There is no exact time you should start a new relationship especially after a divorce, break-up or being widowed, and certainly not when friends feel you should, or you’re being pressured to get back into dating or a new relationship. Our emotions are raw after such events, and each of us has a different time clock with each situation a time of reflection, healing and acceptance of what has happened, so take your time as there is nothing worse than to embark on a new relationship only to find yourself overwhelmed with conflicting emotions due to entering a relationship too soon. Not only do we have a duty of care to ourseleves, but also to others who may become involved with us and become one of the emotionally injured.
1. You no longer feel angry or want to air your anger with friends; or even your ex.
2. You understand a break-up/divorce always has two sides, and even if you did not instigate it, you’ve gained insight and realize better now what does and does not make a long term relationship work.
3. You no longer want, think about; or are obsessed with your ex, what they’re doing, who they’re seeing. They no longer take up your waking day, you can’t remember the last time you thought about them.
4. You feel being single is not shameful or disease, in fact you are starting to enjoy your own space and finding out about who YOU really are not as a twosome. You feel confident and want to make choices on your next relationship not based on being alone or you feel a void, but because someone can enhance your life, not complete you.
5. The thought of starting a new relationship makes you smile inside and out, you no longer feel daunted by it, you feel better placed to make the right partner choice, what is and isn’t compatible with you, your values.
6. You’re starting to feel a lot more confident in the way you look, interact and portray yourself to the opposite sex. You’re projecting yourself with self assurance, warmth and an open mind.
7. You’re acting on your OWN feelings, not a date or time when you think you should be ready to start a relationship again.
Remember there is no time frame that exists when anyone should be ready, it depends on how and why the relationship ended, how long that relationship was part of your life, for some it’s weeks, months or sometime years before people reach the stages above. Never let others push you into dating, go with your natural instincts.
Jill Rhodes Harvey Dip.Couns, EQ-i Dip Dating & Relationship Consultant