Are you recently divorced and thinking about your next relationship?
Your first relationship after the divorce can be tricky. You may still have some unprocessed emotions and gaps in you understanding of why your marriage didn’t work out and how you contributed to it. A healthy way to approach your next relationship is by taking some time for yourself to reflect on your relationship. You can then process what happened, create clear personal goals and understand what it is that you want and expect from a potential partner and a future relationship.
In this article, you will learn what you could do after your divorce to have a healthier relationship with your next partner.
Healthy Relationships After Divorce
To have a healthy relationship after a divorce, you need to learn the pitfalls you tend to face in your relationships and what does it mean for you to have a healthy relationship.
Here are some general characteristics of a healthy relationship:
- You trust each other
- You can openly express your thoughts, feelings, doubts and concerns without the fear of being judged
- You are willing to hear each other out
- You enjoy each other’s company
- You can maintain emotional intimacy through trust and effective communication
- You can handle disagreements and resolve conflicts without unnecessary arguments, fights or silent treatments
- You have your own personal life
- You have a goal set for your relationship, a plan and a timeline.
To avoid repeating the same mistakes with a new partner, you can reflect on what was unhealthy in your marriage and how you were contributing to it. Then, you can find ways to work on those areas by yourself or with professional help from a relationship coach.
New Relationships After Divorce
Having a new relationship after divorce is nerve racking. It’s expected that you are going to be fearful, anxious and cautious about starting a new relationship.
Particularly if you have gone through a deep emotional turmoil during your marriage and through out your divorce. There are many feelings and emotions you should process before embarking into a new relationship.
Rebound Relationships After Divorce
A rebound relationship is when you or your new partner are in a relationship but are still strongly attached to your past relationship. A rebound relationship happens usually not long after the divorce. Where either you or your new partner are constantly comparing this relationship to their previous one.
There may also be a fear of commitment, hence rebound relationships tend to be casual relationships.
In a rebound relationship you or your partner haven’t processed the previous break up. Hence, you are still bringing those issues into the new relationship.
Casual Relationships After Divorce
Having a casual relationship after divorce is probably the easiest way to open up to new relationships.
After a divorce, you probably went through a lot of pain and hassle. The last thing you need is getting into a relationship where too much is going to be expected of you.
A casual relationship can help you build your confidence back. It can allow you the time to develop onto something more or help you realise what it is that you are looking for in a partner this time.
Long Distance Relationships After Divorce
Having a long-distance relationship after divorce is probably the easiest one to have as you would have some space and time for yoruself. However, it can be quite tricky to get to know your long-distance partner well-enough to create a healthy relationship.
Keep in mind that the end of a long-distance relationship is to be together, which implies one of you relocating. So, consider if that’s something you are prepare to do to start a new life altogether.
Serious Relationships After Divorce
A serious relationship is something that will develop over time. It may be a bit too much for you to start a serious relationship right after a divorce.
You need to process your feelings and emotions about your marriage and your ex-partner. Otherwise, you will carry them with you into your new relationship.
It’s best for you to take some time for yourself and slowly start dating again. It may well be that your next relationship is a serious one, but allow enough time for it to develop and for you to be emotionally ok to be in it.
Why Is It Hard to Date After Divorce?
Fear of Relationships After Divorce
If you were married for a long time, it is expected that you will feel nervous, fearful and insecure to start dating again. The best thing you can do is not to jump onto a relationship straight away.
There is not a set amount of time that you have to wait before you start a new relationship. But, it’s important to take some time to re-discover yourself, and to truly understand why your relationship ended and what was your part on it.
If you don’t learn from your previous relationship, you are bound to repeat the same mistakes and end up having the same problems with your new partner.
Trust in Relationships After Divorce
If your marriage ended because of cheating or trust issues. It is going to be hard to trust your new partner. Even though, you have no reason not to trust them. But, you will be fearful that they will do the same that your ex did.
The healthiest option is that you deal with your trust issues before you get into a new relationship. Getting professional help can do wonders for your emotional health and your self-esteem. The more you can learn from yourself and your emotions, the better you can do at your next relationship.
