Divorce is definitely a struggle, but once you are on the other side you can look back and reflect on your journey. Many women claim their divorce changed them and that they grew from the experience. Divorce can be the catalyst for the change that we want to see in ourselves.
If struggles make us stronger, than divorce is the drill sergeant of life. Getting through to the other side gives you a new perspective on marriage, relationships and love.
After a divorce the idea of getting your feet wet in the dating pool may seem pretty scary. Before you dive in be sure to take this self evaluation of whether or not you are really ready. Here are 6 guidelines to help you decide if you are ready to dive in.
1. You’ve done the work.
“The Work” is a term loosely used to describe the self work we must do on ourselves in order to be the best version of ourselves. You reflected on your past relationships and realize what part you played in each of them. You learned the lessons that came your way by reflecting on the past. You have self love and practice self care. You feel like you are whole and have wonderful and unique gifts to contribute to a loving relationship.
2. You know what you want in a man.
Imagine this, you have to go to a car dealership and pick out a car blindfolded. How do you proceed? Do you go feel your way around the car lot or do you start listing out all the criteria you have for the exact car you want to the sales associate? Finding a new life partner should be similar to that, know all of the qualities and character traits that you want. Write them down, revise and add to this list as you begin to date and find new qualities that you are attracted too. Stick to this list, if you know you want a man that cooks and helps with dishes, write it down. When you have a real written list your mind has something to focus on and you will know it when you see it.
3. You know what you don’t want in a man.
Just like you list of Must Haves, you have a list of red flags. If want a kind hearted man and you have a date that is rude to the wait staff, that is a red flag. Don’t ignore the red flags when you are dating. If you see one excuse yourself to the bathroom and sneak out the back door. Better to do it early in the relationship before you get feelings and feel locked in. You get to choose who you fall in love with because you don’t go on a second date with a jerk.
4. You have put your past behind you.
You are cordial to your Ex. Especially if you have children you speak kindly to them about your Ex. You don’t say bad things about him and you recognize you were both at fault in your relationship. You wish him happiness for your children’s sake. You appreciate his role in your children’s lives. You invite him to the Birthday parties even if he brings a girlfriend. You are nice to her too. You have put the past behind you and do not discuss details on first dates.
5. You have learned to be independent.
You are not trying to fill a void in your life with the next warm body. You know that this is a journey of kissing a hundred frogs in order to find your prince and are ok with that. You do things on your own and you have your own hobbies. You are content with a quiet home and look forward to time alone. You have your own friends and enjoy spending time with them. You know that the right guy will allow for your alone time, your hobbies and welcome all your friends.
6. Be open minded.
You never know when he may pop into your life, be open minded about it. Be curious with all men you come across because you might learn a new quality or value to add to your must have list. Don’t dismiss someone because they do not fit your ideal body type or have all their hair. You may just find he has all of the character traits that you find attractive and are able to overlook something you thought was a flaw. Sometimes flaws turn out to be their most spectacular features.
Keep in mind you are getting into a cold wet dating pool. Do so cautiously, step in the shallow end. There is no running along the pool deck and jumping into the deep end. You might find yourself in a mess with no lifeguard on duty. Take it slow, wade in carefully with the most qualified swimmers. When you find the right guy that meets your wish list and has no red flags, venture into the deep end together.