12 Signs You're Ready to Start Dating After a Breakup Or Divorce (PHOTOS)

Adriana Velez | Sep 21, 2015 Love & Sex

How do you know when you're ready to date again after a breakup or divorce? We asked some moms when they knew they were ready to give love another chance and found out how much the answer depends on circumstances. 

The signs can look different from one woman to the next. Maybe you can relate to some of these?

dating after divorce

Image via pio3/shutterstock and Bacho/shutterstock

  • When I Felt a Weight Lift

    1

    "After our divorce I jumped right into it. Made a profile on a site and started talking to guys, never actually meeting them. I guess that was what made me realize I was not ready.

    "A year later I ended up going through a six-week course on anger and forgiveness through my Sunday School class at church. It was then that I was able to sit down and write a letter to my ex telling him that I forgive him and I hope he would forgive me for my part in the divorce. That's when I felt a weight lift. I guess I was angry at the previous situation I had blinders on and didn't want to give anyone else a chance. Three months later I met the love of my life."

  • You Have to Be Happy By Yourself First

    2

    "You have to be happy by yourself first. Learn to be by yourself and love life. Make sure you are over your ex. Go to therapy if you need to. It's been the best for me. The key is, you have to want the guy, he has to be the icing on the cake. You don't want to need him. That is always a disaster. I didn't date until a year after my divorce."

  • Right Away

    3

    "Right away, but I love male companionship. [We were] strictly friends who enjoy each other's company. Dating was fun for me. It was kind of therapeutic, stopped me from focusing on that [the breakup], and helping me move on."

  • I Needed Time Alone

    4

    "About three years or more. I need that time alone to enjoy my own company and improve myself before moving on to the next relationship."

    More from The Stir: 10 Things Every Divorced Woman Should Do Before Starting to Date Again

  • I Just Needed to Feel Alive

    5

    "My late husband died in 2011. I started mourning his loss well before his passing, though, because he had terminal cancer. I wasn't really ready to date for a while but I was ready for some type of physical intimacy after a few months. I think I just needed to feel alive. My late DH always told me to move on. I remarried in June of this year and I am so happy. Its been a rough road but I feel it all happens for a reason. There is no right or wrong way. Everyone has his or her own path."

  • Never

    6

    "To be honest I don't ever see myself dating ever again. My daughter's father put me through hell and I have trust issues. I do not feel that I'm attractive and don't know if I could actually make good conversation with a man. Of course there's actually no men on this island either though, LOL."

  • I'm Young & I've Still Got It

    7

    "I knew it even before we got divorced, I was ready. I wasn't going to drown myself in a pool of pity. I said no, I am young and I still got it and I went out and had my fun. It was a little hard at first because everything is so different now. But I am happy I did it."

    More from The Stir: 17 Things You Learn After Divorce

  • When I Stopped Talking About My Ex

    8

    "It took about three years before I decided to date again. I knew I was ready this past summer when I could have long conversations without mentioning my ex even once [and] when the idea of a new man not only appealed to me, but I actually looked forward to it ... I am having fun meeting people from dating sites. I am having the time of my life."

  • Before My Divorce Was Over

    9

    "The year on my own [temporarily separated from my ex-husband] taught me I can make it on my own. And at my age (50, at the time), life is getting pretty damn short. I'd already evaluated why the marriage fell apart, etc.

    "So, I actually signed up for an online dating site before the divorce was even over ... I'd already given the marriage my last best shot. By the time the last nail had gone in the coffin, I was already ready to move on. Not emotionally needy, not reeling from despair or loneliness, just ready to put myself 'out there' again."

  • Pressured to Start Too Soon

    10

    "I started dating too soon. I actually didn't want to, but I was working at a gym as a trainer and I had just been lectured by my boss that I needed to be more assertive. I don't make eye contact with men that I don't know for the most part.

    "So I came out of the office ready to 'put my most assertive foot forward' and ended up making eye contact with a man on a chest press machine. He got very aggressive, even though I told him I wasn't looking for a relationship at that point (and he wasn't someone I would have been interested in if I were). He was very manipulative, used guilt, pointed out my financial insecurity and saw himself as the solution to all my problems.

    "I 'dated' him briefly until he had a major anger outburst one night and I got mad enough that I yelled back and he LOST IT. And at this point I realized I had some issues and I attract abusers.

    "I got myself into therapy ASAP and a couple months later started seeing someone I had been friends with throughout my divorce and who had been amazingly supportive. We had talked about dating but had decided we didn't want to ruin the friendship. We just celebrated six years yesterday."

  • Five Years to Heal From Abuse

    11

    "It took me five years to heal after my first marriage, which was abusive to say the least. It took months of dating my now-husband to even consider taking the next step. He was patient and perhaps enjoyed the challenge of winning someone over who was almost indifferent to the situation. But, whatever it was, I am glad he decided I was worth the effort as I am now living a life I dreamed of and never thought was possible for me. Sappy but true..."

  • When You Feel Whole

    12

    "When all of your bitterness is gone. When you feel whole."

    More from The Stir: 10 Dating Rules That Have Changed Since You Married & Divorced

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