One of the last things you should do after a divorce is run out and get into a new relationship. Unfortunately, that is what many people do; maybe your soon to be ex is already in another relationship, and you feel like you should be too, or you are seeking validation. There are many reasons to be in a relationship but rarely are any of them good soon after the divorce.
The best way to tell if you are ready to date after divorce is to take an inventory of what you have done to better yourself.
- How much have you grown?
- Do you love yourself?
- Have you forgiven your ex and yourself?
- Do you know what kind of person you want to date?
- Are you dating for the right reasons?
There is a lot of healing to be done after divorce, and our self-esteem can be low. Rejection from a loved one can be devastating and it takes time to overcome its effects. As we forgive ourselves and our ex from the hurt that was caused, we can grow and see the things within us that need to be addressed. The problem with dating after divorce without taking this step is that we repeat the same mistakes over and over again with people that end up being just like our ex.
We all have the desire to be loved but if we are dating because we are simply lonely or because we are looking for someone to make us feel good we are setting ourselves up to be hurt all over again. When we do this, we are only causing pain to ourselves and hindering what God wants to do in our lives.
I don’t think you can set a time limit on whether or not you are ready to date after a divorce, but there are some strong signals that may suggest you aren’t.
- If you still angry at yourself, your ex, or the opposite sex in general.
- If you don’t like yourself and you have a low self-esteem.
- If you are scared of being alone.
- If you don’t know what you want in a partner.
- If you can’t see how you have grown since your divorce.
Sometimes you don’t know if you are quite there or not until after you go out on a date or two. I know I went down the list and felt that I was ready, but after a couple of dates, I realized that I still had some work to do. So I stepped out of the dating scene and addressed those issues.
The best thing that I think that helped me determine if I was ready to date after divorce is the fact that I liked myself again and I forgave my ex. I felt God’s love in my heart, and I was ready to meet new people.
One of the good things that came out of joining Christian Cafe was that I was able to interact with many different types of woman, not necessarily date them, but talk to them. I was able to practice communication, uphold my boundaries, and ease into it.