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Should I hold off on dating if I am getting divorced?

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Going through a divorce can be a devastating experience when dealing with the sadness of ending a once-loving relationship. It can also be an exciting but confusing time when you eagerly anticipate a better life and the beginning of a new and healthy partnership.

But after spending years as half of a couple, dating may be a frightening thought. When is the right time to start meeting new people? And, how do you do that? Dating apps? The answers are different for everyone, but it's essential to take the time to say goodbye to your old life before starting a new one.

Advice for dating after a Texas divorce

Wait until your divorce is final before dating. You need to process the end of the relationship and think about your own needs going forward. Some experts say that could take as much as a year. Here are some other tips:

  • Date for the right reasons: If you feel the need to meet someone new to deal with pain, anger at your ex or loneliness, it's likely too soon. You should want to date and be ready to deal with the uncertainty and vulnerability it brings. You shouldn’t feel like you “have” to date.
  • Be reasonable: Beware of “rebound relationships.” Don’t assume dating will automatically lead to marriage, especially with the first person you see. Don’t apply the issues you had with your former spouse to the person you are dating. And, avoid comparing them to your ex.
  • Take it slow: Before diving into an intense relationship, talk over the phone regularly and go on many dates in different settings. This will give you time to get to know each other doing different things. Include each other's friends when possible to get to know each other in social situations.
  • Delay family introductions: Dating is even more complicated when you have kids. Adding a new person to their lives before you know them well can be confusing and troubling to children. It's a good idea to wait at least six months until you’re sure the relationship is serious.
  • Trust your instincts: No relationship is perfect, and it takes a while to build a loving and lasting union. However, if you have a bad feeling about someone, don’t ignore the red flags. Think about dating like an interview where you use your life experience to gauge whether a good fit exists. If the person you’re dating blames their ex for everything, that's a bad sign.

Rebuilding takes time

While there are many “don’ts” associated with dating after divorce in Texas, here are some “dos” to think about. You’ll know you’re ready for a new relationship when you’re not angry about your marriage anymore. Once you get to know yourself again and are confident that you’ve learned a great deal about the things that matter most in life, you’re less likely to make compromises that undermine those values.

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