In our study, Jumping In: Dating After Divorce in 2019, 78% of women said they had already started thinking about dating by the time their divorce papers were signed. But how can you know if you are really ready for a new relationship after a divorce?
This week, relationship coach Roy Biancalana joins Mandy to discuss the most common mistakes people make when they start dating after divorce. And, no surprises here, the biggest mistake most people make is not understanding whether or not they are ready.
In This Episode
How can you know if you are ready to start dating after divorce and when should you consider your marriage to be over? There are a few elements to the end of a marriage – legally, physically, and emotionally. According to Roy, you are ready to start dating when you are no longer involved with your former partner. And by “involved”, Roy means that you no longer want to kiss them nor kill them. When you feel relatively indifferent toward the person you were married to, you are ready to be open to someone new.
There is no right or wrong, good or bad time to start a new relationship. It all depends on YOU.
What we should do after a divorce is to go through a grieving and growing process where we reflect on the relationship that has ended and learn from our mistakes. We need to grieve and grow before we put our hearts somewhere else.
You can choose to learn painfully or you can choose to learn playfully. Painfully means dating before you are ready and learning that through pain.
When you can articulate to yourself or someone else what your part was in the relationship that ended, blame is gone and you are no longer tethered to the past.
Is it a red or yellow flag when you go on a date with someone who can’t stop talking about their ex or the legal side of their divorce? It’s a yellow flag – you should be cautious but you don’t need to walk away immediately. Their divorce could be very legally complicated but from an emotional standpoint, the marriage is over. How they talk about the divorce is the deciding factor in whether this is a red, yellow, or green light. If it’s clear that there is still anger, that means attachment. If it’s just simply a matter of working out the legal matters before they sign the papers, that could be a green flag.
Being a Revealer or a Concealer in a Relationship – Sometimes when you go into a relationship, you choose what to be honest about and what to conceal from this potential partner. As time goes on, that partner falls in love with you without knowing those parts about you. When you do reveal them, you are a different person. You had put forth an image you thought they will like but it’s not the real you. If you want to create a healthy and sustainable relationship, you need to commit to being a revealer.
When do you introduce your children to a significant other? Children bond very quickly with new people. The general wisdom is to delay any introductions until you feel confident the relationship will be around for a while.
What’s the best advice you can give people? Dating after divorce isn’t about finding the right person, it’s about being the right person. You have to get yourself into relationship shape so that you can go the distance
Make sure to check out Roy’s assessment of your relationship fitness. It’s a 30 questions true/false quiz that will give you a current picture of your relationship fitness level.
For the past 15 years, Roy has been supporting single people in the art of attracting healthy, sustainable, intimate relationships. His experience has taught him that getting in “relationship shape” is the key to attracting lasting love.
The Worthy Blog is a place for inspiration, insight, and advice for all things surrounding life's greatest transitions - divorce, losing a loved one, retirement, and so much more. You can find us on our blog, Instagram, and Facebook.