By Gary Richmond, Crosswalk.com
If you're divorced, the thought of dating again can be both scary and intriguing. The biggest question is, Am I ready to begin dating again? It may have been some time since you were dating. You may be longing for adult companionship. You may cling to scripture that says, It is not good that the man should be alone (Gen. 2:18). If this is the case, there are some questions you should ask yourself before you jump into the dating scene:
Am I ready to date? One statistic says that it takes one year of healing for every four years of marriage. If you are still attached emotionally, you are not ready to rebond with another person. Most singles consider themselves healed before they are and end up being hurt in a new relationship.
Am I now living more in the present than in the past? Consider your thought life. Are you still spending time thinking, What if...? Present-tense thinking deals more with, What will I do now? And how will it affect my future?
Have my periods of depression become fewer and farther apart? No one completely escapes the depression that follows divorce. If you are still overshadowed by depression, then you are not ready to move on.
Have I overcome my tendency to look for nurturing or rescue? If you are still seeking a person to make it all better, you need more time. God should be your first line of defense. Then you ought to draw on your own coping mechanisms - the ones God has given you. Friends or lovers do not have it within their power to fix you.
Have I learned to live alone and not be lonely? Can you comfortably live alone without expecting someone to fill a void? Are you content in your present life?
Am I spiritually secure? You should have the inner feeling that God is caring for you and that in His time things will come together. Such convictions are a significant indication of healing if they represent the way you really feel.
When problems hit, do I have a problem-solving attitude? Explosive and uncontrolled emotions in the face of problems are a dead giveaway that you are still the walking wounded. If you are healthy, you will pray, seek responsible counsel, and not overreact.
Have I identified my weaknesses and am I willing to work on them? Take the time to work on your personal inclinations before burdening someone else with them. This is a matter of facing up to what part you have played in your past failure.
Am I thankful for the hard times? You should be able to look back at your painful circumstances and acknowledge that they brought growth and refinement.
Am I ready to contribute to a new relationship? The least healed are those most preoccupied with their own needs. Do not look for another needy wounded person to bond to. If you do, you will most certainly embrace a heartbreak.
Do I consider myself complete with God, whether or not I ever remarry? Is God your happiness and your sufficiency?
From Successful Single Parenting by Gary Richmond. Copyright (c) 1990 by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Ore.
Gary Richmond serves as a pastor to single parents at the Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton, Calif. He is a popular speaker at Christian camps, churches, and schools through the Western United States and Canada. Gary and his wife, Carol, have three children and two grandchildren.
Originally posted on Crosswalk.com's Live It Channel, bringing you today's best advice from Christian books.