Photo by Mel on Unsplash
My husband and I had our first date on November 17th, 2018. My divorce to my first husband (which had been filed January 25th, 2018) was not finalized until December 19th, 2018. I got married to my second husband on July 19th, 2019.
If you run that math, my current husband and I had only been dating for eight months when we got married, and I?d only been divorced seven months. Today, we have been together a year.
Do I regret it? Nope.
At 34 and 42, we were older. We knew what we wanted. We started going to couples counseling together early to work through communication issues, and we handle things as they arise.
When we said ?I do? this second time, we knew marriage would take work, and beyond some major betrayals, we were willing to work through anything.
According to divorce expert and author Dr. Terri Orburch, ?What research studies show is that whether you are ready to date again depends on your prior relationship and your emotional attachment to that relationship.?
Plenty of people told me I needed to wait a year ? or three ? before dating, but the end of my marriage was a long time coming, and when I left, I was done.
After my separation, I quickly began dating. I did end up taking a couple of months off when I realized I wasn?t as ready as I first thought. I also had a period of dating infrequently/one date wonders.
If you feel like going out again and looking for love, don?t let what other people say stop you. Conversely, if you don?t feel like going out again, don?t.
Everyone?s path to finding love again is different. My husband and I were on different ends of the spectrum.
His divorce crumbled when his daughter was four. He took a year off from dating to focus on his daughter and his new life, and in the decade before I met him, he?d had only two serious girlfriends.
We each found in our own timeline how to be a partner to yourself.
Truly anyone can find love after their divorce if they find it first with their own self.
Divorce is a failure, and I felt like failure as well. I had to come to terms with the fact that I wasn?t my divorce.
To get there, I needed a lot of therapy. I read books and worked through workbooks. I journaled every day. I treated dates as new opportunities to discover more about myself. I re-dedicated myself to hobbies I loved.
My husband did these same things, and it made us both ready to find each other when we did.
If you have decided you?re ready to date again, try these things:
Download a dating app
If you?re shy, introverted, or frightened about the great big old world of dating, dating apps are an easy way to stick your toe in the water.
You can chat and meet with people around your busy schedule. You don?t even have to meet anyone off them, but you can suss out how ready you are and make your own blunders before you attach yourself to anything.
Stop Being Attached to Your Past
Facebook is the devil for a divorcee. Those memories that pop up everyday? Really love to see how happy you were six years ago with your ex after you?re divorced from them. The best thing I ever did was get off social media altogether.
If you don?t want to get off it, don?t be friends with your ex and remove them from your feed, so you don?t inadvertently see what?s going on in their life if you don?t want to.
Also don?t pump your friends for information about what your ex is currently doing. If you?re doing that, you?re likely not ready to date as you?re still too attached.
Know that Rejection Will Always Hurt
Getting ghosted or curved when you?re back in the dating world will suck. Try not taking it personally. Easier said than done, but whenever I?ve looked back at relationships haven?t worked out, I?ve realized with some time that they were never meant to be anyway.
Know that rejections help propel you on the path to find someone you would actually want to be with.
Know What You Want The Second Time Around
I started out dating going for men who were the exact opposite of my ex-husband. They didn?t have professional jobs or were child-free and never wanted children. They were fun for casual dates, but not exactly what I wanted for the long-term.
Finding love gets a lot easier if you know exctly what you want. It may take you some time to figure out, but once you start dating, it?ll be easy to figure out what you don?t want and make choices moving forward based on that knowledge.
Give It Time
You may not think love is worth it the second time around, or you may not want to make time for it because your schedule quickly filled up being a parent on your own or hanging with your friends.
You can be perfectly happy self-parterned/single. You should, and that?s okay.
Don?t let thinking another relationship will never work stop you from trying to find love again.
Finding love again after a failed marriage is possible, and your timeline may look different from anyone else?s. That?s okay. You?re not your divorce, and you do deserve to be happy, and if you find someone to share it with, awesome.
Tara Blair Ball is a freelance writer and author of The Beginning of the End. Check out her website here or find her on Twitter: @taraincognito.
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