Relationships After Divorce too soon
Having a relationship no long after you divorce may not be the best idea. You may want to feel loved, wanted and appreciated again. And, you may need to feel reassured that you are capable of love again and that someone can love you back.
Moving into a new relationship before you process everything that happened in your marriage will lead to repeating the same mistakes.
If you would want just a casual affair, it may be ok to start a relationship soon after divorce. But, it will still interfere in your process to create a new life and re-discovering yourself.
Anxiety in Relationships After Divorce
Dating again after being married for a while can be a daunting process. Your fears and insecurities will come out. If you cannot handle them, they will turn into anxiety. Instead of enjoying your new relationship, you will be living with the ghost of your past relationship.
You may start wondering if the new person is going to be like your ex. You may even compare the good and bad of your new partner to your ex. This isn’t healthy because it won’t let you start the new relationship with a blank canvas. But, with the shadow of your ex and what you didn’t like about them.
So, work on dealing with any remaining emotions you still have from your marriage and your partner. This will give you a better chance to see your new relationship as a different person and appreciate them for who they are.
How to Deal with a New Relationship After Divorce?
Before you consider starting a new relationship we recommend you to:
- Reflect on why your marriage didn’t work
- Accept the part you played in your marriage, without regret or guilt
- Learn what you can do to work on yourself to avoid making the same mistakes in your next relationship
- Take as long time as you need to learn to be you again
- Learn to enjoy your time alone
- Appreciate the new life you have
- See at the opportunities you have in front of you to re-build your life
- Pamper yourself
- Surround yourself by friends and family
- Start a new hobby
- Do things you always wanted to do, but felt didn’t have the time for
By working on yourself and processing the emotions that your divorce may have caused, you have a better chance to start a healthy relationship.
How to Have a Relationship After Divorce?
Once you’ve taken some time after your divorce to reflect back on your relationship, you can learn a lot about yourself. If you have an open line of communication with your ex, you could ask them to give you a feedback on how they saw your relationship. You can more specifically ask, how they perceived your behaviour, what they liked and didn’t like and how your behaviour impacted the dynamic.
All this information can help you get more clarity on how your behaviour impacted your relationship. What things you could pay attention to and how you could change your behaviour going forward.
Going through this process will help you understand how other’s perceive you. You will become clearer on:
- what you want from a potential partner and a future relationship
- What a healthy relationship means for you
- What can you do to contribute to a healthy relationship
- What of your behavioural patterns (which could be problematic) should you be keeping an eye on
In the case that you don’t have an open line of communication with your ex partner to get this feedback. You can always reflect on your marriage by yourself. Once you spend some time on your own and have found emotional balance, you would be in a better place to see things more clearly. Something that was hard to notice before, can now become quite obvious.
It is still a good idea to have some feedback from others regarding your behaviour and how they perceive you. If you cannot talk to your ex, maybe you could ask your friends, family, colleagues or other ex-partners. You would be surprise how much you can learn by this activity alone.
When getting the feedback make sure that the person is willing to be honest and open with you. This will require you welcoming ANYTHING that they have to say. During this exercise your role is to just listen without interruption. After the other person shared everything they can think of, you can ask more questions. Try to hear their feedback in a constructive and objective way, even though it can be pretty hard to do if you get emotional triggered by what they say.
If this happens, it can be a sign for you that these are your sensitive areas and are the ones you need to be paying more attention to when working on yourself.
This process can give you a lot of insight to help you with your personal journey. The value of it is that you get to know yourself better. The more you get to know yourself, the higher the chances of you having a healthy relationship with your chosen partner.
If you want a more objective, helpful and straight to the point feedback on how you can improve your behaviour, a relationship coach will be able to help you. When you ask people directly, you need to have the knowledge, mental capacity and understanding to process their feedback in a healthy and constructive way.
A relationship coach has the knowledge and ability to guide you through this process.
