The Right Time to Enter a New Relationship After a Hard-Fought Divorce

By Judith Lewis posted 05-16-2021 12:19 PM


After the death of a loved one, divorce can be the single most traumatic experience you could have. Indeed, many equate it with death, as a relationship dies, but there is no closure such as that presented by a funeral. Divorce can remain an open wound that refuses to heal for an extended period.

However, what should you do if you meet someone after your divorce? How will you know if it is the right time to enter a relationship?

Time for self-evaluation

A common mistake that many people make after a divorce is trying to find someone to be in a relationship with right away. Such a relationship tends to end badly as the person is not ready for it. 

Find out more from Interactive Counselling about rushing into a relationship too soon after a divorce and why it is doomed to fail. After your divorce, take some time for introspective thought about where things went wrong. It is unlikely that you are an innocent victim and you played some role in the marriage’s breakdown. 

Examine your patterns of behavior and how they led to your marriage becoming a toxic warzone. Identify them and ensure that you do not repeat them. When you rush into a relationship without doing this, you will find another version of your ex and get into another unhealthy situation.

Think of others

If you have children, they need to come first. Few children are happy when one of their parents rushes into another relationship. They are traumatized by the divorce and trying to come to terms with their new normal. Imposing a relationship on time on top of that could be too much for them to handle.

Experts advise that you do not start a relationship for at least six months after the divorce’s finalization. Even then, introduce your child to a new partner slowly once you are sure the relationship has long-term potential. 

Physical recovery

The stress of divorce takes a toll on your body that is challenging to overcome. Many people develop health conditions, such as high blood pressure, during or after a divorce. Even those that emerge healthily feel exhausted.

During a divorce, your body is in a constant state of fight or flight. This heightened state of alertness and the anxiety it can bring about leave you so tired that it might take months or even years before you start feeling better. Going into a relationship at this time will not make the problem better. Indeed, it might make things worse.

Open the door

After mourning the loss of a marriage and healing from the devastating hurt, you might start feeling that you are ready to move forward. This is akin to opening the door to allow new opportunities into your life. There is no need to fling this proverbial door open and let all and sundry enter. 

Instead, start thinking about what type of person you would want to be in a relationship with somewhere down the road. Evaluate your new relationship dealbreakers, the things you will not under any circumstances tolerate, and do not compromise on them.

Is there a right time?

The short answer here is no. There will probably never be a perfect time to enter a relationship after a divorce. Divorce is messy and painful. While you might be on the road to recovery, you will have bad days and good ones.

The best advice possible is to find someone who accepts you with all your baggage as a package deal and loves you anyway. This person will understand your experience and want to support you, even when the going gets rough.