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Dating after divorce?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Ok Ive been thinking alot about this lately. Me and my exhusband broke up in January. When is it ok to start dating again? My ex has been dating (not seriously) for about 2 months now. I think he finally gave up on the idea of me changing my mind and seeing things his way. But up until recently I havnt even really wanted to date anyone. I still love my ex. But I know its not good for me to be dwelling on the past. Things didnt work out and I need to get over it. Is there any accepted rule of thumb on how long you should wait? I think my ex started dating way to soon.
post #2 of 42
I've never been divorced... and John has been my first and only relationship, so I don't see where I can give much advice here. But, in my opinion, only you know when you're ready and when the time is right. One day it will feel right to you.
post #3 of 42
I would say as soon as you meet someone you like! Take it gradually, don't go looking for a 100% right relationship straight away, but just go with your instincts and maybe try out people as friends first. Too many people go rushing into something on the rebound, and then get hurt. I've been there twice, and I know. Good luck.
post #4 of 42
After divorce - depending on how long you were married and how horrid the marriage was (such as: if you were the victim of abuse and/or cheating spouse, etc.), I think it's best if you don't date at all, really.

Spend time with YOU. Go away by yourself. Date yourself! Get to know yourself, fall in love with YOU, first... before you date.

Dating itself is a harmless thing. Or so one would think. Some people get WAY too serious about dating and jump right back into marriage. Danger, danger, DANGER!!! After a divorce (and yup I'm barking from experience here!)... you need TIME to heal. Time away from the opposite sex.

You can 'date' and 'have fun ' (you know what I mean... um... "safe fun")... but don't fall in love or get too "into" someone.

Rebounds are horrendous and always end in a huge fiery crash. So don't get too involved, just have fun, 'date', and keep it "at arms length" (no overnights, no I Love You's, no picking out curtains together). Take care of YOU.
post #5 of 42
My mom jumped into dating right after her divorce..I think you just need to take time and assess what you are looking for in a new relationship. Do you want to get married again, or just date. And what are you looking for in the man himself. There is no right time to start dating, you just do it when you feel that you are ready and can emotionally handle a new relationship. If your not comfortable dont date, if you want to then take it slow and enjoy the stroll thru the dating scene.
post #6 of 42
I think you will know when the time is right for you. As for your ex - obviously he felt the time was right for him. Just my own observation, but I've noticed that men tend to get back into dating and relationships much faster than women. I personally think it's because they need someone to look after them.

I have a wonderful husband and he's been the love of my life but I tell you if anything happened and we weren't together for any reason, I would take a long time hooking up with someone else, if ever. After 30 years of picking up after him (and our daughter too of course), feeling guilty if I didn't feel up to making him dinner, spending every weekend cleaning, washing, ironing, I'd like a break. I'd like a time where after I finished cleaning the bathroom it would stay clean for more than an hour or two, or the empty, clean sink would stay empty and clean for more than an hour or two - you get the drift.

Take time for yourself and as posted above, get to know you, like you, be able to spend time with yourself without feeling you need to have someone else there. Join clubs/organizations to meet people as friends and if things develop naturally, so be it but let it happen naturally.
post #7 of 42
I can't speak from personal experience, but I don't think there are any hard and fast rules for this. I think the important thing to focus on is whether or not you feel ready to date, and your reasons behind dating -- are you dating because you're afraid to be alone, because you want to "show up" your ex and/or prove to him that you're ready to move on, or are you dating because you're genuinely interested in the person you're seeing and feel ready to move on? You're the only one who knows the answer to these things, but I think so long as you're comfortable with it and ready to try new relationships, it's good and healthy.
post #8 of 42
I say whenever you are ready.

My family have been trying to push my mum into dating since about a year after my dad died, it just makes her not want to spend time with them either. Take the time you need for you and when you want to start dating, do so. If you don't 'want' to be with someone and are happy by ypurself, leave it like that until you want to be in a relationship.
post #9 of 42
I have a unpopular opinion about this. Everybody is different. I jumped in with both feet. I have never experienced "rebound."

My ex told me he wanted a divorce over 5 years ago. I was stunned and devestated. I was soooooo hurt and sad. I still loved him very much and asked him repeatedly to come back.

About a month and a half later I looked up an old friend. I cried on his shoulder. I started falling for him.

