11 Handy Tips For Dating After Divorce And When To Start

When you are ready to try a new relationship, it can be the right decision.

Reviewed by Andrea Riley, CTHF, CLC, CMS Andrea Riley Andrea RileyCTHF, CLC, CMS facebook_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon Specialty: Relationship Instructor, Life CoachExperience: 14 years
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Divorce is a tough decision that can leave a person lonely and longing for a companion. The entire ordeal of divorce can take a toll on your life. But the mixed opinions about dating after divorce makes it difficult for most people to move on.

In such a situation, you may want someone to make you forget the past and make you feel special again. However, it is not always this easy to find a companion or bring the romance back after a divorce.

If you are going through a divorce or have been divorced and are considering dating again, read on as we tell you if dating after a divorce is okay and a few valuable tips to help you know when exactly to start.

Dating After Divorce: Are You Ready For It?

‘Is it okay to date after divorce?’ is a question that may strike sooner or later after your marriage ends.. There is no right or wrong answer to this question because everyone’s story is different. However, conventional wisdom says that it is better to wait until you are divorced, and the entire legal process is done.

We have some example scenarios that may help you understand if you are ready to date after divorce.

  • One of the reasons behind a divorce could be a bad relationship with your spouse. In such a case, it could be difficult for you to get along with someone immediately. You may be too sad or upset and need time to get over the past relationship first. So, take your time and think about it without rushing.
  • Another reason for a divorce could be infidelity. You may be angry and feeling vengeful, and you may want to date soon after separation or divorce. But dating with such a mindset may backfire and unfair to the person you date. Wait until you’re a bit calmer and want to date for the sake of dating, and not to spite your ex.
  • If you want to find a partner and get married, dating may not be the right approach. Most people consider dating to be a casual thing and don’t indulge in it with the idea of getting married immediately. Also, it may be better to try casual dating instead of getting into another serious relationship soon after a divorce.

As much as you may want to date again, getting out there and actually meeting someone may not be easy. You may imagine having fun on a date but may not be ready for it. Other reasons, such as having children, fear that your ex might portray your dating in a wrong way, lack of trust in people, or social stigma that seems like a burden, may make dating difficult after the divorce.

But if you are sure that it is time for a change, then you may try going on a date after the divorce is final. For all you know, you could have a great time on your dates. And if you get lucky, you might find someone you really like and get into a trusting, serious relationship. However, you need to understand that dating after divorce may not be the same as before. A few tips may help you have a good time dating.

Tips For Dating After Divorce

Even after the divorce, stress, and sadness could make it difficult to be with someone else. It may seem impossible for some, but we have some tips that may give you the confidence to date after divorce.

1. Don’t rush in finding a soulmate

You may want to date either for some fun or to find a serious partner. If you are inclined towards the second option, you need to slow down. You just got out of a marriage and may not want to deal with the pressure of a serious relationship so soon.

Also, you should understand that it takes time to know a person well before getting into something serious with them. So, don’t rush into making any serious decisions after a couple of dates.

Take time for yourself, and don’t get too serious right at the beginning of your dating phase. Also, it is better to start dating only after the divorce is finalized. It may not be the right time to date someone new when the divorce process is going on, even if you think the marriage is over.

2. Don’t hide the past

When you have made up your mind to go ahead with dating, make sure that you don’t begin a new relationship with lies or by hiding the truth. Let your date know that you are divorced or if you have children. Dating after divorce could have a few obstacles, and hiding or lying could make it even harder.

3. Evaluate what you are looking for

A relationship with someone new could come with many ‘ifs.’ But setting some expectations before moving forward could prevent you from going in the wrong direction. Also, do not date someone with the intention of marrying them right from the beginning. Focus on knowing them and also having a little fun.

4. Don’t introduce dates to your family or friends

Dating after divorce is different from what it may have been before marriage. And with children, it becomes all the more complicated. You need to spend at least half a year knowing the person before bringing them home. Otherwise, it could be confusing for everyone, especially the children, if you have any.

