Making the decision to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back out there after a divorce is a noble decision. We’ve seen too many people that choose to sulk in their situation and never seem to get out of the funk that it puts them in. Sadly, this is a rut that can sometimes last for weeks, months, years, or forever.
Now, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t be upset after a divorce. A divorce is a traumatic experience where you find yourself splitting from someone you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. You certainly should take time to deal with this properly and make sure that you are emotionally ready before considering moving on.
A question that we get asked a lot by people that are going through divorces is whether or not they should turn to online dating as a resource. Today, we want to dig into that and see if we can’t shed some light on whether or not this is a good idea for your situation.
What Are You Using Online Dating For?
Online dating is a great resource for singles for a lot of different purposes. When you’re trying to decide whether or not you should be using online dating while going through a divorce, you need to pay attention to exactly why you are planning on using it. If you’re using it as a resource to help you get over your soon to be ex-wife or ex-husband, that is not healthy. If you’re choosing to use online dating to find someone new because you are already over the current situation, then that is ok.
What’s the big difference? When you use online dating to help you get over your current situation, you are not being fair to the other people that you are dating. How would you like it if someone were just using you to get over someone else? You would feel manipulated and it would probably end up damaging you emotionally. You can’t do this to someone else. We understand that you may be struggling to get past your current situation, but online dating and trying to substitute other people is not the answer.
Sometimes, though, divorces can be long and drawn out processes. They can take months or years to get finalized thanks to legal or other factors at play. In these situations, you’ll often find yourself completely over and moved on from the situation before the divorce is officially final. In these situations, we think it’s completely ok for you to get out there and start looking for new people. There are a few things that you need to be aware of and keep in mind, though. Let’s get into those now.
Make Sure the Divorce is 100% Going to be Final
If there is only one thing that you take from this post, please let it be this. Do not get involved or even start looking until you know that your divorce is going to be 100% final. It is not fair to other people to get them interested in you or even engage them in conversation if there is a chance that you and your soon to be ex-husband or ex-wife might get back together.
If you choose not to respect this rule, you’re just being selfish. As someone who has probably already been through quite a bit of pain in your own relationships, we would hope you would understand why it’s important to be respectful and help to protect other people. Yes, it’s probably tempting to see what is out there, but it’s just not fair, and you’ll end up leaving a trail of pain.
Make Sure You’re Open With Everyone You Date
One thing that a lot of people are curious about is whether or not they should tell potential dates that they are still in the middle of a divorce. What we recommend is that you should 100% tell anyone that you are getting involved with that you are still going through a divorce. You should tell them this right at the beginning of your conversations with them. Please don’t “wait for the right moment.” The right moment is when you first start talking to them so they can make a choice whether they want to be involved or not.
Yes, this may scare them away, but they deserve the right to run away. Some people just don’t want to be involved with something like that, and that’s completely their right. Please don’t take that choice away from them because you’re being selfish.
What should you say? Tell them that you want them to be aware that you are finalizing a divorce, but you are completely finished with that person, and there is no drama or anything for them to be worried. This should be enough to put them at ease, and hopefully, they are still open with moving forward. They may have questions, and you should be willing to answer those questions. If you aren’t willing to answer those questions or there is still some drama with the ex, don’t tell them that there isn’t. You have to be 100% honest in this situation (and every situation for that matter).
The Final Word
So, the bottom line is that it is ok for you to start using online dating during the final stages of a divorce as long as you aren’t using it to get over your ex, the divorce is 100% going to happen, there is no existing drama, and you’re open with everyone you date. Remember, the time to be open about all of this is during the first or second conversation that you have with someone. If you’re doing this anyway differently, you’re just being selfish and may be inflicting pain on someone else whether you know it or not.
Things will get better and hopefully online dating can help. As long as you follow these guidelines, it can be a great resource to help you begin building your new life post-divorce.
Some Great Dating Sites to Get Started
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Written By: Jason Lee
Jason Lee is a journalist and data analyst with a passion for studying online dating, relationships, personal growth, healthcare, and finance. In 2008, Jason earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Florida, where he studied business and finance and taught interpersonal communication.
His work has been featured in the likes of The USA Today, MSN, The Motley Fool, Net Health, and The Simple Dollar. As a business owner, relationship strategist, dating coach, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base with the rest of the world.