Starting over in the dating scene after a divorce can seem pretty overwhelming at times. While at first, it may seem exciting and like you are finally free from the chains that tied you down to your ex, after a while, the dating scene can become monotonous and filled with disappointment after disappointment. There are many reasons why dating after divorce can be disappointing, but there are also ways to cope with the disappointment.
1. You jumped into the dating scene too quickly.
The loneliness of a divorce can lead you to start dating before you’re ready. Jumping too quickly into a relationship is almost always a setup for disaster. Giving yourself time to grieve the loss of your marriage is necessary before you can move on to have a healthy, happy relationship.
There really is no set time frame to give yourself after a divorce before you start dating, but if you are only interested in a relationship because you want to replace the one you lost, then you aren’t ready. Trying to fill that void with someone else won’t work. You are the only person that can fill that void, and to do that, you need to give yourself time to heal.
2. You’re picking the wrong type of people to date.
Most divorcees look for one of two things in a new partner- either they want someone exactly like their ex, or the complete opposite. Looking for someone exactly like your ex makes some sense, particularly if your marriage lasted a long time and only ended because you grew apart. Clearly, you saw something valuable in how your former partner was, and it may seem appealing to look for someone with similar personality traits.
Looking for the complete opposite in a partner usually results from a marriage that included frequent arguments and a toxic environment. Thinking that the answer to your problem is to find someone completely different from your former spouse may not end up any better.
The key is to look for someone who compliments you, rather than worrying about finding someone who is or isn’t like your ex. Constantly comparing the people you’re dating to your ex is setting yourself up for failure. Take the lessons you’ve learned from your marriage and apply them to future relationships, but don’t completely build those relationships around who your ex was or wasn’t.
3. Your self esteem is low.
Whether or not you were the one who filed for divorce doesn’t really matter, the fact that your marriage didn’t work out can still leave you doubting yourself and your ability to have a healthy relationship. You might find yourself wondering if there’s something wrong with you, and if those reasons were why your marriage failed.
When your self esteem is low, it can lead you to make choices that are less-than-ideal when it comes to a new partner. As soon as someone gives you any kind of attention, you might latch onto that in an effort to boost your self esteem.
This will undoubtedly not end well. If you aren’t confident in yourself, you won’t be able to have the confidence to have a healthy relationship. You may even pick the wrong type of person to be in a relationship with because your judgement is clouded by self-doubt and self-loathing. Working on your self esteem prior to starting a new relationship will have you better prepared to find something that is healthy and lasting.
4. If you have kids, your children now factor in to who you choose to date.
Dating with kids is very different from dating without kids. There are custody schedules that may impact how often you see the person you’re dating. The question of when to introduce the kids, and what happens if they don’t like your new partner comes into play.
If your kids are older, they may have some pretty strong opinions about who you’re dating, especially if they are very attached to the idea of you and your former spouse working things out. Taking things slow is a must when you are dating with kids. Your kids have already gone through some major life changes, so you want to make sure the person you’re dating is going to stick around before introducing a new person into their lives.
It’s easy to get caught up in the newness of a relationship, and it can feel like a let down once the reality of dating with kids hits you. It’s better to be prepared for this up front and to take things slow from the very beginning, than to jump right in and have to pump the brakes afterward.
5. Once you’re single, it can be hard to let go of that freedom.
At first, the loneliness is hard after a divorce, but over time, that loneliness fades and it almost becomes pleasant to have some time to yourself. It’s easy to become comfortable in being single, especially if you were married for a long time and you weren’t happy in your marriage.
That feeling of freedom is tough to let go of once you find it again, which can make it hard to really commit yourself to a new relationship. Some people are never ready to settle down again, and some people just need to wait until they find the right person who is going to give them the freedom that they need in a relationship.
Being in a relationship again doesn’t mean you need to let go of that freedom. The good thing about dating after divorce is that you’re likely pretty well-established on your own and you aren’t in such a rush to settle down again. This gives you the ability to take things slow and to find a partner that adds value to your life.
Coping With the Disappointment
Having one failed relationship after another can really start to weigh on you after a divorce. If you haven’t taken the time to heal from your divorce, you could be adding even more broken hearts on top of the one you already have.
Coping with the disappointment looks different for everyone, but it may include taking a time-out from the dating scene to regroup. It won’t hurt you to be on your own for a bit, and you can make the most out of that time alone to really work on bettering yourself so you are ready to accept love once it finally comes along.