We were married last year. He is my best friend and my lover. I can't even describe how much we love each other.
post #10 of 42
like everyone else has said it depends on the person.... me, for example, started dating again before my ex had even moved out but then again the love I had for him had died a while before we split. I did what darkeyedgirl suggested, I just dated and had fun, I've been split for over 2.5 years and to be honest I'm still just dating and having fun
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I currently know two guys who are definatly interested in me. I like them both. But Im really not sure if Im ready. Our breakup was a little strange to say the least. He didnt want to break up he just wanted to get divorced becase he didnt want to be married. He wanted to still live together and act like we always had. Just not be married anymore. I told him that was stupid and we ended up breaking up. So he is still attempting to get me back. But why? I dont want to be his girlfriend. Its just strange. I think it will be fun to date someone other then him. Ive been married since I was 17 and been dating him since I was 15. So I think I deserve something different.
post #12 of 42
I've been divorced for 18 years. I finally got brave enough to date again about 6 years after my divorce. It was a disaster. Then I waited another 6 years to date again...and ended up with Psycho Dan (who beat me, and stalked me for 18 months after I told him to get out of my life.) I'm not sure I'm ever going to date again. Obviously, I make very poor relationship choices! I'm sticking with cats!!!
post #13 of 42
I started dating soon after my separation back in the 70's. I knew we weren't getting back together since we had a legal separation. I don't think there is a certain amount of time to wait after divorce or separation, just do what you want. If you meet someone you want to go out with...just go, there are no rules. A widow would need to wait tho I would think. Your X didn't waste any time so if you know someone you would like to have dinner with, just do it. Time goes by way too fast, you deserve every chance at happiness, good luck to you.
post #14 of 42
When my last divorce was final, the guy I was living with went to court with me. My ex showed up, with HIS S/O and as soon as the papers were signed, they went down the hall and picked up a marriage license.
post #15 of 42
Its really not a good idea to get back on the dating scene if you still have feeling's for your ex. I've been there, its not fair on yourself or the other party.
post #16 of 42
There is no timeline - its whenever you are ready. The biggest problem is usually the first or 2nd person you date right after divorce is a "rebound" person and the relationship doesn't last long.

I've heard that from a lot of divorced women - they seem to be a bit "jealous" that their ex has started seeing someone new and they haven't. Its not a race or anything. Take your time and sort out YOURSELF first. You also shouldn't date if you still have feelings for the ex. You need to fix that problem or the person you date will not hang around long.

When you are ready you will know. And during this time, sit down and write a list of the qualities you want in the next person - about 15-20 different things - that way when you date, you'll have an idea of exactly what you are looking for and not just settle to date someone.
post #17 of 42
OK, here's the story of the dating deal. Divorced after 15 years. 3 kids. (2 of hers one of ours) all three stayed with dad after the split. Mom went right on to dating and was married three days after the court approved the divorce decree... Now single, living in Ohio. Can cook, do dishes, enjoys long walks and has a rather singular if lonely life sometimes.

Soooo. When is it OK to date? How soon is too soon? There is no easy answer and to be truthful, the answer is different for everyone (as the posts have shown). Was the breakup amicable and is dating an option. Ugly divorces sometimes make dating difficult. Raising 3 kids can also through a real wrench into the works as well. Not ok to bring home "Friends" and not exactly ok to leave kids home while visiting the "Friends house" or a hotel. Doesn't help when the kids don't want to stay with mom even for a weekend. Regardless, your compass is the one to go by.

Me, I found dating to be difficult. Being past the meet-market barscene can lead to the Sahara desert. Also, where are you meeting people? Coworkers and work in general are not good places to find new experiences. I hear tell that the friends helping friends referal network does a pretty good job. Online is not always successful. I am on match and its been rather dismal. Look for the petprotector if you want to get an idea of what I am talking about.

First and foremost, date when you want to. You make your own rules and set your own goals. Its ok to be picky. Do the neutral date deal (you meet somewhere) or find a set of wingmen (or in your case wingwomen) to go with you and make it a group interview (oops, I mean date). Don't think that whoever you date is entitled to a long term relationship after 15 minutes of complementing your eyes.

From the guys side, I am much more interested in someone who can carry a conversation over a cup of coffee! I look for someone with a sense of humor. Despite the myth, there are a few of us left who don't think that jumping in the sack on the first date (or the 2nd or 3rd or 4th) is the best way to see if you are compatible.

