Navigating post-divorce dating as a single parent

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New Delhi– The major, looming question on your mind once your marriage dissolves is probably: Will you start dating once more? If the answer is yes, going back outside may represent a thrilling comeback for some people or a much-needed fresh start for others. Some people are willing to explore, some are prepared for a relationship, others are unsure of what they want, and some people may even experience all of these emotions simultaneously.

Bumble’s ‘Dating Renaissance’ trend refers to an influx of newly single Indians. As per Bumble’s study, 36 per cent of Indians on Bumble have ended a marriage or serious relationship in the last two years. They are now jumping into their second chapter with (42 per cent) using dating apps for the first time, learning to navigate new dating language and codes.

Despite the stigma associated with divorce in India, a recent study found that individuals are open to dating someone who has been through a divorce and is a single parent since they are conscious of their needs and desires without sacrificing. The majority of Indians (67 per cent) are willing to date a divorced person, and 69 per cent are willing to date a single parent. 46 per cent of respondents who were asked what would make it easier for them to start dating again after divorce cited having a positive outlook. In fact, 37 per cent of Indians feel that lowering their expectations would make it easier for them to start dating again after a divorce. In fact, 78 per cent of Indians who were asked think that people can find love again.

Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director, Bumble shares, “Diving back into the dating post-divorce can feel overwhelming, but the good news is that you’re not alone. More people are now open to dating on their own terms; they are realising that the end of a marriage does not have to mean the end of their dating journey. If you’re getting back into dating and decide to get on Bumble, know that there are a few features that may help you find what you’re looking for. Bumble’s Advanced Filters allow you to search by age, distance, if they want or have kids, the type of relationship someone is looking for, and more. You can also keep your profile private by using Incognito Mode. This way you’ll be able to look at Bumble Date profiles normally, but your profile will be hidden from other users and only appear to those whom you’ve swiped right on.”

Bumble’s Mental Health Expert Ruchika Kanwal, Clinical Psychologist shares, “It’s important to take some time to reflect on the past before starting a new relationship, to feel more confident about your dating decisions and help you develop a positive attitude towards the same. If there are things you want to do differently, take some time to work on them. It’s definitely important to understand yourself before finding love again.”

Of course, there’s no one right way to approach post-divorce dating but if you’re considering what it would be like to start dating again, Bumble’s Mental Health Expert, Ruchika Kanwal, Clinical Psychologist shares some advice on beginning your back-to-the-dating-world journey after a divorce:

How to know you’re ready to date again: It’s important to note that the only person who has to sign off on your timeline is you. Your timeline may seem too fast or too slow to others, but if you feel ready, then that’s all that matters.

First think about what you want from a relationship: It’s okay if you’re not looking for any long-term or serious commitments right away. Not everyone who dates after divorce would want to marry again, so having a clear conversation about what you are looking for can help you be on the same page with someone you’re dating or want to date.

Take it easy and build trust: After spending time in a marriage, you may be used to being in a committed relationship. But that doesn’t mean you have to jump right back to that. Get to know the person, their likes and dislikes, their expectations from a relationship before involving friends and family.

Try to be specific about what kind of person you are looking for: If you are looking for another relationship, you can learn from your past to inform your future. At this point in your life, you don’t need to try and forge a connection with everyone you meet-you have a strong sense of self and know what you like and dislike. Don’t go to any trouble to sanitise your geekiest interests, or shy away from your dark sense of humour if you want a partner, be your authentic self.

Trust your gut: After ending a marriage, it’s more important than ever that you trust yourself. You’re your own best advocate and it’s crucial that you listen to your intuition about dating-whatever it may be telling you. Most importantly, if anything doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to call it. You don’t have to see anyone for another date; you don’t owe them anything. In fact, just because you started doesn’t mean you have to keep dating at all.

It’s fair to remember that when you have a child, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean you neglect your own happiness. Namrta Sharma, a single mother who found the love of her life Vinay on Bumble, shares, “How a person talks and behaves with you will give you enough signals to know whether to take it to the next level, so listen carefully. You also should remember to not lose yourself in a new relationship at the cost of losing the people who have supported you, rather, strike a balance. Start slow and trust your gut. As a mother, of course you will prioritise your children first, however, making yourself a priority is important. Your child deserves to see you happy and it will make them happy!”

Love can find you anytime and often take you by surprise. It’s hard to have a marriage end, but dating after a divorce can offer a fresh start. And this time, it’s about dating on your terms. (IANS)

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