So, avoid introducing your date to the family unless you are sure you are compatible with the person, and you are in a serious relationship.

5. Be careful with dating apps

While dating apps are convenient and may introduce you to some decent people, not all can be trustworthy. So, if you are trying a dating app, take time talking to people, but be careful not to divulge too much information right at the beginning. Keep it casual and generic until you meet someone a couple of times and are sure that they are genuinely nice.

Be aware that dating apps could have a few fraudulent people. So, don’t give out your personal information too easily and too quickly.

6. Don’t compare your date with your ex

One of the biggest mistakes you can do is compare your date with your ex – be it looking for the positives or finding faults. Your ex and date may have a few similar habits or behavior, but the two individuals are different. So, avoid making assumptions or concluding something about them in a hurry.

7. Try something unique on your first date

Instead of meeting your new date casually in a restaurant, why not try something special and unique? You can go hiking or trekking with a group or play a game, such as golf or tennis, while trying to know them. However, make sure you ask about their interests before deciding what to do.

8. Don’t give up easily or compromise

Post-divorce, you may be eagerly waiting for someone special in your life. You may be going overboard or beyond your comfort zone to please your date, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice yourself. Be your genuine self and don’t lose your identity. Changing yourself for others could more than likely make you unhappy in the long run.

9. Be careful of someone who seems flawless

After a broken marriage, you may be looking for true love or affection. In that search, you may tend to pick the wrong person. If your date seems perfect to you, calls or texts you a lot, flatters you with gifts, takes you out on charming dates, and pushes you subtly for commitment or marriage, then you may need to stop and think if the intentions of the person are genuine.

There may be good people out there, and you may find the seemingly “perfect” person. But keep in mind that nobody is perfect, and not all may have good intentions. So, be cautious of anyone who tries to control you or take over your life.

10. Keep moving on

Dating after divorce in itself is perplexing and difficult for some. But rejection is a part of the game, and you should not get depressed about it, if it happens to you. Prepare for rejection when you go out on dates – the other person may not find you compatible, just as you might not find some attractive or interesting. Do not take rejection personally.

If a date doesn’t work out, move on, find another, and try having a good time with someone new.

11. Consider talking to a therapist

It might not be easy to enjoy the dating experience after you are divorced. There could be some baggage that prevents you from having a good time. It could be guilt or fear of being judged by the people around you – society, your family, or your children. But dating after divorce is not something that you should be ashamed of.

If you are hesitant and in a dilemma over dating post-divorce, talk to a therapist, and get clarity on your feelings and intentions. They may help you process and manage the complicated emotions that you may be going through after a divorce. Use your practical thought process but also listen to your intuition or gut feeling if you believe it helps.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the first relationship after divorce always a rebound?

The first relationship right after divorce need not necessarily be a rebound. When both have moved on, leaving their past behind, it most likely means they would have a healthy relationship.

2. Should I marry the first person I date after divorce?

If you are sure that you have healed from the pain and trauma of going through a divorce and know this person well enough and are sure about them, you might start to explore the next steps of your relationship together.

The stigma associated with dating after divorce prevents many people from finding love again. So no matter the reason for your divorce and what others might say, if you are prepared to let go of your past, nothing should stop you from it. However, do not rush into anything. Allow yourself to heal and start by loving yourself and enjoying life with your loved ones. Once you feel ready to give and feel the love and wish to invite new people into your life, move forward while understanding each other gradually. Remember to be yourself and let fate bring the right person to you.

Key Pointers

  • Dating right after a divorce should be easy-going instead of committing to something serious.
  • Be clear about what you want and open about your past.
  • Don’t fall prey easily and try to accept rejections maturely.
  • Remember to talk it out with a loved one or a therapist for a healthy and happy life ahead.

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Andrea Riley
Andrea Riley CTHF, CLC, CMS
Andrea Riley is a TV talk show host, blogger, podcaster, author, certified life coach, certified trauma healing facilitator, licensed relationship instructor, certified biblical counselor, licensed minister, and keynote speaker.

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