Dating after separation
So, you’ve separated and you’re planning to start dating again. This is exciting time where you look with hope to the future. Dating again is also sometimes fraught with anxiety especially if you have been with your previous partner for a long time.
It is difficult enough to date after divorce even though you are legally on your own. Dating after separation but before the divorce has gone through can be even harder.
Is it legal?
Australia. Adultery is not a crime in Australia. Under federal law enacted in 1994, sexual conduct between consenting adults (18 years of age or older) is their private matter throughout Australia, irrespective of marital status.
First get some alone time
It is never a good idea to rush into another relationship even if you are legally separated and have the agreement of your ex. You need to get used to being single again. Until you are, you’re setting yourself up for an emotional fall. Make sure that you are emotionally ready before you get into the dating scene again.
Get to know yourself as a single before you start dating again. Spend time with your friends, start a new hobby, or find a new career. Do the things that you’ve always wanted to do. Learn to be alone. Don’t fear it.
Speak to your ex
If you want to keep the divorce friendly, it is a good idea to speak to your ex about your dating plans. Experts say that talking about personal matters such as dating is as important as discussions over custody and finance when couples plan to divorce.
Talking to one another about your dating plans is a strong show of the respect that you have for each other. Honesty and transparency will also help to keep the discussions on the practical matters of custody and finance from being scuppered by emotional baggage.
Make sure that your relationship is over before you date
If you are still emotionally invested in your previous relationship you are not ready to start dating another. Just because you have started divorce proceedings does not mean that you have cut emotional ties with your ex.
If you harbour any hope of a reconciliation you are not ready to start dating. You should not date because your ex has moved on and is dating. Neither should you use it as an opportunity to make your partner jealous. You are only ready to start dating when you can honestly embark on another relationship without reference to the prior. Dating anew could bring you love but only when you are ready for it.
Only date someone who attracts you
Many newly separated people are unaccustomed to being alone. Some people date whoever is available so that they have someone around, someone to fill in the gap left by their partner. Dating someone as a stop gap or as replacement for your partner is unfair both to you and your new partner. You are taking advantage of their emotions and you are not allowing yourself space to heal. You are setting yourself up for more emotional pain.
If, however, you have met someone that makes you happy, that makes your heart flip, if you really like someone you should follow your heart.
Let your date in on your marital status
It is important to let your date know that you are separated and not divorced or single. You may feel awkward bringing up your ex, but it will clear the air, and you’ll feel more comfortable going forward.
All good relationships are built on trust, and even if your date is a short-term arrangement, you must take them into your confidence. If you’re not honest upfront, the truth will out in the future, and by then it could blow up into a much bigger problem. Rather tell the truth and set your relationship upon a good footing.
Feel your emotions
We all have our emotional ups and downs, even more so when we separate and divorce. The process is emotionally charged. There are days when you’ll wake up full of the joys of life when the possibilities seem endless, and the day seems full of promise. On other days you may feel bleak, something of a failure, and you may believe that dating could only lead to another almighty breakup.
Feel your emotions. Don’t beat yourself up about them. You are allowed to grieve your lost relationship. You are also allowed to celebrate your freedom and create expectations for the future. Don’t date to early or for the wrong reasons. Forgive yourself and give yourself time to heal, and slowly but surely you will start to feel whole and content again.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.