When Is It Time To Start Dating After Divorce? (Or Death Of A Spouse)

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When Is It Time To Start Dating After Divorce? (Or Death Of A Spouse)


Dear Chantal,

It’s been a year since my divorce and I’m starting to feel like I might be ready to start dating. I’ll be honest, it was not an easy divorce by any means and it’s still difficult at times. The last few years of our marriage were terrible because he cheated and we were fighting all the time, and we really were enemies living in the same home for what feels like far too long, which is probably why it’s taking me so long to get back into dating – I feel shell shocked and I’m not sure I can trust that a relationship with someone new won’t just be the same scenario all over again.

We have two amazing children together and are managing to co-parent decently now, although we still get into fights about them. But that’s another story altogether. Basically, we can get along 80% of the time, with the other 20% feeling like we’re in world war 3.

Here’s my question – when is it the right time to start dating again? I’m feeling like I want to move into the next chapter of my life and not stay stuck in my past. I really do want to find a great relationship, and I feel a bit cheated that this one didn’t work out. I know couples who have amazing relationships and I want something that’s strong, solid, and loving like what they have.



Dear Anita,

When it comes to dating after losing a relationship to divorce or death there is one major question to ask yourself before hitting the dating scene. Will I infect my next relationship with negativity?

You see, it doesn’t matter when you start dating, or even who you date. What matters most is the state of mind you’re bringing to the table. How peaceful are you? How happy are you? How open minded are you? And most importantly of all, how much do you trust YOURSELF?

For most people dating is a trial and error experience, and with the introduction of online dating the scene has changed dramatically. Gone are the days when someone you knew and loved set you up with someone they cared for and loved that would likely be compatible for you, since the go between had great knowledge and insight and could help couple you based on how they felt your mutual goals and values lined up.

Nowadays we’re meeting one stranger after another, trying to peer into their minds as soon as possible to answer the burning question: “Will this work?” Sometimes, someone gets lucky and finds a great partner right off the bat, and sometimes it can take years of picking someone only to move on because it’s just not what you’re looking for.

I say the most important question is do you trust yourself because during the dating process being well guided by your inner compass is vital, otherwise you risk falling prey to someone who will take advantage of your uncertainty in one form or another. So it’s not a question of when are you ready, it’s really a question of are you ready?

Ready to drop someone sooner if you feel they’re manipulating you, instead of holding on because you’re fearing you won’t find someone else. Ready to accept someone as they are, instead of staying in the relationship hoping you’ll change them eventually. Ready to set standards and stick to them, instead of letting insecurity convince you to lower them in a bid to stay in a union instead of getting back into what felt like a difficult dating scene once again.

Make no mistake, one of the worst things you can do is date someone before your emotions are healed from your past relationship, because you risk either driving away someone with great potential because you’re just not ready to love again, or you risk bonding over anger, grief, or heartache with someone new instead of bonding over values, happiness, and a willingness to love in a functional manner that promotes growth.

So it’s not when, really it’s where. Where are you at? Is the past behind you, with the lessons learned helping you become a more evolved version of yourself? Or are you still fighting with the past, and will you bring this fight, with all its accompanying anger, drama, and distrust being carried with you everywhere you go?

Men look to us to be emotional leaders in relationships, and trust us to work out the difficult stuff when it comes to emotions and show them the way. When we can set the tone for open feelings, loving and calm communication, and quiet comfort with each other they follow suit, gladly. It’s what a natural relationship feels like, and you’ll both feel like you’re home when this is what you can bring to the table.

I encourage you to go to my You Tube channel and watch my tutorial on meditation, and then sit down for 10 minutes a day with the Love Signal 528Hz. Wear headphones, sit in your favourite chair, close your eyes, and let love become part of your frequency. Watch the tutorial on Box Breathing for an advanced lesson on how to calm anxiety, and begin finding an increased sense of peace and love within yourself. These are the feelings you should be infecting your next relationship with, and when you do, it’ll be everything you dreamed of.


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Chantal Heide – Canada’s Dating Coach

Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they’re looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.

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