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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › QOW #3: Starting to Date Again

QOW #3: Starting to Date Again

A former member
Post #: 2
A few common themes here and I agree with them all: It is an individual thing, it depends on the type of break-up and any hope of reconcilliation, and you need to find yourself again before you know what to look for.

Obviously, some people are more social than others, and can talk to anyone, or groups. I am more introverted, and find it easier to talk on an individual level. This can give (false?) feelings of wanting to date before you are ready. Also, some people deal with casual relationships better than others. If you have never felt comfortable with that in the past, don't think you will now.

I was in my marriage for the long haul, and would have continued trying to work on things had she not slapped me (figuratively) and said it had to end. Did I see it coming, yes (for years, actually), but that didn't help me feel like any less of a failure. Unfortunately, that feeling leads to trying to prove somethng to yourself. After 20 years with the same person, you wonder if you are still capable of dating. So, from that, I know that a) persistence works, and b) it is and isn't worth it. Solved question of "can I" (which, at the time was necessary for me), but did not help with hurt or other feelings.

Dating as friends is a good idea if you can find someone you can comfortably talk to. In a bad marriage, the communication is usually poor. Finding someone that you click with - without the expectation of commitment or anything else - can be extremely beneficial.

I guess my point is that you are going to do what you feel you have to do. Just follow your feelings, realize what you're doing and why you are doing it, and make sure it helps you in the long run.
A former member
Post #: 1
I think every situation is unique but I do believe that everyone needs some healing time before moving on to the next relationship in order to make that new relationship a success. I also feel that there are a lot of issues to resolve during the divorce process and I think adding more relationships to the equation can have a huge impact on important decisions that everyone will be making.

I also have very strong feelings with the impact that dating has on children. They are adjusting to a lot of changes that are very tough. I do not think it is fair to them to jump into anything too soon.

A former member
Post #: 3
It does vary from person to person for sure and sadly some people do move onto dating or another relationship before they even end their marriage as was my painful experience. When I got the talk about “wanting a divorce” it was hard enough to face life “alone” with kids but then when it came out that she wanted out because she was with someone before she started talking divorce and that he was married with kids, it was like the air wasn’t breathable. I think for any person this is perhaps the hardest challenge to deal with in that I stopped feeling rejected but… replaced.

Sadly that can lead to a massive rebound reaction on the part of “why should they have someone to help them through this and I need to go it alone”? No matter what, resisting that urge to find someone else because they have, needs to be resisted as it really wont help. I sadly couldn’t resist and while now I feel I am in a good place I wasn’t at that time. I wanted what my ex and him had and while I’m not going to pretend that it didn’t feel good to get out it wasn’t time yet.

Overall I think once you have accepted what’s happening, why it’s happening and you are comfortable with being yourself again you can seek out friends and see if it progresses to more. It did work for me in a way as I also set boundaries on life.
Also, keep it real and NEVER lie about your situation. If you are still in progress, be honest about it and yes.. still divorcing will limit your getting out but do you REALLY want to start a relationship based on lies?

One bit of advice I thought was pretty good, was at what point might you feel comfortable telling you ex, you are dating again? Especially with kids it’s important to keep that communication open between co-parents as the kids will be hurting the most by a sudden replacement mom or dad.
user 10588499
Madison, WI
Post #: 3
I went to a divorce group at my church. They said on a video that you shouldn't date for half the time that you were married. Now I think THAT is excessive!!! However, the points that it made were really valid thinking points for waiting a bit (not half!). Although they didn't validate the timing, they made good points for identifying when it would be good to start dating -- that are not about time but about being healthy:

When you are divorcing, there is a lot of loneliness, anger, sadness, etc. People often date during that time to put a bandaid on the pain and on their emotions. However, what you are bringing to the plate for the other person that you are involved with is not your whole, healthy self. It is an injured person who needs time to heal. You haven't worked through your own feelings yet and got back on your feet and felt strong and whole again. Those relationships almost invariably don't work out, and that can actually hurt the person you are dating....and possibly their kids if it gets that far. The relationships that do eventually work have developed when you are in a healthier spot.

So what made sense out of it all was to be with friends for a while, do social networking to develop new friends and get out/not sit at home (not date), until you are emotionally healthy. When you are emotionally healthy, you are being fair to the other person you are involved with. You are then more clear in your mind about yourself and what you want in a relationship and from another person. You are able to look at the other person with much more clear eyes....their faults and positives....because they are not just a bandaid. You are able to stand on your own two feet and know that about yourself. You have found your own inner strength and come back to a better spot....a better spot to share with someone else. That makes it a good time to date.
A former member
Post #: 8
Well, my wife was dating when she was still with me. And it's been very painful to find out this young man is her boyfriend now. But the reality is, this is like a death. When it's done, it's done. Holding onto the decisions she makes doesn't do me any favors. Luckily in my case her actions have been turning my need to be with her into my need to stay far away from her. But I think regardless, focusing on their choices doesn't get us anywhere. If they date right away, that's their problem. Seriously, all the research shows they will be less likely to have permanent relationships in the future.

I really like the idea of dating again and I could so use that new love high. But I also want to make sure I heal. I made out with one friend after some drinks and it was a really good kiss. But the next day I found myself comparing her to my ex and I knew I wasn't ready yet. Luckily she wasn't looking for anything either. That was a couple of months ago now...
A former member
Post #: 4
I have been on both sides of the dating situation where I was ready to date and the other was just newly divorced and/or left their spouse/partner. In my opinion, I think there needs to be a period of learning to be physically alone and truly spending the time to learn about oneself before involving another person in a romantic way. There is no magical number as to when to start dating, but have to be truthful with yourself and the other person about why you are dating.
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