When most people get married, they do so with the idea that they will be with this person for the rest of their lives. Or at least, they hope so. While everyone knows that divorce can happen, a lot of people think of it as something that happens to other people. But then it happens. It may happen by your own hand, or without your input. Maybe it happens slow or fast, but no matter what, everyone has that moment where the enormity of what just happened hits you like a truck. In retrospect, a lot of people think of it as a rebirth of sorts. Shedding a relationship that you loved in some ways, but it didn’t ever quite love you back in the way you wanted or needed. It changes you, especially in the context of future relationships.
It’s Ok to Not Be Ready
While everyone’s situation may differ, it is common for dating to begin in stages post-divorce. Some people dive right into the dating world, while others dip their toes in. There is no ‘right way to start, but just be aware that when you think you are ready to be in love, it is important to not be blind to the fact that you may not be too, and that’s ok.
While I have never been through a divorce myself, I did lose a spouse, and that feeling of loss was really hard to bounce back from. I wondered if I would ever love anyone again. Was I destined to just live in some neutral feeling forever? I remember the first time I felt a connection after my husband. I dated this one guy for a few weeks. After a date, we were talking and I looked into his eyes and felt something. I wouldn’t call it love, but just something was still in me. A few dates later we decided to go our separate ways, but it gave me the confidence that I COULD possibly feel something for someone when I was ready. I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t.
I have several friends who have been divorced, and my current husband has been through a divorce, and it seems common that the first few dating experiences are that “I’m ready!” and “No I’m not! I thought I was, but I am not!” One step forward and two steps back. It is normal and totally ok.
Building Trust and Confidence In Yourself
Before falling in love post-divorce, it is necessary to rebuild the trust and confidence within yourself. A lot of people have said they don’t trust themselves anymore in choosing a spouse or partner anymore. That needs to be repaired and healed before you can truly give your heart to someone. Don’t rely on someone else to heal you. It is important you do the work yourself so you can walk into relationships being truly confident in your feelings.
Signs You Aren’t Ready
Do you go on a date and spend the whole time talking about your ex? Do you find yourself thinking about something your ex did or didn’t do and getting angry for no reason? Do you compare people you date to your ex? These are just some of the many red flags that should indicate to you that you may just not be in a position to fall in love yet.
Other signs include:
- Frequently texting or calling your ex. (excluding co-parenting communication)
- Talking negatively often about your ex.
- Feeling guilty when you go on a date.
- Finding yourself triggered when a date does something that reminds you of your ex.
- Sadness when thinking about being with someone else.
While it is normal and natural to experience some of these at some point, if you find yourself routinely doing the above, it may be a good idea to pump the breaks and take some time for yourself.
When you do find that special someone, it is such an incredible feeling. You can move forward and appreciate their love in a way you previously never did. Are you going through a divorce or dealing with a co-parenting issue? Contact West Coast Family Mediation at (858) 736-2411 today.