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Dating After Divorce: Am I Ready?

Feb 08, 2023

 “How do I know I’m ready to date after divorce?” 

This common question can be overwhelming to answer after ending a relationship in divorce. And if kids are in the picture, it can be even more confusing to know when you should take on the dating world. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to determine if you are ready to date after divorce.

1. Have you done “the work”?

“The work” is what you need to do to heal, recover, and grow after what you have been through.Taking time to gain self-awareness and have an understanding of who you are now and who you want to become sets a foundation to build upon when starting a relationship.

Learning to take responsibility for your own emotions allows you to love yourself first before taking on the responsibility of loving someone else. If you don’t know where to start on doing “the work", here are a few resources to check out: 

  • "Attached" by Amir Levine M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A.
  • "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero
  • "Do The Work" Podcast by Sabrina Zohar
  • "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie with workbook "The Work"

Other ways to do the work are therapy, relationship coaching, life coaching, meditation, journaling, etc.—anything that works for you to start reflecting on who you are, who you want to be, and how you can be emotionally responsible for yourself.

2. What is your intention?

What is your intention for dating? Do you like your reasons? This is a good time to be very honest with yourself. Start by answering either statement:

“I want to start dating because …” or “I don’t want to start dating because …” 

There is no right or wrong answer, and you are the expert on you. But the more you know about what you want and don’t want from a relationship, the more efficient you will be at finding and getting what you want. Think of ROI (return on investment); you will get out of dating what you put into dating. Be intentional with your investment of time, energy, and effort.

If you’re not sure you’re ready to date, there is no rush. Give yourself as much time as you need. You always reserve the right to change your mind—start dating whenever you decide you are ready or take yourself out of the dating pool at any time for any reason. 

3. What are the 5 Ws of You?

Do you know the 5 Ws of You—the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of You? Knowing these will help you show up as your true self when you are dating and give you the confidence to know who you are and what you are about. 

  • Who are you now and who do you want to be for yourself and your kids?
  • What are your values? What are important values you hold in your life?
  • When do you want to make this happen? (Reminder: There is no rush. You have permission to take your time.)
  • Where do you want to be? If you had the opportunity to be wherever you wanted (for you and no one else), where would that be?
  • Why am I a good catch for someone? Everyone has unique qualities that make them amazing in their own way. When dating, sometimes we get caught up trying to be someone we think the other person wants. Don’t lose sight of what makes you you! You deserve to be with someone who knows the real you and wants to be with the real you. 


Getting familiar with those 5 Ws and your intentions, along with doing “the work” before you start dating after divorce is the best way to set yourself up for success. Make sure you like your reasons, and if you think you are ready to start dating, go create the dating experience you want to have for yourself. Oh, and make sure to have some fun, too!

***If you would like to know more about coaching with me, schedule a free   NEXT STEPS WITH DR STEF call.

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