After ending a relationship, it can take time to get back in the saddle. But, if your last relationship is ending with divorce, you might be worried about the connotations and what happens next when you enter the dating world.
New research from leading divorce and family law firm Maguire Family Law has found that 36% of people in the UK are dating before divorce, and not confessing to it. And only 11% of us think dating once the divorce is finalised is the right time to start.
So, if you’re thinking of jumping into the dating pool but still have divorce proceedings to take care of, here are some top tips on how to date while divorcing – it might not sound glamourous, but it can be!
- Be open at the start of new relationships – you don’t have to share your life story but just slip into the conversation that you are soon to be D.I.V.O.R.C.E.D. At least this way everyone knows where they stand from the off, and you know you’ve been honest!
- Don’t be embarrassed – divorce doesn’t mean failure. Sometimes things just don’t work out. It isn’t something to feel bad about, or something that needs to be kept in the closet. Your past is your past, it doesn’t have to affect the future if it doesn’t need to.
- Be prepared to talk – if you are letting potential new partners know of your past, be prepared to talk about it. They might want to know the whys, hows and what went on, but if they’re wanting to find out more about you it’s generally a good thing.
- Prepare for some judgement – put bluntly, some people will think if you date before your Decree Absolute has been granted, you’re cheating. What you do during the divorce period is your decisions but be aware of any risks which may come up if you start dating.
- Take it slow – after a marriage, starting a brand-new relationship with an unfamiliar person may seem scary. Take things slow and at your own pace. Relationships aren’t a race, and your new partner should respect your feelings on how fast, or slow, you take things.
- Don’t tarnish everyone with the same brush – it’s very easy to think that if you’ve been involved in one divorce, everyone else who’s been divorced has been in the same boat. All divorces are different, some being very easy with both sides parting as friends, and others leaving with a family feud. If you meet a potential date who’s also experiencing divorce, remember they’ll have their own story too.
- Be considerate before moving in – if you’ve got to the next steps and are looking at moving in together before your divorce is finalised, talk to your solicitor as this can affect division of property, money or maintenance.
- Tread carefully if children are involved – new relationships have yet to build strong foundations. So, if children are involved it’s important to take things slow when introducing a new partner. Follow the child’s lead on how you approach things and use their feelings as a guide on your next steps.