A recent relationship blog discussed dating after divorce. The blog, available here, provided tips for both men and women as to how to go about exploring their options after a divorce, with the goal being to find someone who makes you happy. While this is a goal that every divorcee should have, you should be careful about how you go about dating during the divorce process. Definitely date if you find the right person, but beware of some of the complicating effects a new boyfriend or girlfriend can have.
For one thing, dating someone new can inflame emotions such as anger, jealousy and resentment that often already accompany divorce. This is especially the case if infidelity was the cause of your breakup. Negative feelings impede the ability of both spouses to reach an amicable resolution of their divorce. So to prevent your new relationship from exacerbating these feelings, try to refrain from bringing up your new lover in conversation with your spouse. And if it is your ex who is dating, avoid making accusations about his or her new partner and try not to let your feelings about that relationship interfere with your approach to settlement negotiations or litigation. While this may be easier said than done, it is a worthy goal whose accomplishment will prevent unnecessary heartache and stress.
If you have children with your spouse, it is especially important not to let your new relationship interfere with the relationship between your children and you, as well as their relationship with your spouse. In custody cases judges negatively view a parent who badmouths the other parent. They feel the same way about girlfriends and boyfriends who disparage a child’s parent. While it is fine to let your new partner meet your children and spend time with them, you should be sure that this time does not cut into your ex’s custody time. That can cause resentment and anger, and could hurt you in future custody proceedings.
Moving on romantically after divorce is healthy and can be rewarding. But make sure not to let your new relationship create unwanted setbacks in the termination of your old one.