Ask Dr. Elia: Dating after divorce, Part 1

Dear Dr. Elia,

I've been divorced a little over a year now, after being married for 20 years. My friends keep telling me that it's time to "get out there" and start dating again. I never thought I'd be in this position and I find it really hard to make myself available. I don't want to get hurt again so I'm reluctant to date. On the other hand, I don't want to be alone the rest of my life. Any suggestions?

"Alone Again"

Dear Alone Again,

You bring up several good points about picking up the pieces after a divorce. I'm working with several clients who are in the same predicament. None of them expected to be single after so many years of marriage. The dating world has changed considerably in the last 20 years, especially with the proliferation of online dating services. The good news for you is the fact that you didn't jump in to dating right after your divorce. There are many people who are still emotionally devastated from the divorce that start dating without first working out their issues over their divorce. The problem of getting into a "rebound relationship" is that without doing your homework, you may end up making the same mistake(s) again.

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