Firstly, when we talk about “dating rules,” the conversation is mainly advisory. There are no laws against dating after a separation, and doing so is not a criminal act! That said, please keep the following ideas in mind.
Keep the emotional drama to a minimum: Are you involved in litigation or negotiation with your separated spouse over property division, alimony, child support or custody? Have you been separated for less than six months? If so, it’s likely a mistake to begin a serious new relationship. Johns Hopkins sociologist, Andrew Cherlin, has found that cycling into new intimate encounters right after divorce can harm the children caught in between.
Make sure your new partner meets expectations: Articulate exactly what moral qualities and character you expect from a new boyfriend or girlfriend before you go to the bars or look online for love.
Wait until you have separated: In some situations, concerns for children or financial constraints make it hard for divorcing couples to physically separate. If you still share a home with your spouse (even if you move into different rooms), or if you visit your former home every night, avoid dating for now.
Avoid talking about the divorce: Dealing with lawyers, dividing assets, taking care of children’s needs, and negotiating with your ex can take a toll. It’s tempting to seek support from someone you date, however, avoid this behavior – it makes your problems his or her problems, and it can complicate the divorce process and negotiations. Instead, talk to your therapist, family or friends.
Be honest about your limitations: Be honest with yourself and your partners about how much you have to give in terms of your time, your heart and your energy. When you’re upfront, your dates can either accept your limitations or move on instead of expecting you to give more than you’re able.
If you or a loved one are in need of a fresh start, our legal team is here for you. Contact us at 888-228-1098 to schedule a confidential consultation today.