Your marriage is in your rearview mirror. Your divorce is fresh. The dust is settling. And you are alone.

Alone isn’t always bad. In fact, you’re learning that alone can be much better than being with someone when things aren’t good. So you’re adjusting to the aloneness.

But perhaps you’re not just alone, you’re lonely. You miss companionship. You miss having someone to eat dinner with. You miss having someone to talk to at night before you fall asleep. You might even miss that elusive something you never really had with your ex-spouse.

You have come to what you believe is the only logical salve for your situation: meeting someone else.

That is perfectly understandable. But as a woman who has walked the road of hard marriage and divorce and dating and remarriage, let me offer a word of caution.

You know those prescriptions sunglasses that change from light to dark when you walk outside?

Picture getting divorced. And on your divorce day as you head out of court, you are handed a pair of those sunglasses, but they start off dark. Really dark. Like, you’re tripping down the courthouse steps kind of dark.

But you wear them home and slowly start putting the pieces of your life back together.

And with every counseling appointment you commit to, with every DivorceCare meeting you attend, with every book you read, with every journal entry you write and every prayer you pray and every mentor session you partake in, and with every month that goes by and with every month that goes by and with every month that goes by…the glasses get just a touch lighter.

Until one day, for the most part, you can’t even tell you are wearing those sunglasses. You are seeing, for the most part, clearly. Clearly for the first time in a long time.

When you date before the papers are signed, when you date before the smoke clears, when you date when you or your kids are still reeling, you are basically wearing emotional sunglasses and you are borrowing trouble, sweet girl.

And the darkness of your emotional lenses – with all your baggage and pain and anger and loneliness and confusion – will color…cloud even…your choice of partner.

But when you’ve done the work and you’ve let time go by – lots and lots of time – you will be able to see clearly.

How long you wait – or don’t wait – to date, to choose another partner – will influence your choice greatly. Infatuation fogs things up again as it is, so you want your perception to be as clear and accurate as possible.

So, I suggest you wait to date.

How long, you ask. I’m lonely, you say.

I know, honey. I get it. I truly do.

But wait. And then wait some more. And then wait a bit longer.

The next season of your life – and your children’s lives – depend on it.

Take this time to grieve and heal. Get healthier. Take up a new hobby. Meet a new friend. Do activities that your ex-spouse didn’t want to do. Go for walks. Read good books. Visit museums. Get in counseling. Take naps. Take a vacation. And take a good hard look inside to make sure that you don’t repeat your mistakes.

God will withhold no good thing. -Psalm 84:11

For more tips, check out Dating After Divorce and Second Time Around: Some Thoughts on Remarriage

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