While every locale has its own either spoken or unspoken standard as to what is an appropriate period of time between a divorce and starting to date again, it is a good idea to place your own needs and feelings as the priority. The most important factor to keep in mind is that in beginning to date again after a divorce you are regaining your status as a “single,” and it is generally best to not hold off on doing this for too long. Regardless of how long you were married, or the specific circumstances of the divorce, it is very important to get the hang of seeing yourself as a single, and to relate as such to other people and in your own life.
In deciding how long you should wait before beginning to date again, that factor is much more significant than any ironclad time-frame. Seeing yourself, and presenting yourself, as a single is the most productive means in preparing to move on with your life after a divorce. In making this decision, you should take care that you not fall into two of the most common mistakes; the first is isolating yourself from socializing and social contacts; the second is getting into another relationship long before you are ready to do so. Both of these common mistakes are counterproductive, as both will stand in the way of your immediate need, which is to reestablish yourself as a single, independent person.
Going back into the social arena of dating after a divorce should mean standing on your own two feet and taking the first steps in your own life without your former spouse; this should be your main priority. In some instances there are factors to take into consideration, such as whether you still have ties to your former spouse, as this can cause difficulty in making the transition into “single” if they are not addressed. If you and your former spouse must maintain some degree of contact due to children or financial problems, for example, it is important to learn how to keep a perspective on these issues and not allow them to interfere with your need to move on with your life. In instances like this, you must recognize how to differentiate between necessary contact and unnecessary strain on your new life.
Although each individual’s needs will differ, it is best to not allow too much time to elapse between obtaining a divorce and regaining your place as a single. Moving back into socializing, including dating, is a large part of this transition. While there is no steadfast rule that applies to everyone, a year or more is generally too long to remain in the limbo of “divorced, but not yet out in the world.” Your independence counts, as it is a sign that you are looking forward to the rest of your life.