It’s lonely to go through the divorce process, and sometimes people find themselves eager to start dating before everything is final.  After all, a divorce can do some serious damage to your self-esteem, and it may sound like a good idea to find someone else to reaffirm your self-worth.  However, if you think about the impact that dating during divorce may have on your life, you may determine that the timing just isn’t right for you.

Your Spouse:  Your soon-to-be-ex spouse is probably the last person you want to consider when making important decisions for yourself.  After all, you’re working to get this person out of your life as much as possible.  But if you begin dating before the divorce is final, you may run the risk of upsetting your spouse and inciting them to cause you more aggravation with the divorce.  A partner who feels jilted may be more likely to fight against you if he or she believes that you have wronged them.  And it doesn’t matter if you spouse is or has been dating or even cheating.  An angry spouse is an angry spouse.

Your Children:  As tempting as it may be to get out on the dating scene, first think about how your children will react.  Will they be confused to see their mom dating someone when they know she is still married to their dad?  Will they think their dad is mean or that he doesn’t care about them because he has a new woman in his life?  Children only understand a fraction of what’s really going on with their parents’ divorce, and you risk upsetting them further by bringing a new person onto the scene.

Your Potential Partner:  If you do decide to date while you’re still undergoing the divorce process, it is only fair to be honest with your new love interest about your relationship status.  They won’t like finding out later, and you need to know that they are willing to go through the divorce drama with you.

Yourself:  You are undergoing the pain and heartbreak of a failed marriage.  You probably think that you are perfectly capable of deciding what you want, but launching into a new relationship during such an unstable part of your life can be detrimental.  You may end up with someone who is a toxic match for you, causing even more heartache.  Instead, use this time to work on yourself and reinforce relationships with your friends and family.

There are many good reasons not to date during divorce.  It could affect the way the divorce process unfolds for you, resulting in a divorce settlement that you aren’t happy with.  The people around you also need to be considered, especially your children.  While you may feel as though you could use the attention of a boyfriend or girlfriend, it is best in the long run to wait until those papers are signed.