Is it Time to Start Dating Again? Here’s How to Know

Whether you’re divorced or separated at some point you’ll begin to wonder if its time to start dating again. When kids are involved, it can be hard to know when’s the right time to date. The questions in this article will help prepare you.

Most likely, as a single mom, you’ve been in a relationship that didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. 

Whether that previous relationship resulted in a divorce or you never made to the altar, if you have a child as a result, then dating again after your last relationship can feel like shaky ground. 

How do you know if its time to start dating again after a divorce or separation? 

Ask Yourself These Questions to Know If Its Time to start dating again

Are you fully healed from your past relationships?

Before you say yes and move on, consider the subsequent follow up questions. Can you answer “true” to each of these? 

  • You rarely think about your previous relationship anymore. 
  • When you do think about your last relationship, you don’t have any strong feelings – positive or negative.
  • You’ve thrown away keepsakes from the past relationship.
  • Your divorce is final.
  • You’re content being single.

Why do you want to date? 

Spend some time reflecting on this question. 

If you find that loneliness is your primary indicator, then you aren’t ready to date.

Plenty of couples and married people are lonely. Perhaps you were once one of them. 

Consider if God may have you in this season for a reason

Sometimes God places you in uncomfortable places to draw you near to him when you feel like you have no one else but him that’s when healing can come. 

Related: 8 Reasons Why It’s Okay to Stay a Single Parent

Bounce your reasons for dating against these two lists.

Some good reasons to begin dating again include:

  • Wanting to date rather than needing attention.
  • You want to go to events and experience life with another person.
  • You’re excited about the possibility of meeting new people. 
  • You’re willing to be open and honest about your past. 
  •  A relationship will complement your life, not complete it.

Some unhealthy reasons to begin dating again include:

  • You need help paying bills and are hoping for a double income. 
  • Your ex has moved on, and you feel as though you should too.
  • Your family and friends are pressuring you.
  • It’s been a long time since your divorce, so you’ve convinced yourself it’s probably about time.
  • Your kids are growing up, and if you don’t start dating soon, you’ll end up all alone. 

Related: Dating a Single Mom: What You Need to Know

The above list is all “should” reasons or societal reasons. Not “heart” reasons.

Bottom Line

Now consider these two statements:

  • You can make it on your own. 
  • You can be are happy on your own. 

Do you believe these statements? If so, and you still want to date, then you’re probably ready. 

Related: Dating as a Single Mom: 8 Things You Need to Know

Why is it so crucial to be content single before dating? 

Once you’re happy and content being by yourself, then you’ll be in a better place emotionally to date. 

You’ll be able to let inappropriate relationships go when they aren’t serving you. 

You won’t be afraid of the loneliness that you’ll face after the relationship ends. 

Discussing your dating with your children

Are your children ready for you to date? Most likely, regardless of their age, the answer will be no. 

The dream for children’s parents to get back together rarely goes away or fades with time. 

 Understand your dating is the death of a fantasy to them

The end of your child’s dream isn’t a reason for you not to date, but you should keep your children’s reservations in mind when discussing it with them.

Related: What Your Kids Need From You After Divorce

Decide when the best time is to tell your kids about your new friend. Most experts agree not to introduce your kids to anyone until you’re sure they’re going to stick around for a while. 

If possible, date when your kids aren’t at your house, taking advantage of shared custody agreements. 

Tips for when you start dating again

  • Go slow at first. 
  • Be honest about your past when the proper time arrives to discuss it.
  • Catch up on the dating scene. Most likely, things have changed since you last dated. You’ll have to decide if you want to jump into online dating or not. 
  • Accept you have a past, and the people you meet will too. You aren’t dating fresh out of school anymore. 
  • Keep your priorities clear. What’s most important to you going into this new phase of life: your children, your relationship with God, your financial stability? Keep yourself focused on these goals. Relationships can easily throw you off course if you aren’t intentional about it. 
Is it Time to Start Dating Again? Here\'s How to Know

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