How Will I Know When I Am Ready To Start Dating Again?

“How Will I Know When I Am Ready To Start Dating Again?”

By Bill Schacht, MS, LCSW

This blog begs for…


I can’t tell you how many people of divorce have asked me the “How will I know…” question.  With 2 million new adult divorcees each year and “guestimating” that the majority of us who go back at begin somewhere between 6 and 36 months post the death of marriage day, we can assume there are about 5,000,000 inquiry circling in their software.

The existential standard answer of, “Don’t worry, you’ll just know,” does not seem intuitively correct and holds way too much potential to have the blind staying blind.

The question offers fertile ground for us to generate an answer as a membership.  We all have notions about this subject.  So, let’s get them out there!

Here is our challenge, members…

Go to the POD FORUM entitled, “How Will I Know…?

Post a comment that begins as follows:  “One way a POD know he/she is ready to begin dating is:???

You fill in the ending.  We will keep track of member responses and create a list of them.  We will vote on each one to determine if it should be included on our “POD WISDOM GUIDE” under the topic “You know you are ready to start dating when….!”

Your posts should be serious in nature with the intention of helping each other.

Simultaneously, I will be asking some relationship experts the same question.  We’ll see who presents the best wisdom!

Share your thought, please!

POD Member Experiences Dating Discrimination

Just viewing the trailer to the new Adam Scott movie A.C.O.D. ( ) brings to mind the story 27 year old male POD Association member, Juan, recently shared with me.

Juan had divorced a year ago and started dating six months after.

Juan met Mia through an Internet dating site he joined.  After a few emails and phone calls, they decided to meet.  Juan was attracted to Mia immediately.  Over dinner, he shared with her that he was previously married and divorced (hereafter, termed a “MAD”) and she shared that she had been in two live-in committed relationships (hereafter, termed a “LIC”) that failed.

In thinking and feeling that Mia was a good potential match, a second date was even more enjoyable.  During that date, Juan shared the details of what led to his divorce. His marriage failed to sustain his wife’s change of life plans.

She was an exceptional athlete and, two years into their marriage, she told Juan that she wanted to pursue a goal of being chosen to the USA Olympic team in her sport.  This endeavor necessitated that she would have to move around the country several times in the course of a year to achieve selection goals required to make Team USA.  Juan had just secured a teaching job in the city in which his family lived since his childhood.  To follow her would not only mean he would have to give up his job, but also that he could not be assured he could keep a contract commitment to teach in any city for even a full school year.  His dream was to always reside close to his family.

There were other issues in their marriage, but this was the situation that ultimately led them to divorce. They had no children.

Mia politely listened to Juan’s story and then explained what caused the death of her two live-in relationships.

Juan believed their mutual sharing added more strength to their seedling dating status.

Juan called Mia for a third date.  He noticed her different tone of voice even as she said, “Oh, hello.”  Mia responded to his date request by telling him that she did not want to continue to date.  Juan asked, “Why?”  She responded, “Because you are divorced.”

In telling me the story, Juan was perplexed and confused.  There was something that he just could not understand.  How could Mia’s reason for dismissing him be for a divorce when she had two extended, failed, live-in relationships in her record book?  What was the difference, really?

This is a cultural phenomenon in America today.

A hundred years ago, if Mia had cohabitated with a man outside of wedlock, she would have drawn the scrutiny of her family and the community.

Recent statistics reveal that 8.1 million American households are inhabited by unmarried heterosexual couples. Today, pre-marital cohabitation which fails is looked upon with different eyes than divorce.    A person with four live-in fails is somehow distinct from four divorces logged.

This is especially notable when considering that LIC’s may struggle with commitment issues in the first place or may be less willing or skilled at working hard through relationship breakdowns.

Juan asked me, “Isn’t the break-up of a live-in, committed relationship like a divorce?”  I suggested to him that we could call that a live-in-committed-divorce (hereafter, a “LICD”).

Is it naive to think that the separation of a committed, long-term, live-in couple is less emotionally draining or less of a life punch in the gut than a divorce?   If they have children, are they less effected?

What do you think?  Please tell the members…