One common challenge of being single again after a divorce or dating breakup is the challenge to decide when you will be ready to date again. There are many opinions on the subject. Some people will say that you should wait at least a year before dating. Others will say, take the total time you were in your relationship with the last person, divide that number in half, and that is how long you should wait until you get into another new relationship. The truth…depends. There is no one size fits all answer to this question and results will vary. Therefore, in this article I will review several factors to take into account when making the decision on whether or not you are ready to begin your next dating relationship.
Factors to Consider in Your Decision:
*Sabotage risk: a good question to ask your is, “how likely would I sabotage a relationship if I was to begin one now?” When the pain and the wounds from the last relationship are still too raw, you may not be ready to date again. Specifically, if a relationship is promising but you would be at a high risk of ending it in spite of its promise, you are not yet ready to date. For a relationship to truly have a full chance to succeed, you need to be able and willing to be emotionally vulnerable and available. If you are still overly hurting from the last relationship to give of yourself in those ways, you are not ready to date and will probably find a reason to end the relationship before it gets too close. This is a setup for failure for you, as well as an unfair situation for the other person. If you aren’t ready, stay single longer and work to get ready. As soon as you are truly emotionally available and able to be vulnerable, you are ready to date. Before then, it won’t end well.
*Psychological/emotional health: closely related to the last factor is your current level of psychological and emotional health. When you are healthy in this way, you are in a positive/stable mood most of the time, and only occasionally struggling with a bad mood. On the other hand, if you struggle with depression or anxiety on a regular basis, you may not yet be ready or able to be in a new dating relationship. When you are not emotionally healthy enough, a new relationship would be less of an equal partnership and more of a situation where the other partner would need to be more of a therapist or support partner. This uneven, unequal relationship just doesn’t work over a long period of time. And such relationships just aren’t enjoyable, feeling more like a caretaking relationship. Get yourself in a better psychological and emotional state before your next dating relationship through therapy, self-help, meeting with your bishop, etc.
*Practical readiness: There are too many things to list here on practical readiness. However, this arena includes things like debt/expenses, income, child issues, available time for a new relationship, housing issues, etc. Time and money issues are most of what constitutes practical readiness (or lack thereof). Therefore, if one or the other of these issues are not where they need to be, you may need to get your practical sides ready to be reasonably able to be in a dating. With at least enough practical readiness to be able to function adequately.
*Spiritual readiness: spirituality is an important area to be ready in for your future dating relationships as a fellow church member. Ideally, carrying a current temple recommend would be great, or to at least be working towards that goal. Beyond that, living in such a way to have the Spirit with you most of the time is very important with dating. Having the Spirit will greatly aid you in the important decisions that occur along the way with anyone you date and have a relationship with. For more information on having the Spirit with you in a dating scenario, feel free to check out my recent article that addresses this subject: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/spiritual-feelings-versus-infatuation-368/
If you are not ready to date yet, please don’t. However, rather than just waiting until you feel up to it later on, please be proactive and work to get these important areas of your life better so you become ready. There is a useful saying when it comes to preparing for your next relationship: if it is to be, it’s up to me. Know yourself, then use that self-awareness to improve yourself where needed. That way you give yourself the greatest chance possible for future relationship success. Because remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).