These days, it’s not uncommon to hear that someone is going through a divorce. In 2010, The median length for a marriage in the US is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court. A 2011 study at the University of Iowa found that loss of virginity before age 18 was correlated with a greater number of occurrences of divorce within the first 10 years of marriage. And what also was so stunning was the fact that, a site called, PolotoFact.com, estimated in 2012, that the lifelong probability of a marriage ending in divorce is 40%–50% Finally, the divorce rate in the U.S. is 3.2 per 1,000 population, as of 2014 the latest year of data from the CDC.
So, if you are divorced and reading this, now what?
You might be hearing from friends and family, “You need to get out there.” But what you’re probably feeling is either, “I don’t think I’m ready,” or “How do I even begin to start dating again?” Since I’ve seen so many friends go through it, I’m a big believer in, what I like to call, “The Take 2 System.”
The Take 2 System is quite simple:
The first step is to realize that “they say” you should wait about a year before seriously dating anyone. Yes, that is a long time, but when you end a relationship, a marriage, the healing process takes time. If you are still in love with your ex, you will probably compare everyone you date to him or her. Rebound love always turns out to be a disaster. Take time to learn to love yourself and enjoy the small moments of everyday life. My experience was that I dated 2 different men right after I separated, and both relationships were back to back. My advice to myself at this point would be not to rush!
The second step is to think about what you want, what you don’t want, and identified the deal-breakers.
After that, the next step is to be open-minded to the possibility of finding someone new. This is how you know you are ready. It’s also best to become friends with someone first, not just jump head first into dating someone with all the “fringe” benefits. By that I mean, having sex. Sex is part of dating, but if you are seriously looking for a relationship then you might want to pass on sex for at least six months while trying to get to know someone for who they truly are, and not for what they “claim” to be. Don’t date anyone that you aren’t comfortable with and don’t date someone that is “forced” on you because your friends and family think they found the “perfect” relationship for you.
There’s a difference between who we love, who we settle with, and who we’re meant for.