To Date or Not to Date: Is that even the question?
When a relationship is over, when do people start dating again? Do we even know what that means anymore? When are we ready?
After a long relationship and before dating, there needs to be a period of recovery. Who knows how long this is - weeks? months? years? I've scoured the internet to find the answer and the answer is different every time. Typically, people say "half the life of the relationship". For someone coming out of a 20 year marriage, that could most certainly suck. So, let's discard of that formula, shall we? Let's just concentrate on what needs to be done before dating: recovery.
People recover in different ways. Some launch into another relationship for the quick rebound. Some hide away and mourn. Some reconnect with every re-run relationship they have had in an attempt to feel loved again. Through my conversations with many other people, the general consensus on real recovery is time. Yes, time.
During this time, which edges forward at a glacial pace, it's good to reflect back on the relationship and try to decipher what went wrong. What was your role in it? How can you learn from your mistakes? How can you grow from this experience? It would be so easy to say, "so-and-so" did "this-or-that", and put the blame on the other person. However, in the end, YOU are the only one who has control over how you can change, grow, and learn.
At some point or other, it's time to date again. Again, how do we know? WHEN do we know? Maybe the question isn't if you're ready to date or not. Maybe the question is "has enough time passed?"