Why you should avoid dating while newly separated

Every person’s separation journey is unique to them. Everyone takes a different amount of time to grieve the loss of their relationship and the future that will no longer be as they envisaged. Recovering and establishing your independence is also a process that no two people experience in the same way. “Life would be much easier if there was a prescription to recovery and moving on – there isn’t and the process is certainly individual,” shares Rachael Scharrer, Divorce Expert and Separation Strategist. “Some people like to jump from their significant relationship (or marriage) straight into a new relationship, while others find it helpful to avoid dating while newly separated.”

It has been recognised that men move on after a significant relationship faster than women. This may be due to the women more often than not having the primary care of the children. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies(*), 51% of children do not have overnight stays with their non-primary parent and just over 50% of children saw their non-primary parent monthly or less frequently. As such, it is common to find one of the two separated individuals are quick to embrace online dating and the other parent focus on child rearing, self-development and/or recuperating.

The benefits to waiting and not dating while newly separated include:

  1. Time to grieve. It takes time to heal and recover from a significant relationship. Everyone recovers at their own pace so don’t feel rushed to meet other people’s expectations
  2. Learn to be alone. It is important for you to find peace and feel comfortable in your solitude. You don’t need another person to feel whole, complete, for company or as a distraction
  3. Rebuild your self-confidence. For some people, they have left their marriage or significant relationship ‘broken.’ For many they have been lost in the title of husband, wife or partner. Reconnecting with yourself and who you are helps to build your self-confidence and identity.
  4. Identify and learn the lessons from your previous relationship. The benefit of learning what went wrong in your past relationship, the role you played and the lesson you can learn from it is an opportunity for growth and personal development. Without learning the lessons and consciously choosing change, it is likely that the same problems will surface in your subsequent relationships
  5. Re-stablish your independence and financial confidence. Some people post-separation may need to learn how to budget and manage finances which can be a liberating experience in itself. Others may revel in being autonomous. Remember to ask for help from your accountant, banker and financial planner/counsellor if you are unsure how to manage your finances and creating financial goals. Having something to strive towards create hope, excitement and is a motivating force
  6. Time to establish a new rhythm. Adjusting to life as a single person or as a single parent takes time to feel comfortable. When you have found your unique rhythm, others will be attracted to you
  7. Not involve someone new in your divorce proceedings. It’s tough enough divorcing on your own without involving another person in to the emotional and financial roller-coaster. Depending on your situation, your new partner may become involved in your divorce proceedings. Often it is easier to manage your separation on your own and start a subsequent relationship when you feel that the separation is ‘under control’

People who haven’t dealt with the issues that have arisen from the marriage and separation tend to be incredibly hurt and this hurt can come across to other people (or future partners) as anger. When someone is angry, they easily blame others (commonly their ex-spouse) for the issues and their hurt rather than be introspective, consider the role that they played in the demise of the relationship and create life lessons.

A successful relationship is a connection between two people who are ‘whole,’ giving and receiving love, care and consideration. You are most attractive when you are confident, content and able to be present.

For further help with navigating your separation, book your Separation Strategy Session for guidance, direction and support.

(*) https://aifs.gov.au/facts-and-figures/parent-child-contact-after-separation

Related articles:

Divorced and dating: two types of women

How soon is too soon to move on after divorce?

The law and an opinion around introducing your new love interest to your child

8 Steps to introducing your new partner to your child


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. DivorceAnswered.com.au cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd