Separation – you will have so many mixed feelings. If you left the relationship, one moment you feel excited about what is possible. Then the next moment you feel full of guilt for ending a relationship.
It’s normal to feel a range of contradictory emotions when you go through the separation process.
You will also have more time on your hands than you did when you were in a relationship! It can feel quite lonely being on your own for the first time.
It’s normal to miss having someone in your life and it makes you feel like dating. The problem is that you’re not sure if this is a good idea especially as you are still going through the separation process.
Dating after divorce can be difficult but if you are still legally married and going through the separation process it can be even harder.
As a Dating & Relationship Coach, I regularly see what happens when people date before they are ready to. They end up hurting themselves and the people who were ready for a committed relationship.
8 Things to Consider During Your Separation
1. Is Dating During Separation Legal
If you live in Australia, adultery isn’t a crime. However, in some parts of the world, it still is.
2. Do You Need Time on Your Own?
This is a great question! I am sure you have seen plenty of people jump straight into the dating pool as soon as they start the separation process. Others go from one relationship to the next. However, I wouldn’t recommend you rush into a new relationship even if you can. It can solve your loneliness but can create more problems than it solves.
I recommend you get used to being single again. Allow yourself time to process your feelings, help any children involved in the separation process their feelings and grieve the death of your relationship. Take the time to rediscover who you are and what you want. You can do all those things you have always wanted to do without criticism. Learn how to be by yourself rather than fear it.
3. Be Clear
If you have decided you are separating make sure you are clear. Does your ex know that it is over? Or are you giving them mixed messages?
If you have told them you are taking a 6-month break to work out what you feel, they won’t expect you to date. If they found out through other people that you are dating, it will feel like a betrayal and make your separation process so much harder.
4. Make Sure it’s Over Before You Date!
If you are still emotionally invested in your previous relationship you are not ready to start dating someone else. Just because you have started the separation process does not mean that you have cut emotional ties with your ex. If you have ANY hope of getting back together, then you are not ready to start dating.
5. Don’t Date to Make Your Ex Jealous
If your ex has already moved on don’t use dating as a way to get back at them or make them feel jealous. You will only hurt yourself and the person you are dating.
6. Have the Talk with Your Ex First
If you want to keep the divorce friendly then it’s a good idea to talk to your ex about your plans to start dating. This shows respect for your partner. Be honest and transparent. This will help keep the discussions on practical matters like the finances and custody of children from being affected by an emotional backlash. Especially if they are holding out hope that you will get back together, only to find out from one of their friends you are already dating.
7. Don’t date to Fill In Your Blank Spaces
Separation can feel lonely. It can be tempting to date whoever is available. You might do this to make yourself feel better or to fill in the gaps or blank spaces left by your ex. Dating someone as a stopgap or as a replacement is unfair both to you and the person you date. Especially when you haven’t taken the time to heal. You are taking advantage of their emotions when you aren’t ready to give them what they need. It may feel good for now, but you are setting yourself up for more emotional pain in the long term.
8. Feel Your Feelings
When you separate you will feel ups and downs. Some days you will feel hopeful and you will see the possibilities. On other days you may feel like a failure and be full of guilt. Take the time to feel your emotions without beating yourself up. Don’t date too early or for the wrong reasons. Forgive yourself and give yourself time to heal; slowly, you will start feeling whole and ready for the future.
Separation – If You Are Ready Be Honest
If you do decide to date be honest with the person you are dating Don’t lie about your situation or mislead anyone. Don’t list your status on a dating app as divorced if you are only separated as there is a big difference between the two.
Let the people you date know what you are looking for. If you are want something serious or if you are wanting company but not ready for much more. You may find people don’t want to date someone who is going through the separation process as they have been burnt before.
If you want some tips on dating, you can read How to Date When you are Newly Single.
Dating After Separation Conclusion
Going through a separation is a tough time, if you need support coaching can provide that. Why not book a free discovery call?