“Love recognizes no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrate walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope,” quotes Maya Angelou. While real love, as described by Angelou, keeps marriages strong, sometimes divorce is the healthiest options for couples. Besides separation, the other common and more natural way that marriages end is through death. Losing a spouse to death changes the world around you and subjects you to sorrow and grief. You may experience guilt for being the one who is alive or get mad at your deceased partner for leaving you. But should you live like that forever, or should you move on?
The 18th-century writer Samuel Johnson defined remarriage as ‘the triumph of hope over experience.’ This can be perceived as a cynical statement to mean that if you have been married once, you ought to know better than to remarry. But his witticism also expresses a more positive and more profound truth about the human nature that we are all hopeful species especially when it comes to fulfilling the most basic human need: to love and be loved. So, why not be hopeful?
Ask a lot of questions
A date relates to an interview because you are actively trying to learn more about the person to see if they are a good match for you. Many people get nervous during dates, and as a result, they end up talking too much about themselves. Instead, you should compose yourself and try to learn something about your date as well. Knowing the other person is crucial, hence you should not hurry up down the aisle with them, even if you were in love before your divorce. This is because your relationship is on an entirely different footing; it is no longer a secretive affair which in most cases scraps off most of the excitement.
Don’t talk much about your ex-partner
One thing that your date does not want to hear is how your former partner was a jerk or was not adhering to your agreement. If you dwell too much on the negatives from your past relationship, you will most likely never hear from them again. Therefore, you should try to concentrate as much as possible on the present and the future. In case your divorce comes up, keep it brief, shallow and resist from cursing. Some of the words you should refrain from include depressed, devastated, heartbroken, bitter and deadbeat.
“Does the person bring the best in me?” Do I like myself when around this person?” these questions emphasize whether your date is a good fit for you. If you are dating a person who makes you feel bad about yourself, you might find that everything you do is inclined towards making them love you more, and on most occasions, they cannot. Instead of trying to make such a situation work, accept that they are not the one and that you need to move on for your well-being.
Don’t talk much about kids
Your children are your pride and joy, and they are in most cases, a significant part of your life. In this line, your date is not with you to talk about them the entire time but to know you and what defines you when you are not a parent. Similarly, when people find love after divorce, they often want their kids to dive and join in the happiness. They do not realize that children might require more time to adjust. Therefore, you should not hasten to introduce your children in a bid to solidify the bond. It is vital to understand that just because you are dating your soulmate, it does not mean that your kids feel connected to those of your partner. As such, don’t force them to spend time with each other but give everyone time to accept the new arrangement.
Put in mind that divorcees shuffle a lot of issues including kids, job, and more. Dating as a divorcee is significantly different than when you were younger. Therefore, issues like last minute rainchecks, kids despising you and your partner’s ex being rude to you are typical scenarios to expect. In addition, there might be days they fail to talk to you, and though they might not manage to see you as often as you want, it is essential to remain calm and understanding; those are just the constraints of dating after divorce or death of a spouse.
A bit of time to yourself after losing your spouse, through whichever means, allows you to reflect and get to know yourself again. You may not feel like you’ve lost yourself but when you’ve been part of a relationship for a long time, you can lose some sense of yourself as an individual. Give yourself time to breathe, reflect on your own wants and needs and get to know yourself. You can rethink your sense of style, your ambitions in life and where you hope to spend your later years, even with a new partner.
How long to wait
Whether your previous marriage ended with death or divorce, you need time to recover. You have gone through a significant life transition and you ought to get in touch with your emotions before indulging in another serious commitment. Also, for divorcees, try to understand what went amiss, and if you find yourself laying 100% of the blame on your ex, you may not be entirely realistic. Until you have acknowledged your role in the separation, you are likely in danger of repeating the same mistake. In fact, a period of self-examination is vital. Also, therapy might be helpful as it clears off any emotional baggage so that you do not drag it into your next marriage.
After a divorce, no one scores 100% in dating and remarriage because the past always sticks with you to a certain degree. Remarried couples will always have to deal with issues from previous marriages. However, openness, honesty, patience and mutual support are the keys to a successful remarriage. The good news is that the union is more likely to be successful because partners are more experienced and more mature than they previously were. It might not be fair to term remarriage as the ‘triumph of hope over experience’; it could be that very experience you have gained that grants you a reason to remain strong and hopeful.