…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. … For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
-Philippians 4:11b, 13, NLT
I am a firm believer in not off-sourcing personal responsibility for important life decisions. Get advice, sure. But do not let someone decide your life for you.
When pastors or counselors believe that you must submit to their assessment of your healing and/or readiness to date again, I get nervous. This is controlling behavior.
I consider it abusive to demand such submission even if it is framed as in “your best interest.”
A pastor or therapist who is truly invested in helping offers such advice with open hand and accepts that you are an adult accountable to God for making such a life decision.
That said, I have my own dating after divorce advice. I offer it for your consideration:
You are not ready to date until you are content at being single. In other words, you are willing to walk away from any future relationship if needed.
This is important so that you do not settle for another abusive or less than optimal situation just because you do not want to be alone.
It is advice I followed in my post-divorce dating life.
When Mrs. DM and I met, we dated for a week or two before I left to visit my best friend in NYC. She called me while I was out there freaked out over some dreams she had that had made her feel unsettled about us.
I accepted this as her breaking up with me. So, we broke up over the phone while I was half way across the country. It wasn’t fun, but I decided to accept it and take a “next up” mindset.
After I arrived back in Minnesota, she “inadvertently” sent me a long direct message. I asked if she still wanted me to drive down on a Friday like I had been doing before we broke up. She said, “Yes.”
The rest is history.
At the end of this month, we will celebrate three years of marriage.
The point is that we were and are well matched. Yet, I was not afraid to let the relationship go. I was at peace living as a single man for as long as that was to be.
You want to be in relationship where both of you are excited to be there. It ought not to be an exercise in settling or reluctance for either party. You are worth it, trust me.
Also, I want to also point out that finding another person might not be for you. Life can be very fulfilling as a single person.
You are a whole person without being married.