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If you are separated and dating, or divorced and dating, hack your dating life by finding a person to date that has the following traits:

  1. Disinterested in Drama.

A person that does not thrive on causing problems or making problems worse.  Their daily satisfaction does not stem from gossip but from personal accomplishment.

  1. Respectful to your ex (even if you don’t like your ex).

A person who desires to live in peaceful surroundings and desires peaceful interactions.  A person that can be kind even when they feel slighted. This is essential for when you have children with your ex and where it is necessary for your children’s emotional health to witness respect given to all in every aspect.

  1. Respectful to your children 

A person who is patient and willing to bend to your children’s needs. A person who understands your need for time with your children. Your children come first and this is a concept that is not a threat to your potential lover.

  1. Remains emotionally detached from your divorce or post-divorce litigation.

A person that encourages negotiation and does not criticize your judgment or reasoning. You want to have your significant other be an aide to resolution.  When you are stressed out and lonely, it is easy to rebound into a new relationship. But, make sure this person is a right fit into your single parenthood life!

I also caution you to not become a spouse so ‘in love with your new love’ that you just simply want to be “done” with your divorce by just agreeing to anything that you might later regret.  Do not rush your divorce so that you can move on with your new relationship – you should be able to happily date at the same time you are resolving your family matters.

If you have a significant other, this person should not be involved in the divorce or post-divorce proceedings. Keep this new person isolated from the details as best as you can.  This person should respect your family as you do and likewise respect the “process”.  The hardest divorce and post-divorce disputes are the ones where the girlfriends or boyfriends are boisterous, attending court proceedings and embarking upon a loud tirade against your ex. This does not serve your interests or help matters at all.   And, quite honestly, it severely ticks off your ex! (No, that is not what you to do). If you thought settlement was an option, well it’s not anymore – so don’t let your new lover throw it out the window!

So, read the 4 attributes above – the qualities your significant other should possess- and take it seriously! The more respectful and easygoing this person is, the better, even during the times that you are yelling and screaming obscenities.  The person that you want in your corner is the reasoned, confident, compassionate person that understands their role in supporting you and not adding fuel to an already burning fire.

Love begins with you.