Twenty20/teigan

When “I do” turns into “I’m done!”, the process of separation can be an emotional minefield, even in the most amicable of circumstances. You are probably tired and all out of trust, so even the thought of dating takes you from laughing hysterically to pulling your hair out literally. Nevertheless, time heals all.

After a while, which is faster for some than others, you might notice someone who catches your eye. Likewise, people probably approach you just the same. If you are recently divorced or have been for many moons, you should get back into the dating scene. Why? Well, keep reading to see 42 reasons why dating post-divorce is not only a good idea but a healthy one.

1. You’re Worth It

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It can seem contradictory as your last relationship did not last forever, but in truth, you absolutely are worth love and companionship. You are worth the time, energy, and resources it takes to date. After your breakup, you probably feel down in the dumps, but after you are down crying, pick yourself back up and show the world you are worth it!

2. You’re More Expansive Than Your Last Relationship

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Maybe your previous partner made you feel small. Your ex might have been had controlling tendencies that limited your real value. Perhaps he or she was a bit of a bully, but now it is time to spread your wings. You, as an individual, are more significant and wonderful than any “box” your previous partner may have tried to confine you inside. Define yourself!

3. You’re Bound to Learn Something New

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Maybe you’ve never been axe throwing, and your new beau is a member of the World Axe Throwing League (yes, it is a real thing!) and they take you to their stomping grounds as a date. Even if things don’t work out with that person, you learned something new. You may just pick up a new skill or hobby that you usually would not have ever tried.

4. You’ll Have a Better Idea of What You’d Like in a Partner

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Maybe you and your ex were high school sweethearts that had fun at the prom but fizzled out after the 10th year reunion. Instead of knowing what to like in a partner, you barely even knew yourself! Now that you are older and wiser, you can learn from your mistakes. Perhaps your former spouse was glued to the X-Box, and your new fling mentions the love of gaming. Been there, done that. You’ll already know to swipe left!

5. You’ll Make New Friends

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After everything you’ve been through, it might be nice to make a new friend and start fresh. As you date, you will meet lots of people. Some will be definite “no, thanks!” but others will be great friends if nothing else. Either way, these people want to meet you so you might as well grace them with your presence to see if you want them to be old acquaintances or future best friends.

6. You’ll Grow as a Person

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No one falls into the same river twice. Same goes for people. The person who was at the altar is different than the current you. It’s a welcoming feeling to shed your old skin and start anew. As you get back into the dating world, you might fall in love with yourself more than anyone. After all, you are a great catch!

7. You’ll Recognize Your Strength

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Use this new dating thing as an opportunity to flex those muscles both literally and figuratively. You are in complete control of whom you date! You might also have total say-so over the details of the dates. Make sure you cover all of the what, where, and when questions and certainly get out of there as soon as you want, too.

8. You’ll Go On Some Adventures

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Despite the ups and downs of dating post-divorce, one thing is for sure; it will not be dull! You got on board with this crazy ride, so buckle up. However, instead of crossing your arms, furrowing your brow, and complaining of when it will be done, have fun. Put your arms up in the air and holler out! Everyone will adore the smile on your face.

9. You Can Finally Travel the World

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Have you been waiting to do some traveling, but work, kids, and well, life, got in the way? Now is your chance. Maybe you will meet that special someone who will take you on epic adventures you never even dreamed of! Likewise, should you partner up with someone who is into traveling, most likely they’ll want you along, and before you know it, your next date is exploring a waterfall in Hawaii!

10. You’re an Example

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This notion is especially true if you have children. It’s a benefit to them to see their parent and role model not allow the past to dictate their future. Your choices will also assist them in their own dating lives down the line, or currently if they are all grown up. You can help guide them through difficult times of their relationships by watching how you navigate through yours equally.

11. You’ll Learn the Power of No

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This one-word phrase is a complete sentence and can further punctuate a feeling. It can be hard to do and even make you feel guilty. Say it anyway and mean it. Whether you are turning someone down or telling yourself that, make sure you follow through because it is just that important.

12. You’re Inviting Someone into Your Life

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It can be challenging not only to meet people after a divorce but even have the desire to! However, by inviting someone new into your life, you are taking the right steps to be yourself again. You should not shut yourself out from the world and become a reclusive introvert, especially if that was not your personality before the wedding.

