Divorce can be difficult because once the marriage is over, the divorced couple has to think about the arrangement for their kids and their finances—and get used to being single again. It’s no secret that more women file for divorce than men, but how quickly do women move on after divorce?
Women generally take about one to two years to move on after divorce. Of course, every individual is different, and when a woman is ready to date again depends on her current life circumstances. One can move on when they address the cause of their divorce and their lessons.
And that doesn’t mean they won’t have a rebound or a fling much sooner than that. My now ex-wife started seeing her best male friend before our divorce was even finalized.
It also doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to start dating again just because you’ve moved on. In this article, you’ll read about the factors and reasons why people get divorced and how women can move on after divorce.
Life Problems or Changes Can Cause Couples To Divorce
The divorce or separation rate of married couples is about half of all marriages. Several factors increase the chances of divorce and reasons for why. These factors and reasons could affect the length of time after a divorce for a woman to move on.
Factors that can affect the longevity of divorce are marrying at a very young age, less college education, less income, living together before marriage, premarital pregnancy, lack of religious affiliation, and parents of the married couple are also divorced. These factors can compound the reasons divorce happens.
The nature of love can change over time, and people most often report the reasons that they are divorced are due to the following:
- Lack of commitment: It includes living together before marriage since this shows a couple may not be ready to be fully together. This can also occur over time as the relationship becomes weaker in committing time and energy to each other.
- Getting married at a young age: Without some life experiences that come with individual maturity and time away from their parents’ household, this can lead to unrealistic ideas about the work needed for a strong marriage. This might include higher-level education or skilled job training and finding employment to pay for household and child-rearing needs.
- Arguments and fights: These create a stressful environment where people naturally don’t want to live. Fights could be about a variety of things, such as differences in child-rearing, infidelity, financial stress, and so on. Unrealistic expectations placed on each other and an unbalance of equality in the relationship can also cause tension and arguments.
- Infidelity: Often, this puts one person in the relationship into a victim-mode with emotional and physical turmoil that leads to fear, lack of trust, and other related feelings that ultimately damage the relationship to be one that’s not designed for marriage. Infidelity breaks communication and trust.
- Addictions: When a spouse is addicted to alcohol, drugs, pornography, or gambling, it focuses on the addiction and not the marriage.
- Abuse: Abuse can stem from addictions (or not) and can put children and spouses in danger.
- No longer in love: Many give this as a reason, resulting from an underlying cause from the above reasons. The commitment to stay together as a couple has waned.
Moving On After Divorce Doesn’t Mean Quickly Dating Again
Women may feel turned upside down at the beginning of a divorce, unsure of what to do in moving forward.
Moving on doesn’t necessarily mean a woman has to go out and search for a new spouse. The after-divorce feelings won’t last forever, though, and it can take up to two years (or more) to feel normal again.
Typically, the person who initiates the divorce can move on faster than the other. A divorcee may take more time to move on if they’ve been in infidelity or abusive situations. One study has also shown that generally, as compared to men, more women value happiness and success and will tolerate loneliness over being in a miserable marriage or relationship.
Three factors can affect how long it takes for a divorced couple to move on from a divorce:
- The longer the marriage, the longer it’ll take for the divorced couple to move on. When you’ve spent years living with your partner and developed habits and connections as a couple, it’s hard to start all over again and reform new practices and ways of life.
- Each individual involved will have their level of resilience and desire to move on and forward. In highly emotional states, a person will need more time to process emotions and desires for a future path.
- The reasons for the end of the relationship come into factor. Infidelity, abuse, addictions, and other traumatic causes will create deeper wounds that’ll take time to heal than mutual agreements to end a relationship.
How To Move On After Divorce
Moving on after divorce is an individual process, and there are many things that a woman can do to help herself during this transition. These are:
Consider Consulting a Professional Therapist or Spiritual Advisor
These people can help guide you as you navigate this new life path with valuable advice for your situation.
If you had healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress and your self-esteem before, you could utilize these for coping with the divorce, and a therapist can help guide you as well.
Therapists generally advise their patients to wait at least one year before starting a new romantic relationship. A divorced woman can have all the time she needs to adjust to her new way of life and deal with any aftershocks of the divorce.
Grieve the Lost Relationship
Even if you wanted the divorce, you lose the promises that marriage offered at the beginning of your relationship. You also lose the life and lifestyle you both once shared.
Your children may lose the consistency of seeing the other parent daily, too, and you may also carry their grief on your shoulders. The act of grieving can allow you to process and accept the changes over time for a healthier outlook.
Write in a Journal
Those who write about distressing or disturbing experiences showed significant improvement in mood over time, which resulted in handling memories of the situation better than those who wrote about neutral topics.
