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My marriage just ended. How do I know if I’m ready to take that next step?

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Dear Rabbi Singer,

My marriage just ended.  I’ve very recently started searching through the profiles on JDate.  How do I know if I’m ready to take that next step, to start getting to know a new someone? Is there a certain amount of time I should wait? I’m not sure if I’m searching because I feel ready to start again or because I don’t want to be on my own.  Thank you for your help with this.

On My Own.

Dear On My Own,

I’m sorry to hear about your marriage. Even if it’s for the best, which I’m sure it is, divorce is never fun.

There are no rules when it comes to love. Every person has different needs and capabilities. Some can bounce back rather quickly after ending a marriage or relationship while others might need a significant amount of time to recover and become ready to date again. I think it makes sense for everyone to take some time after ending a marriage/relationship to reevaluate themselves, their relationships, and what they feel they need in a partner to maintain a happy relationship. Only you can decide how much time you need.

Regarding your reasons for “starting again”, there is also no right or wrong answer. You might be looking for a friend to spend time and have fun with or you might be ready to find a partner to enter into a relationship with. They’re both valid dating goals on one condition: you must make your intentions absolutely clear to the people you will be contacting and dating. For example, if you’re just looking for friendship you don’t want to get involved with someone who wants a real relationship, because it obviously would be unfair and misleading to them if you didn’t make your intentions clear.

There are plenty of people on JDate that are just looking for friendship or casual dating encounters, so you might want to focus on them until you determine that you really are ready to enter into a relationship.

Wishing you much success on finding the happiness that you deserve.

Arnie

Rabbi Arnie Singer dated for 15 years before meeting his Bashert. He is currently a dating and relationship coach in Manhattan and the founder of Jcoach.com.
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