Staying Single After Divorce: How Long Is Too Long?

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5381172329_7906703639_zIn a recent article for Huffington Post, licensed social worker Terry Gaspard went over the 7 reasons why it may be a good idea to stay single in spite of the fact that most people have a fear of being alone. “The first step in facing your fear of being alone is shrugging off any stigma attached to being single,” Gaspard writes.

She’s correct about this, and the entire list is worth a look. Check it out at this link.

But what about those of you who have conquered your fear of it; you’re just still wondering whether or not you want to give up the freedom that you now have for a meaningful relationship with someone else? How long should you “give it” before you “give up”? To answer this question appropriately, we need to walk away from the time construct.

Relationships shouldn’t be entered in to or avoided based on a ticking clock. 

As Gaspard writes, “Often women over 30 start to panic because they get concerned they’ll be too old to have children. But this mind-set can make you feel desperate and propel you to marry someone who is wrong for you.” Similarly, guys can feel like they have to get married because they’re not in as good of shape as they used to be or their looks are fading. The ticking clock there can lead them to marry someone much younger, who may not have the emotional maturity for a “till death do us part” type of relationship. The clock definitely rushes bad decisions, so let’s leave it behind and stop asking “how long is too long” to wait. Instead let’s frame the question another way. And that way is this:

Am I receptive to making room in my world for someone else? 

The answer to this question depends largely on how set in your ways you are, and what you’re looking for in a spouse or partner. If you are accustomed to living a certain way and you’re afraid that bringing someone else in would upset that too badly, then hold on to your single status. If you can find someone to enjoy things with you, then you might reconsider. But remember: all relationships are about give-and-take. What changes in your life would you be willing to make for someone else? If the answer is “none,” then single is the way to go.

Are you happy being single after your divorce? What would have to happen to get you serious about taking the plunge again? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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