Dating while divorcing: How do you know if you’re ready? — Forever 39 Podcast
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The dating scene can be pretty tough, but imagine navigating it while going through a divorce. Breakups, especially ones that end in divorce, can have a devastating effect on a person's heart, mind and soul — but dating too soon could just end up making things worse.
On this week's Forever 39 podcast, we dive into that topic. Not only do we try and give our listeners some real advice on how soon after a breakup people should date again, but we also reveal the signs you should look for that you're not ready to find love again.
To help us with this topic is Marty Tashman, a licensed marriage and family therapist with offices throughout New Jersey. He said a lot of people jump back into the dating scene for the wrong reasons — you want validation that you're lovable and attractive. And of course there's the fear of being alone.
Tashman said there are a number of milestones that people want to hit before thinking about putting themselves back on the market. For starters, how the person thinks about his or her ex is a key component to determining whether that person is ready to find love again.
"When you think about them, do you tend to villainize them, do you tend to feel like you're a victim, or do you feel really sad? When those feelings flood over you, those feelings are going to interrupt the (new) relationship," Tashman said.
In order to move forward, Tashman said, people want to get to an indifferent state when they think about their exes. If you don't care that your ex is dating, that's probably a sign that you're ready to do the same.
Tashman said another sign is that dating becomes integrated into your current life and doesn't become your entire focus.
"You're not obsessed with dating. You take care of your kids, you take care of your work — there's a balance," Tashman said.
Another key ingredient that you want to make sure is there when you begin to date again is enjoyment. Tashman said people should enjoy themselves and be playful when back on the dating scene.
Tashman said while some experts might tell you people should wait at least six months to a year to begin dating again after a tough breakup, he thinks time isn't as important as emotions.
"It depends on how maturely you handle it," Tashman said. "Are you in some ways always comparing the other person (to your ex)? Are you always having conversations in your head about what was wrong with your partner? Have you gone through a mourning period?"
For those still struggling to know whether the time is right, Tashman offers these final words.
"When you're not being driven by being alone, when you've allowed yourself a sadness, when you're not obsessing about what's wrong with your partner — then you're ready."
Have you just started dating again after going through a divorce or breakup? Share your story by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Annette and Megan, Forever 39
Join us for next week’s podcast when we discuss financial infidelity, what male qualities turn us on, and fun dating ideas in New Jersey,