It is important to take a beat and be honest with yourself about “why” you want to date in the moment. Are you simply looking for fun? Is it to distract yourself? Are you ready for partnership? There’s no wrong answer here. The purpose is to gain perspective and self-awareness into what you’re looking for so that you can be upfront with both yourself and the people you find yourself dating. Alternatively, you may realize that your desire to date should be replaced with a coping skill instead. The answers you discover when asking yourself this question will help you determine how much time is right for you to wait before reentering the dating world.


As an example, taking time to be aware of your dating desires could help prevent a fall into “serious relationship” style patterns with someone new out of habit when what you truly desire at the moment is a more casual and fun dating experience.


Date yourself


We know this sounds painfully cliche but it’s a popular sentiment for a reason. While “dating” is a loosely defined term in this case, you must carve out time to invest in yourself when dating post-divorce. The changes that occur in our lives during and after a divorce are innumerable and finding time to pour into yourself can make or break your ability to handle the more difficult parts of life and the end of your marriage. Whether this is taking yourself out to a nice meal, booking a solo weekend trip, or simply spending the night in alone with a good book or a movie, the point is to rediscover what you like most when no one else is considered.


Did you always say yes to the steakhouse that your partner preferred when you would have rather gone to the cute little Italian restaurant on the corner down the street? Did you once love to hike but found yourself just going for a quick run to save time? Indulge yourself the same way that you would indulge a partner or other loved ones in your life and hold that space for yourself even while dating or beginning a new relationship.


Improve communication


It can be argued that we should always be working to improve our communication skills and that is true. However, post-divorce is a unique opportunity to take a step back and consider your communication style within a relationship and set goals to improve or change things that don’t work for you.


This might look like practicing being more direct, learning to pause a conflict once you reach a reactive emotional state, or improving the tone of voice you use in uncomfortable conversations.


Do it for the right reasons


The questions we encouraged you to ask yourself when determining the right time to begin dating apply to aso discovering the right reasons for dating after divorce. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer to why you want to date at any point after divorce. The answer is your truth and there’s no shame in it. However, the answer may indicate whether or not you would benefit from taking a beat before jumping back into the dating process. Part of growth and healing means being aware of whether or not you’re ready before involving another party and heeding that awareness.


It is important to ensure that you’ve allowed yourself space to grieve your marriage, realign your vision for your life outside of your partnership, and settle into a routine that is not dependent on having a significant other to ensure that you’re not leaving yourself open to falling into a new partnership that’s not a great fit simply because it feels easy at the moment.


Enlist support


Although we’re coming to it last here, this should likely be your first step. When stepping back into the dating world, it can be helpful to let your support system know so that they are available if you need some extra encouragement or so they can check in on you. Additionally, seeking help from a therapist is a beautiful way to receive support from an impartial third party that can help you identify the strengths you bring to your dating experiences as well as your opportunities for growth in a new relationship after divorce.


At Genesis Counseling of South Tampa, we offer both in-person and online counseling for divorce support and support while navigating post-divorce dating.

While you alone can determine when dating after divorce feels right to you, we hope you’ll use these tips as a basic guideline and that you’ll enlist the support of your loved ones and a licensed professional. If you’re ready to seek support in the Tampa Bay area, please visit our website to inquire more or book now!

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