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Dating After Divorce

March 4, 2018

The idea of dating again following a divorce can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if it’s been a while since your dating days.

You may wonder if there’s a ‘right’ time to start dating again.  Are you ready?  What to do on a date, what to expect, how to go about it, what to talk about, what to wear, where to go?  Taking that first step can be confusing and intimidating but the truth is, there are no rules to dating after divorce and everyone’s experience will be unique.

The key to remember is that there are always possibilities for healthy relationships.  Although starting over is probably not going to be easy, taking the first step is important.   It can be helpful to see dating after divorce in a positive light, rather than as something to be feared or endured because dating is actually an opportunity to discover a relationship that you may not have had in your marriage.

A marriage breakdown represents a loss of a relationship and many people grieve that loss in the same way that they grieve the loss of a loved one.  There’s no right or wrong time lapse between experiencing that loss and dating for the first time. People need time to heal and adjust to their changed circumstances.  Some are ready to date sooner than others – there isn’t an accepted or recommended timeframe in which you’re ‘allowed’ or ‘should’ take the first step.

In fact, when it comes to dating after divorce, there’s probably only one rule that you should heed and that is that there are no rules.  You’re the boss.  However, there are some strategies which may help you navigate your way back into the world of dating and relationships – all of which start from the premise that you’ve given yourself the time and energy to heal and that you have given yourself permission to go forward.

Don’t be ashamed of your situation.   It’s a basic human right to be happy and the sooner you accept your reality as a divorced person, the easier it will be to start dating.

Date because you want to, not because you think you should (or because anyone else thinks you should).

See dating as an opportunity.  It will be helpful to take stock of what you learned from your marriage and identify those elements that were good for you and those that you’d like to avoid.  Dating creates chances for you to go in a different direction, try new things and of course, meet different types of people.

The world of dating may also be completely different to what you have experienced in the past.  The advent of digital communication has transformed the way people meet and whilst internet dating and dating apps may seem completely foreign to you, they are a reality in the modern dating game.    The way people connect today is vastly different to dating traditions of old, and it’s helpful to move with the times and use technology in a way that you’re comfortable with.

Divorce doesn’t have to be the end of relationships.  In fact, it can be the start of new and different ones which can have a happy ending – it just takes time, courage, healing, a sense of humour and some self-love.

In a divorce situation, getting skilled legal advice early will help secure the best outcomes.  Paterson & Dowding is one of the top divorce law firms in Perth and they have all the experience, knowledge and resources to handle even the most complex divorce or parenting matter.  They have two offices of family lawyers and divorce lawyers in Perth’s CBD and in Joondalup and they will provide practical advice and guidance on the best way to move forward through the divorce process.  Find them on 08 9226 3300 or visit www.patersondowding.com.au.

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