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After divorce or death of a spouse, how soon is too soon to start dating?

My husband died, but I’m thinking about dating. Is it too soon?

I went through a very painful divorce, but I’m thinking about dating. Is it too soon?

In my role as a matchmaker, I talk with many widows, widowers, and divorcees. Almost all of them ask the “is it too soon” question. The answer depends on so many factors. One of the big benefits of working with us at Elegant Introductions is that we take the time to really get to know all our clients. I love helping my clients find the answer to this question, and because I already know so much about them, I can guide them on this crucial discovery. It’s so wonderful to find a new love, especially after you’ve been through so much pain and loss. But in order to get to the point where you’re truly ready to take this journey, you should ask yourself many questions. Here are just a few of them.

  • Have I taken the time I need to deal with my loss? This is so important, because loss is painful, no matter the circumstances. Unfortunately, there’s no universal timetable for an answer. The important thing is that you take all the time you need. For some, it takes months. For others, it takes years. But it’s best to avoid getting back into the dating pool until you have taken the time you need. That leads to the next question.
  • Do I really want a new relationship, or am I on the rebound? This question takes lots of introspection. If you’re just looking for some fun times and companionship, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be on the rebound. But if you’re looking for a serious relationship, this can be problematic. No matter what you’ve seen in so many movies, very few singles like being “the rebound date.” In other words, it may be fun for you, but not for your date. Almost certainly, your date will feel as though he’s being compared to your former husband. That comparison is very hard to overcome, and that leads to this question.
  • Do I still think constantly about my former spouse? It’s only human to think of your former husband frequently. After all, he was a major part of your life. But it’s a red flag if you still think about him even as you begin to date others. It’s not fair—to your date or to yourself—to put your date in competition with someone who obviously meant so much to you during your time together. If you answer “yes” to this question, it probably means that you need more time to deal with your loss before looking for another serious relationship.
  • Am I in competition with my ex? This is a huge question for divorcees. Divorce is painful enough as it is. On top of that, it almost always stings when you discover that your ex is the first one to start dating again. Often, this brings up feelings of grief and loss all over again. But if you’re thinking about dating just to get back at your ex, you should to take a serious pause. An “I’ll-show-my-ex” relationship is often fueled by revenge and jealousy—not exactly the strongest foundations for a lasting relationship. If you answer “yes” to this question, it’s another sign that you need to take more time for yourself before you think of seeing someone else. Depending on the connections you still have with your ex, you may indeed have to swallow your pride when you see him with someone else. But dating should never be a competition—and this is especially true after a divorce.

As these questions indicate, this journey of self-discovery takes a great deal of introspection. Elegant Introductions is here to help you on this journey. We’ve helped so many divorcees, widows, and widowers find out that they can indeed find meaningful relationships once more. Contact us today and let us show you how we can help you.




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