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When to Start Dating Again After Separation

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 3 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Separation Divorce Ex Dating Self-esteem

It’s best to begin by saying that there are absolutely no hard and fast rules about when you should start dating again after your relationship ends. Some begin immediately (generally these are men), while others can take several years.

Basically, it’s a question of what feels right. But there are some ideas that will help you know when the time is right, when you’re really ready to brave the world of dating again.

Some Basics

It’s probably best not to start dating before you’re happy with yourself. Coming out of a long relationship is traumatic, no matter how amicably it ends. It takes time for you to come to terms with that. If you try to date too early, the people you see will keep reminding you of you ex, which doesn’t do them – or you – any favours.

You should be at a stage where you’re happy to be alone. Many who return to dating quickly do so purely because being on their own scares them. Once you’re happy by yourself you can begin to make the right choices in whom to date.

Have your life in order, not a mess. Do you have a job, a clean place to live, interests that take you outside yourself and a circle of friends? That’s a strong indication that you’re at a stage where you can move ahead.

Feel good about yourself. You’re a person of real worth, with plenty to offer, able to have fun and be good company. If you feel that way, with good self-esteem, then you’re well on the road. If someone doesn’t want to date you, then you won’t believe the failing is yours, but instead realise that it’s their loss, or that you just weren’t right, anyway. It’s vital that you don’t take every rejection personally.

Timing

Some people believe that it can take up to two years to get over a long, deep relationship, and as a general rule of thumb that seems fairly accurate. However, it doesn’t mean you have to wait that long before you do go on a date.

Think about what you want from dating, and what kind of a person you want to date. The chances are the latter will be someone very different from your ex, but maybe not – after all, they had qualities that attracted you in the first place. As to what to expect from a date, don’t anticipate a full-blown relationship. Not only do those not happen overnight (at least in most cases), but you need to get back into the dating waters and learn to swim again first.

Things are harder if you have kids, and many of those coming out of relationships do. You have less time to date, and the children always have to come first. It should go without saying that you don’t bring a date home to your children until you’ve been out several times and have decided to start a relationship. But when you’re going out on a date, tell you kids, but assure them it’s casual and like a friendship. Be aware of how your kids will look at things and respect that.

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mildret - 3-Dec-18 @ 7:56 AM
Makes sense to wait until your ready to date, because if you take all your guilt, feelings extra into the next relationship it's not going to be fair on the other person you are trying to connect with! Take some time out for yourself, find out who you are and what you want out of life then go from there! Me my wife left with my three boys I see them. When I want and that's most of the time and I have no idea if and when I'll ever be ready to date again!
Danny326 - 25-Jan-17 @ 5:58 AM
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