13. You’ll Have the Opportunity to Date Someone Completely Opposite Your Former Spouse

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Maybe you’ve always wanted to be around the energies of a person who works the land, but your ex was an executive in a high rise somewhere. It is time to go looking for your agro amour. Even if you think you have a preference, perhaps it is time to try someone completely brand new. They say opposites attract.

14. You’ll Become Savvier with Apps

Photo: Twenty20/@MargJohnsonVA

This one might sound a little silly, but it’s true. In this day in age, everything is online. If you don’t know Tinder from okay Cupid, it’s time to learn. A quick search will yield you so many answers, and you’ll learn exactly what “swiping left” means. If that isn’t your thing, you can discover where and how to chat with singles in a relaxed manner.

15. You’ll Combat Loneliness

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Humans are like tribal animals, and inevitably, we will become lonely. Being socially active and dating can help alleviate this. Even if you don’t spark a romance, you can meet new people to hang out with for different occasions. One friend can be your concert buddy whereas another is your art museum companion.

16. You’ll Reinvent Yourself

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Not unlike a phoenix, you will rise from the ashes of this relationship and move on to bigger and better things. See what this new path has to offer for you, and you might surprise yourself! Likewise, your new partner will be grateful you were available enough to enter their life, too.

17. You Might Want to Get Married Again

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Definitely do not rush this one but it’s a valid reason all the same. Depending on your age, you might not even be middle-aged and divorced. That’s okay! All that means is you get a second chance to make everything great. Your second marriage might the first for your new spouse.

18. You Might Never Want to Get Married Again

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There is nothing wrong with wanting a partner, even a serious one, and not marrying them. There are also some married couples who willingly live separately. Sometimes, those labels ruin everything. Instead of obeying the traditional norms of society, certain partners just have to do what they want; follow the plan you make together, and everything should work out just fine.

19. You’ll Finally Get the Pet You Wanted

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Was your ex allergic to dogs? Maybe they just hated cats. You probably forgot all about it, but you actually love animals and always wanted a pet. Perhaps your new date has a dog and wants to take you to a dog park! This fun idea sure sounds like a win-win in our book.

20. You Like Sex

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Most humans enjoy giving and receiving sexual pleasure and this is something dating can provide for you. Just because you are single doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have somewhat of a sex life. Of course, make sure you are safe when it comes to casual sex in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

21. The World Will Continue

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Whether you take a break from things to focus on your work, or you jump right back into the dating scene, the world will continue to turn. Your friends and family will receive promotions, get engaged, and have children. Seasons come and go, and some will even pass away. You can remain stagnant or turn with it all!

22. You Crave the Attention

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Some of us enjoy flattery and being hit on by cute people. It’s okay to admit; at least you are honest and know what you want. Whether it is getting a compliment in the crowded bar or hearing sweet nothings from across a fancy table, you will probably get a bunch of that if you start dating again.

23. You Enjoy Socialization

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It can be uniquely different socializing with friends versus a date. Sure, it all starts fun and games. You two are talking about your favorite band or a new movie you just watched. Suddenly, was that wink? The slightest touch of skin can instantly turn into flirting. What were we talking about again? Dating can be fun in that way.

24. You Want Someone to Take Care of You

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From breakfast in bed and “good morning” texts to creative dates and pet names, men and women alike enjoy the feeling of love. You don’t want to cook dinner every day or mow the lawn constantly. Having someone to help you with daily chores and weekly tasks is ideal.

25. You Enjoy Caring for Someone Else

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Just as lovely as it is to kick your feet up and take a break, maybe you like being that nurturer. If you went from cutting the crust off sandwiches to making meals for just one, you miss giving back to those you love. Go ahead and start dating because someone else is just waiting to appreciate you.

26. You Still Want a Family

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If your partner did not want kids, and you did, that could be enough to end in divorce. Knowing this, you can choose to date someone who equally wants children. On the other hand, if kids are a deal breaker in your book, you will avoid dating someone with children already.

27. You Deserve Happiness

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Happy marriages do not end in divorce, even amicable ones. You should not give up looking for happiness, even if that means it is with a new partner. Likewise, your ex should find someone they equally feel happier with regularly. It might hurt at first, but you will adore the difference after you move on.

