I used to be one of those people who would look at couples who were in the midst of going through a divorce and frown upon their decision to start dating other people before their divorce was final. I used to think, “How can they date someone? They are not even divorced yet. They are STILL married!”
Funny what changes when your perspective changes.
Now I am one of those people who I once judged so harshly.
Entering the dating scene as a soon to be divorcee is a tricky thing. Not only do you have to deal with your own relationship hang-ups but you also have the added pressure of people on the outside passing along their judgement. Add in the normal ups and downs that accompany going through a divorce and the challenges of being a single parent to the mix and you can see why things could get complicated.
I certainly do not consider myself to be an expert on dating during a divorce but I have definitely learned a lot in the short amount of time that it has become part of my life.
Here is what I have learned.
1. It is OKAY to start dating before you are officially divorced. There is a BIG difference between being emotionally divorced and legally divorced. Often times, one happens before the other as most states have a waiting period between when you file for divorce and when you actually are divorced. The waiting period is even longer when the divorcing couple has kids.
2. People are going to judge you. Going through a divorce makes you a prime target for scrutiny both positive and negative on everything that you do. So stay true to yourself and do what works best for you.
3. Be open and honest with anyone that you are considering dating about your situation. Initially I suspected that people would be hesitant to date someone who is technically still married, but that turned out not to be true at all.
4. Dating again is going to be weird and scary. The sooner you come to terms with that the better. With that being said, it can be lots of fun and reawaken a side of you that you haven’t seen in a while.
5. The dating pool is a lot more limited than it was when you were younger. But that doesn’t mean that you need to settle. Keep your standards and expectations high and when the time is right, the right person will come along.
Have you experienced the dating while going through a divorce situation? If so, what advice would you give to someone in that situation?