Dating after divorce can be an amazing, adventurous, exciting time, full of possibilities, new hope, and fun, or it can be a horrible, anxiety producing nightmare, making us want to stay single for the rest of our lives. So many of us have so many different experiences, but what really determines which side of the spectrum we will fall in this post-divorce endeavor? How much is it up to us what happens when we venture out? Can we ensure a positive experience and outcome? The answers to these questions are: “Us”, “A lot”, and “Yes”. The single factor that determines what kind of experience we will have is ourselves, a lot of what happens is totally up to us, and yes, we can ensure a positive experience and outcome.
The most important factor of having a positive dating experience after divorce is being ready for it. Start dating or getting into new relationships without doing the necessary work on ourselves will always result in more pain, confusion, frustration, and disappointment. Sometimes it’s hard to determine when we are ready, but it can be pretty obvious when we are not. Here are five sure signs of NOT being ready to date yet.
Many of us hold onto this idea of once the papers are signed the divorce is over. It might be true in some rare cases, but most of the time it only signals the end of the legal issues. That alone can be a great relief for sure, but the judge’s signature has little effect on our emotional divorce. The end of that lays entirely in our own hands.
So how do we know when our divorce is truly over? How can we tell we are on the other side of it? Are there any indicators that show us we are healed and ready to move on?
There are individual differences of course, but if we can answer these six questions with an astounding yes or no (only one acceptable answer to each), we can be certain we are indeed on the other side of it.
Most people who has gone through a divorce tell me that it was one of the hardest things they ever experienced in life. If I ask what was the hardest part about it, they usually say something like “the pain of the children”, “the vicious attacks of my ex”, “the desperation and hopelessness of it”, “the shattered dreams and promises”, or “being in court and all the legal stuff”.
These are all hard to bear heavy burdens for the time being, but I think there is one ultimate thing that tops all of them on the long run. As a matter of fact it is so hard to deal with that some people never do. Yes, you can get through a divorce, or even multiple ones throughout the years without ever dealing with the hardest part of it all. Looking at your own part in the failure of your marriage.
The question most of us want the answer to is “What to do when divorce is turning my ex into his or her worst self?” The answer to that is simple, although not what we want to hear. Nothing. We have no power over anyone else but ourselves and as horrifying as it is to watch someone we have loved and lived with turn into a person we hardly recognize, fuming with hate and anger, hurting us even when there is no gain for them in it, there is nothing we can do about that. Of course, we have our lawyer handle the legal stuff and be sure we get what we deserve both financially and legally but we cannot talk sense into our ex, change their mind, or behavior.
It is painful and shocking to see someone change during the course of divorce and do things we never thought they were capable of. We stare at them and wonder if we had ever known them. But it is even more shocking when it is us, turning into our worst selves, thinking and doing things we never thought we were capable of, feeling more hate in our hearts than we can even admit to ourselves.
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