Doesn't want to be married but can still live with you? Sorry, thats sounds like a mid-life crisis or an affair that isn't going anywhere and someone wants to have a live-in maid and bed partner when the pickings are slim at the bar. Wants the "benefits" with none of the responsibility??? Adios amigo!!!

And for the last of us decent guys out there, I have a question for the ladies and no offense intended.

WHY THE HECK DO YOU STAY WITH THE LOSERS????? Seriously. I hear more bad vibe stories about drinking, spousal abuse, cheating, lying, etc. etc. etc. from many of my female acquaintances than I can count. And when I ask why they stay with the "moron of the moment", I get this blank stare or the cliche "He loves me, he's trying to change..." reply. Change into what? A serial killer?

Another friend couldn't understand why her "boyfriend" was cheating on her. After all, he had left his wife for her and said he loved her. Helloooo??? Once a cheater always a cheater! Arggh! Drives me nutz.

Another tidbit, don't be afraid to be selfish and don't be afraid to ask questions. Like the one above. "Have you ever cheated on a girlfriend?" If the guy doesn't hold the door, offer you his coat and act generally like a chivalrous type - ditch him. Its not sexist its courtesy. Ladies should expect it, men should display it.

Qualifications for the decent guy:
Knows the words please & thankyou and can use them BOTH in a sentence.
Can pump gas, check oil, and change a tire. (Or has AAA and is not afraid to use it!)
Can cook (Not just mac & cheese nor hotdogs on the grill although I like both)
Knows that laundry is something to seperate by type & color - not just clean or not so clean.
Understands that "No" can be translated into "move your hand any farther up my leg without my express permission and you are going to lose the fingers to the third knuckle buddy"
Should know what the four stages of intimacy are: Permission, foreplay, fun activity, cuddling. Can go straight to cuddling without need of intervening steps.
Buys things just because: Its thursday, you were asleep when he left, he knows you like chocolate, you mentioned something you liked in a conversation three weeks ago
Can listen to every word you say and remember them more than 5 minutes from now.
Takes the time to memorize favorite color, dress size, shoe size, favorite dish, names of cats, favorite flowers, anniversary of first date/kiss/engagement/marriage etc.
Agrees never to go to bed angry.

And I sit down on the soapbox. All this talking makes a guy tired!
post #18 of 42
Mark, do you remember the "I believe in..." speech by Kevin Costner in Bull Durham? I think you just gave the 2007 version of it.

And I think you're going to receive a few proposals by PM...
post #19 of 42
I don't think there is any rule - it had to be totally up to you and your own feelings, and not because you feel pressured either way by thers. HOWEVER, I do think it is really important that your ex is out of your heart before you start again - if you still have feelings for him, it would be unfair on both you and any potential new guy

Wishing you SO much luck for the future
post #20 of 42
it is purely up to you and when you are comfortable...don't follow the mainstream's advice..take your own...it is called instinct. i am divorced and my ex husband probably had the same opinion for me dating too soon. however, each person deals with things differently and may be at a different point in their lives. besides, if you follow some rule that society made up, you'll never be happy. forget rules. trust your heart. anybody who tells you different can just mind their own business.
post #21 of 42
My parents have been divorced for over ten years. As the ink was drying on the paper my Dad was moving my Step-Mom into the house. (Side note: after a FINALLY realizing that my parent's divorce had NOTHING to do with me I realized that my Step-Mom was a wonderful person, and she and I are good friends now.)

You should start dating when the right person comes into your life. That may be tomorrow that may be five years from now. You'll know when the time is right.
post #22 of 42
Long term dating and breaking up, or getting married and breaking up is the same thing to me. Either way a relationship ended and 2 people went their separate ways.

Why sit and mourne about it? Life goes on and every minute you sit and spend dwelling over the breakup and wondering about "acceptable" length of time to start dating gain, is a minute of your life that you have lost and will never get it back.

If you're asking about when it's acceptable to start dating again, IMHO it's time you started to date
post #23 of 42
I don't think there really is a set time you should start dating. I think you should just live your life to the fullest, and when someone comes along that makes you feel like dating, then you try it out.
post #24 of 42
I've ben divorced for six years and out of an LTR 1 1/2 years. Signed up on a dating site, one month after moving out, last year. So far, I've had some laughs, eaten some good meals and seen some good movies. Nobody has turned out to be the ONE but, I'm hanging in there - if it happens, it happens.

