Is it just me or does it feel like a lot of people are getting divorced? Dating after divorce is becoming more and more common. Whether you’ve been married one year or twenty years, it’s the same pool you’re jumping into … but, it’s a different pool that you left, that’s for sure. So there’s divorced and there’s single, but then there’s this limbo purgatory called “separated”. It’s somewhere between married and divorced … sort of divorced but not quite single either, or is it? Once you’ve made that decision to end the marriage, does it mean you’re single again? Free to roam the endless ocean for a new partner, or maybe several casual encounters? That’s a tough one. I mean sure you’re free to explore other options, but what options should you explore AND are you really ready? What about if you’re single and meet someone who’s separated, should that be a red flag? It begs the question, is separated the new single? Today we talk dating after divorce.
Is Separated The New Single?
So what does it really mean to be separated? Well, it means different things to different people. Some people who are separated continue to live together (for financial reasons), some don’t. Some people who are separated make it official with legal papers, some don’t. Some people who are separated try their very hardest to move on, others still hold on to hope that things will turn around. Some people who are separated are so heavily burdened with relationship baggage that they can’t function as single, others cut the cord with ease. So really, everyone’s experience is different. While on the road to divorce, is it fair to all parties concerned to start new relationships? Or is it too much too soon? Well, depends who you ask.
When I got separated, first thing I wanted to do is get all the arrangements officially in writing and live apart as soon as possible. Well it took a few months to get things in order but once it happened it was one of the most freeing things ever, and, it allowed me to begin healing – officially. When my ex-husband and I were still living together, albeit in separate rooms, it still didn’t feel official and I still didn’t feel I could adequately move forward. It felt like I was stuck in this awkward limbo place where I couldn’t move forward and didn’t want to go back. It’s not a great place to be, let me tell you, but many newly separated couples are faced with the same dilemma. As much as you try and respect each other’s new choices and separate lives, you’re still in each other’s face. This is not healthy, nor is it conducive to moving on, especially if you’ve got baggage to deal with.
So is separated the new single? Well, in many cases yes but I have a couple caveats. When you’re separated and dating it’s important to respect all parties, especially if you and your spouse are still living under the same roof. This means both your soon to be ex-spouse as well as your new love interest which should be a no brainer, but sometimes we get carried away. Also, be careful of baggage and being on the rebound. I encourage people to take their time in moving on. You also have to remember that separated is not divorced, so if you’re dating someone who’s separated then there is always that possibility they might go back to their ex. So make sure you’re ready to accept that risk. As a rule, I generally don’t date someone who’s not fully divorced, but I have made exceptions for, well, exceptional people.
Dating After Divorce
Dating after divorce takes single to a whole new level. Why? Well, because you bring with you the baggage that comes from being divorced, even if it wasn’t that bad of an experience. On the most part, divorced people (whether they admit it or not), me included, are a bit skittish when dating again. Additionally, trusting after divorce is challenging to say the least, but it is possible, it just takes time. Separated and divorced people generally want to find love but are afraid of the negative consequences they encountered in their previous relationship. Re-entering the dating world is not easy, I will be the first to tell you, but if you take it slow and make sure you’ve got your baggage checked, it can be a positive journey of self-discovery. At least it was for me.
Dating after divorce allowed me such a wealth of experience and personal growth and prepared me for something great that I wouldn’t have accepted, or appreciated, had I not had the experiences I did. This happened because I was open to all the growth opportunities and lessons that came my way. Single is NOT a bad word, and I took every opportunity to make sure that was real for me by using my time being single to make myself the best me I can be. I took my negative divorce situation and turned my post divorce experiences into an award winning blog, helping other people in their journeys as well.
Dating after divorce doesn’t have to be a daunting task, but is does have to be enjoyable. If it isn’t, then step back and re-assess why that is. It could be your approach, it could be that you haven’t checked all your baggage, or, it could be the dating choices that you’re making. Like with everything else, if it isn’t working, don’t keep doing the same thing, change it up, try new experiences and people and see how it works. If I can leave you with one tip for dating after divorce it’s to make the experience your own and go at your own pace. You can find your happily ever after, you just have to be open to it and to think positive. Plain. Simple.
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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