When to Start Dating After a Divorce

Woman thinking.
Photo By Rafa Elias/Moment/Getty Images

Getting divorced can take a serious emotional, physical, and financial toll. And after a divorce has been finalized and the dust has settled, you may be wondering when is the right time to start dating again. Since every divorce is different and there's no specific amount of time or magic bullet that lets you know when to enter the dating world, it's important to understand the five clear signs that you're ready to start dating again after a divorce.

1. You're Over Your Past Relationship

One of the key indicators that you're ready to start dating after a divorce is that you're over your relationship with your ex. However, if you're still pining after him or her, wishing that things had gone differently, or are still suffering or reeling from the turmoil and fallout of the divorce, you definitely need more time to grieve, cope, and heal. Being ready to date again means that you've made your peace with the divorce, have accepted the reality of the situation, and are open or even looking forward to meeting others and starting this brand new chapter in your life. Even if it sounds a bit daunting to enter the dating world at this point in your life, being ready means you're ready and willing to take this leap into your future. 

2. You Know What You're Looking for in a Partner 

When it comes to dating again after a divorce, it's imperative to be honest with yourself about what you'd ideally like to have with someone new in the future.

By taking a closer look at your past relationship with your ex and reviewing the ups and downs with a more critical eye, you'll be better able to articulate what you want—and don't want—with someone else. However, if you can't yet imagine a future with another person and don't even know where to begin in terms of understanding your must-haves and dealbreakers, you should take a bit more time to refocus on yourself and your needs in order to understand what you'd like to have with a new partner at some point down the road.

3. You're Optimistic About Dating

Another important sign that you're ready to start dating again after divorce has to do with your overall attitude. If you view dating in a positive light and see it as having endless possibilities rather than endless disappointments, then you're ready to take this next big step. Your mindset can shape your entire dating experience and impact its outcome for better or for worse, so having an optimistic outlook, high self-esteem, and the belief that you deserve to be happy can go a long way. When you're ready to start dating, it means you're going into the dating world with the overall attitude and mindset that you'll be successful. 

4. You're Willing to Give New Dating Methods a Try

For many people who are divorced, the dating world has changed significantly since they were last on the scene. While you may remember meeting people in bars or going to singles events or mixers in your area, there are far more options today because of technology. And one of the clear signs that you're ready to start dating again after a divorce has to do with your willingness and eagerness to join today's digitally based dating world. Since there are dating apps and sites for all ages, there's no reason why you shouldn't fully embrace the ways that people meet other potential matches today.

Welcome to your new normal! 

5. You Feel in Your Gut That You're Ready

An additional sign that you're ready to date after a divorce is that you feel in your gut as though you're ready to take this step. And since it's not uncommon for friends, family members, or colleagues to pressure you into rejoining the dating world, it's highly important that you alone are the one making this important decision. In many instances, your instincts will kick in and let you know that you're ready to take this step. And by listening to your gut as well as your heart, you'll know that you're at the point where dating will be beneficial and will help you to live your best life.