Long Story Short #9 – is it too soon to date?

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dating after divorce

Dear Stacey,

I have been divorced for less than 6 months, following a 20-year marriage to a man that I adored. The divorce was devastating, but now I think I’m ready to move on. I still believe in love and quite honestly, I miss being touched. I feel like I am ready to date again.  

I recently shared this with my best friend and she went ballistic! She went on and on about how it took her nearly 5 years to date after her divorce. She thinks that I am in denial and that I am avoiding my feelings. She even went as far as saying it would be “slutty” of me to start sleeping around so soon.  

Needless to say that conversation left me feeling wounded and full of doubt. I mean, I still love my ex-husband, but it’s a different kind of love now. The divorce was hard, but I don’t have any hard feelings. I changed, he changed, we both did. That relationship is in the past and I want to live in the present, is that so bad?

I am ready to start the next chapter of my life. I know I’m not going to fall in love immediately, who knows how long it will take. But I am hopeful. At the same time, I am afraid that the people I care about will think I’m a whore.

Am I wrong for wanting to jump back in? I mean is it too soon to date?

– Ready for More


Dear Ready for More,

You’re not wrong for wanting to jump back in… and it’s not too soon to date. 

Your bestie means well, but she is not the authority on post-relationship etiquette. Just because it took 5 years for her to date doesn’t mean you have to wait. Her experience was her experience and yours is yours.  

There is no standard waiting period. There are no one-size-fits-most rules for beginning life anew. You are the only person qualified to determine whether you are ready. If you say you are ready, then you are ready. And if it turns out that you were not as ready as you thought, then you can pause and start again later. 

Your emotional intelligence is beautiful. And I salute you for being open to love again, for giving yourself permission to exist in the space of your newness. You are not the same woman you were before. It’s not that divorce changed you. The divorce was an ingredient in an evolution that would have occurred regardless. 

The people in your life are going to have opinions no matter what, that’s just how human’s are. But don’t let the opinions of others stop you from doing what feels true to you. If you want to date, date. And if you choose to share your body with someone, that’s your choice too.  

You are a woman above all else. And as a woman, you have wants, needs, and desires. It’s normal to miss being touched. It’s okay to desire romantic company. You’re allowed and you don’t need to apologize for acknowledging and accepting this part of yourself.

Proceed at your own pace. Go with the flow that feels good to you. And as Danielle LaPorte says, “Open, gentle heart. Big fucking fence.” Keep your heart open to let love in, but be mindful of the energy/people you let in your space. Trust your body, she always knows

All the best to you on this grand adventure!

xo,

 

 

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2 Comments
  • I remember when I met my (now) husband. I was pregnant to my ex ( loooonng story) and my sister who had been single for a very long time told me “This is just a fling. You haven’t suffered enough for this to be a long term relationship” Um, what?
    Needless to say I didn’t buy into her bullshit. When you’re ready, you’re ready and anyone else’s opinion is just that. Theirs.

    • Your connection to your husband is so beautiful Caitlin… what an incredibly long lasting “fling” it’s been! LOL I’m so glad you didn’t buy into the bullshit! <3

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