I am nowhere near ready to start dating. Shoot, I’m still married and doing what I need to do to make things as amicable with my wife as possible (if not reconcilable), but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about dating. In fact, I think about dating more than I should.
I think a big part of it is just daydreaming to escape some of the discomfort from this divorce process. I think if I were to start dating at this point a number of things would happen:
- It would kill the potential for my would-be ex-wife and I to have an amicable relationship.
- It would likely be a drama-fest and not really fair to the woman/women as the emphasis would be selfish escape from my pain.
- I think I’m still at a point where, as my therapist says, “I suck at monogamy”. While I would try my best to be as honest about this as possible, I still need a lot of work in the honesty and reliability department. Romantic infatuation would likely give way to resentment and possibly more cheating (NOT something I want).
So what are some good metrics / indicators for when I might be able to venture out into the dating scene? How will I know I’m ready? Here are a couple of thoughts.
- Get the divorce finalized
- Get life stable again, i.e. I’m in my permanent living situation, routine with kids, family established
- Substantial work on me. E.g. being rigorously honest, comfortable in my own skin, establish better personal boundaries.
- Maybe accomplish some things, do some personal stuff (visit friends internationally, work on some music and writing)
- Get to a point where I’m looking to establish a strong friendship and not just look for romantic intrigue or a relationship based on unhealthy dependency.
- Work on my recovery, including working with others.
- Wait for the ex to start dating? (that sounds a little co-dependent, but I do still care about hurting her)
- Have the affair person be a legitimate relic of my past (I still struggle with missing/wanting her)
Anyhow, these are just a few thoughts. I’m sure the list will change as time marches on.