Dating before divorce presents its own unique set of challenges. When someone is headed towards divorce, they are ready and often impatient to begin a new life. They may have been part of a couple for as long as they can remember, and really don’t want to face being alone. Their ego may have been bruised, and they need to know that someone else out there can love them and accept them. But are they really ready to begin dating?
Do they really know what kind of relationship they really want? Have they learned from their past mistakes or are they too busy blaming their spouses as the reason for the divorce? Have they been feeling like a failure because their marriage didn’t last and are looking for a new relationship to make them feel better about themselves?
In some ways it is good that getting a divorce doesn’t happen over night. Instead of dating before divorce, use that time to prepare yourself so you date better after you are divorced. Live single for a while, and understand and accept how much time you have to devote to a relationship. If you need to work another part-time job because now you only have one income, you may have to put off dating for a while because you don’t realistically have the time to devote to a new relationship.
If your children are having problems adjusting to the divorce, focus on your family for a while. Get your family back in a healthy place before you bring someone new into the picture. The children just had a major upheaval in their life and need your attention. They may resent the attention you are giving to someone new in your life. You need to make your family feel safe and assure them everything will be okay.
You need some time to heal as well. Dating before you have healed emotionally can wind up making you attract people just like your ex. You may be telling yourself you don’t want anyone even remotely like your ex, but until you have truly gotten closure, gotten rid of the anger and negativity and moved on, that is most likely what you are going to find. Your energy needs to change so you attract a different kind of person.
When you start dating before divorce is final, the people you are dating often try to keep an emotional distance. You are not fully divorced and they know they are taking a chance because you may wind up trying to work things out with your ex. No matter how many times you tell someone you would never get back with your ex, until those divorce papers are signed, it is always in the back of their mind.
The people you wind up dating may get frustrated that your divorce is taking too long. It is hard to explain to someone who it is not your fault, but the fault of your ex, the lawyers and the courts. They may wind up becoming suspicious and get tired of hearing about your divorce and your ex. They went through theirs (if they were previously married) alone and wish they didn’t have to go through this with you. No one really likes hearing about an ex. Of course they want to be there for you, but they would rather your relationship was about just the two of you, not the latest drama over your soon to be ex.
Dating before divorce is tempting, but be aware of the additional problems it can bring at a time that you really don’t need them.