Note to Mark: If you ever move to southern AZ and need a tour guide........
post #25 of 42
IMO it depends on if you have kids at home or not.
If you have kids at home, IMO a person should wait until the kids are grown and out of the house.
I do practice what I preach, I have 8 more years to go. Yes, it is tough but I feel it's what is best for my daughter.
post #26 of 42
Originally Posted by JuJubee View Post
IMO it depends on if you have kids at home or not.
If you have kids at home, IMO a person should wait until the kids are grown and out of the house.
I do practice what I preach, I have 8 more years to go. Yes, it is tough but I feel it's what is best for my daughter.
When my sons were 8 and 11, I married a wonderful man. Russ loved my kids and treated them as his own. It certainly does the kids no harm, to see their mother in a healthy, loving relationship. My kids had priority but, I needed some ADULT conversation and companionship, too.
post #27 of 42
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by JuJubee View Post
IMO it depends on if you have kids at home or not.
If you have kids at home, IMO a person should wait until the kids are grown and out of the house.
I do practice what I preach, I have 8 more years to go. Yes, it is tough but I feel it's what is best for my daughter.
If I waited that long I wouldnt be able to date until I was 38! Ari is only 4 months old. Maybe longer if she doesnt move out at 18.

I think Im just waiting for someone that I feel like dating. No one has really stood out to me yet. I dont think Im ready.
post #28 of 42
I've been divorced from my ex husband 6 years but separated 7 1/2yrs.
I started dating about 2 months after we separated (not divorced).
My situation was ALOT diferent though. Our relationship had been over for about 6 months prior to me moving out.

I had my oldest son who was 3yrs old at the time. I never introduced him to the guys I dated. The only one I did introduce him to is my current DH and we didn't meet until 6 months after the divorce was final and were married 6 months after that.... 1yr after the divorce was final...

I don't think having kids has anything to do with it.
As long as you're not bringing a different guy around them every night. Try to keep them away from the kids until you're dead serious about the relationship.
post #29 of 42
Originally Posted by JuJubee View Post
IMO it depends on if you have kids at home or not.
If you have kids at home, IMO a person should wait until the kids are grown and out of the house.
I do practice what I preach, I have 8 more years to go. Yes, it is tough but I feel it's what is best for my daughter.
I am not in favor of that but its slightly different for ladies with daughters. Sorry guys, the perverts out there have made dating ladies with daughters suspect. No matter how nice you are, there's always the specter of others hanging around.

Having kids doesn't prevent dating, just makes it very complicated sometimes. My three are 25, 22 and 19 now so its not an issue.

Although my youngest did set me straight on one topic. After a raid on a bad guy's house, I sent her an email around 5am telling her it made the news and she could check out Dad on the internet. She sends me a message back that essentially says:

"Dad, you took the job in Dayton for a fresh start. New job, new place, new chance to meet eligible ladies. I do not think the type of women you will meet in that section of town at 3am in the morning while on a search warrant with the vice squad qualify as ones that I would consider as a step-mom."

Ouch! Talk about being blunt.

So, in conclusion. Be careful. Be selective. Be considerate. And most importantly.... .BE HAPPY. !!!
post #30 of 42
Originally Posted by Fostermomm View Post
If I waited that long I wouldnt be able to date until I was 38! Ari is only 4 months old. Maybe longer if she doesnt move out at 18.

I think Im just waiting for someone that I feel like dating. No one has really stood out to me yet. I dont think Im ready.
IMO, if you have to ask, you aren't ready. You're looking for external validation on what should be a very personal decision. You said in your original post that you still have feelings for your ex, and you need to put those to rest first, before you think about dating. And any 'friends' who try to push you into dating before YOU'RE ready, aren't doing you any favors.

And to paraphrase what Mark's already said, minus the shouting, "why did you stay with a loser?" My first order of business after my divorce was to figure out why I thought it was OK for my ex to treat me the way he did, and why I chose him in the first place. I didn't take this seriously enough and I wound up in a couple of dead-end relationships that were polar opposites of my marriage -- the most recent of which ended when i got pregnant and he couldn't deal.

I know I will eventually date again, and before Danica is 18, but it will be a while. I want to concentrate on getting to know my self and my daughter, and THEN I can focus on finding someone to spend time with, and eventually someone who'll love us both.

Our girls are about the same age!!!! When was Ari born?
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