Lots of the things we've been talking about so far in this chapter are half biological and half stage-of-life. The “suddenly single” syndrome can happen at any time, at any age. After going through a divorce, the last thing you probably want to think about is romance. Divorce is tough. For some, new financial burdens take precedence. For others, kids endure the brunt of the breakup. Many divorced people feel distrust, anger, confusion, and other negative emotions.
The majority of divorced people in the United States eventually remarry.
Without a doubt, some time must pass for the healing process to begin. There will be some baggage to carry around. If infidelity was a problem, trusting someone new is difficult. When a career takes precedence over a marriage, it may be hard to believe someone values you more than his or her job. Each cause of a divorce leaves behind a trail of aftereffects. Moving forward to something new and better may be difficult at first.
At the same time, it may not be too long until a void appears. We're all social critters; we love to share; we love to love. Against this backdrop, you begin to rebuild a romantic life. It's probably going to seem odd and awkward at first. In many ways, this kind of single life is tougher than the first time around, especially if you have kids. You may feel inclined to set romance aside until your youngsters are grown. Each person adjusts in his or her own way and at an individual tempo.
A Quiz for the Divorced Romantic
Are you ready to get involved again?
Are you tired of dining alone?
Do you enjoy time with your kids but wish for something more?
Can you put your animosities toward your “ex” behind you, or will some poor soul you're dating have to deal with them?
Are you fretting that life is passing you by and you should be out there enjoying it?
Could you get past the weird feeling associated with kissing someone new?
Can you handle telling your children you're going out on a date?
Do your friends try to “set you up”?
Does meeting a new and intriguing person of the opposite sex interest you?
Is your confidence back?
Are you often lonely?
If you answered yes to fewer than five questions, you're probably not ready to date again. Give yourself more time to heal. If you answered yes to five to eight questions, you're close; try something on a small scale. If you answered yes to nine or ten questions, what are you waiting for?