Having a relationship right after a divorce may not be the best idea. After you divorce it could be a good idea to take some time to reflect on your marriage. You can remember what it was like in the beginning, how it progressed and how it ended.
Starting a relationship straight after a divorce without taking some time for yourself would likely result on you carrying on with the same state of mind that led you to a divorce into your new relationship. This makes it very likely for you to re create the same dynamic with your new partner which will result in the same problems all over again.
So, How do you know when you are ready for the next relationship?
There is not a set amount of time that you need to wait and then you are ready. More than anything you need to work on yourself and process your marriage and the emotions you are feeling.
By learning to be with yourself and recognise how you feel will help you to connect with who you are and what you want. Rushing into a new relationship won’t help you. You need to find your own worth and validation from yourself before you can share your life with another person.
After a divorce allow yourself some time to reconnect with yourself, find emotional balance and re-evaluate what it is that you want from your life and a relationship.
Reflecting on your divorce is an emotional and mental process. Once you can understand what worked in your marriage and what didn’t and what was your contribution to it. Then, you can learn from it.
Learning from your past relationship will help you to be more mindful of how you will behave in your future relationship.
Help and Advice for Relationships After Divorce
Tips on How to Deal with a New Relationship After a Divorce
- Take your time to reflect on why your marriage ended
- Allow yourself to be by yourself for a while
- Allow yourself to feel all the emotions that may be popping up after your divorce
- Understand what unhealthy habits you had in your marriage and how they didn’t contribute to having a healthy relationship
- Re-discover yourself
- Once you feel you are happy by yourself, you can consider sharing your life with a new partner
If you don’t know how to deal with a new relationship after your divorce and need professional help and advice, we’ll be happy to help! Check out our coaching options here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why relationships after divorce fail?
If you don’t take the time to understand what didn’t work in your marriage, you are likely to make the same mistakes in your future relationships. Hence, the importance of learning from the past, improving your behaviour and trying to do things different with this acquired knowledge and understanding. This process will give you a chance to make more conscious decisions and create the relationship you want. Rather than being suck repeating the same problems that can be caused by your unconscious behaviour.
Why do divorced couples get back together?
After divorce they may have had the time and space to think of the things that were not working and talk about it. When you are living together it can be too much for both partners to approach their issues in a healthy way. So, when they separate there is a chance that they may be able to sort out their issues and get back together.
Another reason why divorced couples can get back together is because they have deep attachments that they feel like they can’t be away from their partner. In this case, it may work for a little bit while the intention of being together lasts. But without sorting out the issues that cause their relationship to break up in the first place. Sooner rather than later, their relationship will end again.
Can you find true love after divorce?
Finding a partner with whom you can feel understood and fulfilled is always possible. But, there is some pre-work you must do on yourself, before you get into a new relationship and even more before it becomes serious.
Only by learning about yourself, what you need and want and the way you behave in your relationships is that a new relationship can last.
Is love possible after divorce?
Love after divorce is possible if your heart is open to explore new people with a blank canvas approach. Without comparing them to your ex, and allowing yourself to be you.
How soon is too soon to date after divorce?
There is not a specific amount of time before you start dating again. It will depend only on you and on how ready you feel to start sharing yourself with a new person. For this reason, having enough time for yourself to process your divorce beforehand is really important.
Does the first relationship after divorce last?
A relationship will last if you and your partner make it work through good communication, understanding and team work.
How to deal with anxiety after divorce?
If you feel you aren’t able to handle your anxiety, the best thing to do is going to a professional for help and advice. Otherwise, it will start affecting your everyday life and well-being.
How long should wait to date after divorce?
You should wait as long as you need to process the break up and the divorce. Once you understood the emotions you are going through and accepted your responsibility on your failed marriage. Then, you will be able to open up to dating.
Is the first relationship after divorce always a rebound?
You will have a rebound relationship after divorce only if you haven’t processed the break up and the divorce. Also, if you still find yourself emotionally attached to your partner or the life you had. By not letting go of your previous marriage and your partner, you are essentially closing up to the possibility of having a healthy relationship.