Divorce and Dating
Sometimes moving on, whether it is a break up, loss or other major change is always difficult. No one ever says it is an easy unless you are so glad to be out of a situation, that making changes and moving on sound great. Regardless, a break up disrupts your whole life. Everything you do, see and hear seems to remind you of your ex. If you had mutual friends, they may be shifting alliances. Going out seems difficult and you cannot figure out how to combine the divorce and dating again.
One of the biggest hurdles to face is your family, and how you will handle future interactions about dating and divorce. If your ex was popular in your family, they will be asking questions and you may get tired of that. Accept that this transition is difficult for them and the fact that it is over and “that’s that.” Setting clear boundaries stating you are not willing to be reminded of her all of the time, and that will soon be dating is a way to take care of yourself. Your family loves you and they will eventually come around.
It is probably tougher when it comes to friends and your decision to date after divorce. If you had mutual friends, and hung out as couples, you may be facing some issues over allegiance. Also, it will seem strange that you are by yourself with them. It may feel more noticeable that you are moving on which often makes other couples feel uncomfortable. Unconsciously, when couples are faced with friends who are divorcing, this causes potential uncertainty in their own relationship. Sadly, they may back away completely.
As hard as that seems, when you are dating after your divorce you may have to give up some of those friendships. Be real about which friends are most important to both you and your ex. Maintain good contact with those closest to you, while allowing the other partner to do the same. Do not push to have people take sides to see who is loyal to you, and avoid people who seem to have an agenda other than what you want.
If you are having a difficult time being surrounded by mutual friends and the places you used to go together, take this as an opportunity to explore new hobbies or take that all-inclusive vacation jaunt with an old buddy you have always talked about. Get some perspective by stepping away at times. Find ways to support your decisions without alienating anyone.
You are moving on. The break-up is over and you want to get on with your life. Divorce and dating does not have to be your first priority. If you do decide to begin new relationships, taking understanding how the divorce has affected others will greatly increase your chances that your friends and family will come around and accept your choice. Sometimes during the divorce relationships with mutual friends have to shift and change.
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