Regardless of how long you were married, or the circumstances thereof, one important piece of information you need as a newly-single is that “dating” these days takes two forms. Some people are in the dating arena solely as a social pursuit; some date as a means of finding and selecting a potential new partner. With this information in hand, you need to consider where you yourself are at, and also keep it in mind regarding the new people with whom you interact. As the main purpose of beginning to date again after a divorce is to reestablish yourself as a single, and to take that single status into the social scene, it is unwise to consider such dating to be a means of leading to another committed relationship; and it is equally unwise to put yourself in the position of dating someone who is looking for such a relationship.
Keeping all of this in mind, you may encounter some problems. You may encounter someone who is not honest about his or her motives; or you may meet someone who will attempt to push you into a relationship and even attempt to extract and “exclusive commitment” from you even if you have been clear that this is not what you want. If you have the misfortune of having someone like this moving into your life, the smartest and safest thing to do is to get him or her out of your life as soon as possible. Not only do you not need an exclusive, committed relationship, you certainly do not need someone who does not respect your decision to refrain from such a relationship. In addition, a person who does not respect that is very unlikely to respect anything else you may think, feel, or need. Going through a divorce is difficult enough; you do not need someone in your life who will complicate your life and obstruct what you really need to accomplish.
Dating after a divorce should be seen as a stage of transition. Perhaps you know that at some point you will want a committed, permanent relationship; perhaps you do not have a clue as to whether or not you will ever want it. But even if you are in the former category, and fully aware of that, the time period following a divorce is not the time to look for it nor to find yourself in such a situation. Dating after a divorce should keep the emphasis on socializing within the context of your new life as a single; if you keep your eyes and ears open, you will surely find many people who will respect that stand. In modern terminology, you must be clear that while you are certainly open to going out on “dates,” you do not wish to be “dating” a specific person. If you are lucky, you will be able to find a social circle whose participants are there for the same purpose.