Starting over after divorce

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Divorces don’t just affect the relationship they are taking place in, but also the relationships between parents and children and ex-spouses and their new partners. Any relationship where your partners ex-spouse is still in the picture has to be negotiated carefully. That’s not to say that dating someone recently divorced should be avoided, by any means, but you might want to read these guidelines:

Determine early on if there is emotional baggage to contend with

Everyone responds to divorce in different ways. Your newly divorced partner may have been able to move on with their new lives quite quickly. Alternatively, they could still be filled with regret years down the line. If your match is always talking about their ex, or keeps photos of them around , then they may not be detached enough to form a new relationship.
On a similar note, if you are divorced, ask yourself if you do these things. Your emotional baggage could be dragging you down.

Make a clear path for the future together

Any hangovers from a previous marriage – be it yours or your future partner’s – should be dealt with before you continue into a serious relationship. This relates to anything from emotional issues (see above) to financial arrangements. The pain of a divorce can cause people to ignore these issues, but it is essential they are resolved to give any new relationship a good chance.

Don’t jump into a new relationship

Time is a great healer, and many people need that time after a divorce to re-evaluate their lives, and get over the break-down of an important relationship. Two years is the oft-cited amount of time it takes to recover from a divorce, but in reality many people will take more, or less, time. A rule of thumb is that if you spend more than 10% of your time thinking about your ex, then you’re not ready to move on.

The most important thing is to give yourself time to grieve for your old relationship – you can’t force yourself to get over it. There’s not harm in taking your time; in fact that’s much preferable to burying your feelings and then carrying them into a new relationship.


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