How long before I am ready to date again after divorce? That is a good question; one that I have been searching for answers to since the day I separated. If you are middle aged and have been married for a long time this answer may be different than for someone younger. It may be quick for someone who was married a year or so in their 20s and realized it was a mistake and is back in dating form in no time.
I was with my husband for 21 years so getting separated was a HUGE change for me. It was like having a limb removed. Like a missing leg, I would often think that surely it hadn’t really happened. And like a missing limb, it hurt like crazy and I cried all the time; every day for 6 months pretty much. I was very sure that I was not ready to date while I was crying once a day and my therapist agreed with me. I still wanted to know how long before the pain went away and I was ready to move on.
One answer I came across, that answered the question “How long before I am ready to date again after divorce at middle age?” is that it takes one month to heal for each year of marriage. So for me that would be roughly two years. I am at month 14 right now so I can’t say one way or another if that formula worked for me or not. I have heard at least one person say that that formula worked for them.
One of the authors of my favorite middle age divorce books said it took her 5 years to be fully over her divorce. The odds of getting remarried graphs show that some people are ready as early as right away but that is for all ages.
Another answer I came across was that you need to wait until after you feel like a separate person from your spouse before you are ready to date again. If you are like me, than you might have trouble differentiating what hobbies are yours and what are his. I was not sure if I liked antiquing because he did or if I really did. I guess if I don’t go without him that means it was his hobby. I think I am still sorting.
Another good divorce book I read said it took about year on average to get past the pain and the confusion of what you wanted. I think this is probably a minimum.
I know that on dates I have cried and used the word “we” when talking about my ex and I. Not good. If you see little signs like this it may be a clue to wait a little longer before dating.
“Be gentle with yourself” was the gracious advice of my therapist. I think it is some good advice. Just give yourself time to heal the way you would if your leg really was cut off.