Dating after divorce: Can you let go of resentment and start anew?
The tabloids are speculating about Kris and Bruce Jenner: Are they headed for divorce? If so, then they would each eventually join the legions of people who have had to start over. Dating after a divorce can be challenging, whether you are in the public eye or not. Two simple rules of thumb can help you push forward into new romantic territory.
First, avoid comparing the person you are dating to your ex. While it is tempting to measure them for better or worse against your former partner, the real goal is to focus on how they make you feel about yourself when you’re with them. Evaluating them based on how you felt about your ex rather than on who they are means you will wind up either regretting what you lost or angry about what you missed out on all those years.
That will mire you in the negativity of your former marriage — keeping the pain and loss of divorce alive — instead of letting go and moving on with a new flame. Stay focused on building a new relationship and leave your past where it belongs — behind you.
Second, avoid bad-mouthing your ex — especially to the person you are dating. This is a difficult one, because most people come away from divorce angry about what went wrong and wanting to talk about it. Be mindful about who you vent to: Blaming and criticizing could scare off your new partner. They could wonder what you might say about them if they did something to upset you. There are two sides to every story, so as much as possible try to present a balanced picture when you are speaking about your former marriage.
Whether you are famous or not, when dealing with the aftermath of divorce this old adage can be helpful: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. When you talk negatively, you keep bad feelings alive. When you talk positively, you put them to rest. The ultimate goal is to get on with your new life in a better place for what you gained from your old one.
Keep these rules in mind and you will be equipped to leave the past in its place and move on with your exciting new dating life.
— Relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer is creator of “Shrink Wrap” – national commentary on what we can learn from celebrity relationships – and host of “Let’s Talk Sex” at Healthylife.net. Her book, “What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship,” is available nationwide.