Journaling can also give you the opportunity and perspective to see how you feel and change those feelings over time. It can allow you to find the “silver linings” and positive parts of your days.
Limit Your Exposure to Your Ex-Spouse’s Social Media and Interests
Revisiting places you’ve gone with your spouse or watching your ex’s “happy life” on social media can play negatively with your emotions.
Consider taking a break or blocking your view of your ex’s social media and staying away from places you visited together until you’re ready to experience these without potential feelings of anger, guilt, jealousy, and so on.
Reach Out to Friends
Good friends can lift you, be good listeners, and prevent you from doing things out of anger.
When people feel hurt, they can do things that aren’t rational, and you don’t want to complicate the situation that could be detrimental to you or your children.
Keep fostering these positive friendships even if you feel sad or depressed.
Search out New Friends
Some of your old friends may feel torn between you and your ex-spouse, or they may feel awkward hanging out since they’re all married.
Find some single friends that don’t know your painful divorce history so you can focus on your new path.
Find a New Passion
You’ve learned how to be a couple, and now you’re on your own. There seem to be couple-geared activities and events everywhere you go, bringing up the pain you have endured from the divorce.
Take time to think about the things you wish or want to do. Think about what you like to do, what strengths and attributes you have, what makes you happy when you do it, and so on. Here you can find some inspiration and perhaps a new hobby.
Make a bucket list of the things you’ve always wanted to do and make plans to accomplish them.
Finding an enjoyable exercise is also a mood booster and something you can do for self-care physically and emotionally.
A book by Dr. Matthew V. Glowiak, “A Year of Finding Your Callings” (available on Amazon.com), includes daily reflections to help you discover what brings you joy paired with exercises to help you build confidence, communicate well, maximize your strengths, and more.
Make a Well-Thought-Out Financial Plan
Even if you paid the bills before, you no longer share finances with another person. Consider taking a class in personal finance management. If you have a financial advisor, talk about your plans and goals.
There are budgeting apps you can use, such as:
- EveryDollar: Budget Your Money: You can get this app from the Apple Store. It gives you an organized and customizable way to monthly budget amounts for your spending and saving needs. This app is also available in the Google Play Store.
- Mint: Budget Planner & Tracker: This app is available in Google Play and Apple Stores. It helps users manage money with personal insights and custom budgeting. Users can also set up bill reminders, monitor cash flow, and connect credit cards, loans, and investments.
But if you aren’t sure what budget app to use, I have a recent article on one of my other sites that covers the 9 best budgeting apps with a complete review of each one.
Just click that link to see it on my other site.
Try No-Pressure Dating
This can be challenging, and you’ll likely need to do a lot of what’s mentioned above first.
Evaluate if the idea of dating feels good or scary so that you don’t get out there too soon. You’ll want to keep your feelings about your ex-spouse out of the experience. And, if you’re not ready or able to do that, you may not be prepared to start dating.
If you go on a date, see it as a way to expand your social network and not a search for a new soul mate or a parent for your children. It’s not fair to either person to pressure a new relationship in this way.
Be cautious of casual sex since this rarely makes emotional distress from a divorce better. Women generally need men to care about everything about them, not just their physical bodies. You may not feel prepared for intimacy either since your previous relationship may have negatively affected your body image. Take the time to care for yourself before you jump into this situation.
Consider the following questions before dating:
- Are you emotionally and physically healthy?
- Are you over your ex-spouse and feel optimistic about your future without needing someone else to fill in the void?
- Can you be open and honest about yourself?
- Do you know what you’re looking for in a dating partner?
- Does the idea of dating again seem thrilling and exciting?
- Do you feel comfortable in your own skin?
- Are your children emotionally ready to see you dating someone else, and if not, are you prepared to support them while you do so?
If the answer to these questions is yes, it means that you may be ready for dating. However, it’s okay if you’re not ready or want to enjoy your single life for now.
Enjoy and Celebrate Single Life
Being single doesn’t show you want to be alone in your life. You can celebrate life with old and new friends and enjoy things you want to do. A celebration can show that you can move forward in your new life.
The Divorce Recovery Workbook (available on Amazon.com) provides a guide to help people heal from anger, hurt, and resentment using mindfulness and positive psychology to help readers build the life they want.
Women will recover from divorce and lead fulfilling lives. They may get more education, travel, remodel their home, and start new careers.
Divorced women may or may not remarry, but regardless, they can move on after a divorce, coming out stronger than before. But most importantly, if women give themselves time after a divorce, even if it’s more than two years, to reflect, evaluate, and make personal changes and goals, they’ll be better off and ready to move on more healthily and successfully.