To some people the actual divorce date is a technicality. It was for me because 1. my soon-to-be-ex was also dating, 2. our divorce seemed to take forever. I did start dating early, and it is a personal choice what you decide to do.
Most importantly, you approach dating from a healthy place. If you hit all these benchmarks than you are most likely there.
1. Have you healed? If you are still pining away for your ex and hoping he will return... you are NOT ready to date. This means you have fully accepted that he is no longer your partner. And you have emotionally released him back to the Universal Sea so that he may find his next fish.
2. You are NOT seeking Revenge. I know a gal that would date and post all of her escapades on Facebook HOPING her ex would eat his heart out. If you are still wishing your Ex to be hit by a truck, you are probably not ready to date.
3. You have Mastered “being alone.” And by mastering it I mean you have hobbies, you have friends, you have a sense of community, you get out. You are not sitting at home binge watching 6 years of Sex in the City and crying in your Cherries Garcia.
4. You are financially fit. This means you know how to live within your means and you do it. You are not taking out a new credit card and charging yet another Coach bag. Rather, you are working towards a new degree or certification so that you get to expand your mind and the future of your bank account.
5. You feel like a better version of yourself than when you were married. If you feel like your marriage left you only 50% whole. And you are still walking around as your Half Self looking for another 50% to fill it, you are not ready to date. Only when you feel complete and 100% are you in any shape to date someone. That way, whatever they bring to the table is a gift not a desperate need.
6. You vomit out your whole divorce story. If someone asks you why you and your husband broke up and your canned answer is that you two were no longer a fit, you might be ready to date. But if you go into a long list of how he always slept with his stinky socks on and never did the dishes... no. Just No.
7. You own your mistakes. You reflect on what went wrong in the marriage and you take full responsibility for your parts. You know the parts of you that you want to change in the next relationship. Were you afraid to say what you want when you wanted it? Don’t make that mistake again going forward.
8. You have no problem saying no. Whether it is family members that ask you for money, or if it is a guy you went out with asks you again and he was just not your cup of tea... you can say no. Having the power to be authentic with your wants and needs is power.
9. You know what you are looking for in a man. You have a list of values, qualities and traits. You know how you want this man to make you feel. You raised the bar and you know you deserve nothing less. You also know what red flags to avoid and you have no problem walking out a date if he was a jerk to the waitress.
10. You can go on a date just for the fun or experience of it. If you are seeking to partner up ASAP, you really are not ready to date. If you are looking for fun and new experiences, then do it.
11. If it isn’t FUN, you are not doing it right. You should be pre-qualifying all your dates to meet your minimum criteria. And then, only then do you venture into meeting him in person. Make sure it is a public place. Just in case he has the personality of a STOP sign, better tell him you only have an hour so coffee or a drink.
12. Aim to date MANY. Again, dating should be fun. Don’t dive in without testing the water. Take it slow. You are not going to fall in love on the first date. If you do you have not raised the bar high enough.
Know that you can raise the bar on the quality of men you attract. It takes work and you must raise the bar on yourself first. You only get one chance at this amazing precious life. You can work at it and make it amazing, or you can let life take you down, good new is they take the same amount of effort. You get to choose.