There is a right and wrong way to date. We all want validation, and romance, and sex! But jumping into a relationship unconsciously is dangerous trap that may take years to recover from.
There are three kinds of dating, two good, and one bad:
Recreational Dating: Good. When you’re first out of divorce, this is what you should do. Date for fun, date for the social aspect. You’re a new person post-divorce, so it’s your chance to reinvent yourself and see what’s changed out there. This is not an exclusive relationship, and you say to your date, “I’m not looking for a long-term relationship right now…”. Keep boundaries around your time and emotional investment (sex is great as long as you’ve put it in the proper context), and no matter what, do not introduce this person to your kids.
Long-Term: Good. After you’ve gotten into a relationship with yourself and had fun dating recreationally, you’re ready to explore a committed relationship. Hopefully you’ve done some therapeutic work with a Coach and can understand what went wrong in your last relationship, and how this new person will fit into the backdrop of your new.
The Mini-Marriage: Bad. We’ve all been here, that place where chemistry happened and momentum took over. Before you know it, you’re playing house together. Best thing to do is own it, say to your partner, “I made a mistake and I’m not ready for this…” and get out. Don’t go ahead with a marriage because your family is already involved, or you’re embarrassed. Second divorce statistics are around 70% for a reason; most people haven’t dated consciously.
Get in a relationship with yourself first and don’t cheat the process. Dating consciously will ultimately save you years of wasted time and emotional energy.
Through the process of our own divorces, Barb Hazelton and Jo Briggs learned more than they ever needed or wanted to know. Through their friendship, shared experiences, and connections through navigating their own divorces, they created this video series. They've been where you are and they hope Single Process can make it easier for you by connecting you to their resources.