28. You’re Not What Was Broken

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Even if you feel this way and have internalized this thought, it’s not true. Sure, you have flaws just like everyone else, but that doesn’t mean you should stop talking to people. You can focus on yourself, improve some of the not-so-great things about you, and then show the world all of your best traits.

29. You’ll Learn Everyone is Different

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Even though you’re no longer married and you possibly did not split amicably with your spouse, every other person in the world is not going to act this way. Though in many cases you’ll end up with more duds instead of matches which leads into the next thing to keep in mind when you start dating again after a divorce.

30. You’ll Set Healthy Boundaries

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Maybe your new date is as clingy as a barnacle, and you really need your space. This opportunity is a great chance to discuss what your relationship needs are and how to ask for them. Don’t be afraid to say what you mean, and mean what you say, the second time around. It will save both of you a lot of confusion in the long run.

31. Punishing Yourself for the Past Will Not Change It

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Maybe your marriage dissolved for mostly reasons you had no control over. Perhaps you made some terrible choices throughout the relationship yourself. Either way, it does not serve you now or in the future to deny what you really want — a mate you loves you for you.

32. You’ll Gain Companionship for the Golden Years

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After getting a divorce, you don’t want to jump into dating too fast. After all, you and your first spouse probably dated and were engaged for quite a while. Now think about how long it might take to meet someone new. After your first “hello” getting to know each other will take time, especially before the thought of engagement and possibly marriage. Start dating now.

33. You’ll Keep Your Mind Fresh Thanks to People Skills

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Chances are good you and your ex stopped dating after marriage. Maybe that was the beginning to the end of your union. However, did you know that dating creates new neuropath ways in your brain? This type of social interaction will keep your “peopleing skills” refreshed, making your mind more active.

34. You’re A Sharer

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You might notice you like dating more than being married. Besides, instead of going someone by yourself, you always have a new flame to hang out with for activities. Do you absolutely hate going to the movies or dinner alone as you prefer the company of another to discuss, laugh, cry, and gripe with? Wine usually tastes better when shared anyway.

35. It Can Lead to a New Ex

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If you haven’t been divorced for long, you probably don’t want another ex on your list. However, if you haven’t dated in a really long time, you might enjoy letting someone know, “sorry, it’s you, not me.” Of course, you want to let them down in a gentle way, but you still have the power to choose whom you want in your life.

36. You’ll Enjoy Dressing Up and Going Out

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When was the last time you turned heads? Pull out that nice three-piece suit or short dress from the back of the closet. Become a showstopper, even for one night. Even if you start the evening out by dating yourself and going solo, you probably won’t end the night that way. Get ready for the endless compliments — you deserve it!

37. You’ll Gain Emotional Intimacy

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As humans, it is essential we have emotional connections. You can be emotionally intimate in varying ways in different relationships for sure, but it’s crucial to exchange this with a partner, especially. When you meet someone and feel instantly connected, like it is chemistry, which is something to pay attention to and build on.

38. You’ll Be Able to Rebuild Hope and Trust

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If your marriage crashed and burned, it’s easy (especially initially) to hate the thought of happy endings. However, the sun will come out again. Dating and experiencing happiness with others can offer a way to trust and open up again. Remember, you’re worth it!

39. You Want to Break the Cycle

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Were your parents divorced? What about your aunts or siblings? More and more, we are becoming aware of trauma patterns and experiences being in our literal DNA. Rising above the awfulness and being open to possibilities can not only change you but your children too. Don’t give up on love. You can find someone to be with for the rest of your life even if it takes a couple of tries.

40. You’ll See that Complete Rigidity is a False Sense of Safety

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Swearing off dating “forever” and making statements such as, “I don’t need anyone!” offer no actual safety. Instead, they put up more walls and barriers which will eventually come down and hurt more than taking chances. Even if you say some of these things out of anger, don’t believe them. Talking in absolutes of never and always is not healthy or accurate.

41. You’re Up for the Challenge

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If you are the type of person who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, you only view this divorce as a bump in the road instead of a complete failure. Your journey is not over, so keep trying until you get it right.

42. Conquering Your Fears Will Make You Braver!

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Let’s face it: you are scared to date, and rightfully so. Nobody wants to get their heart broken. However, you can’t feel love if you don’t put yourself out there, either. Doing the exact thing that you are afraid of makes you courageous! Please try to push past the initial fight/flight/freeze mindset into the beautiful unknown and create your own possibilities when it comes to dating again.