04/19/2012 12:41 pm ET Updated Jun 19, 2012

When Is The Right Time To Date After Divorce

You just signed the papers, and now you're officially divorced.

You're also angry, sad, relieved, bitter...and you're lonely.

You want to completely forget about that failed relationship, so what better way than to get into a new one.



You don't want to get involved in a relationship when you're not full of inner power. A lot of people make this mistake.

They're weak, they're beaten up, they're hurt, they're depressed, and they go out and try to find a replacement -- which only makes them miss their ex even more. Not only that, but it puts them in such a vulnerable place that they can easily get involved in the wrong relationship -- a relationship almost exactly the same as the last one.

After you end a relationship, you spend time getting to know yourself again, learning what you really enjoy about life and other people. You start processing the relationship, processing life.

It's really important to do that, because if you don't you're going to end up attracting -- once again -- the same person that you just ended a relationship with.

One of the things I suggest people do is to take a mini-vacation. Go away by yourself. Go somewhere quiet. Any place is good as long as it's a vacation spot. Get out of your usual comfort zone and routine.

Read, write, reflect, feel, and let out all your emotions. (Now would be a great time to start journaling if you don't already do so.)

Once you're processed your last relationship and you start to make changes within yourself, you'll be much more likely to meet someone exactly like the new you -- somebody who you can relate to, someone who can be a friend during this time when you most need somebody who's going through exactly what you're going through.

Most people don't do that.

They tend to stay within their circle of friends, and old friends give you the same old advice over and over again.

If you go outside your circle of friends, then you'll start meeting people who are going through what you're going through and you'll actually start to heal. You'll actually start to feel better. You'll actually start to get to know yourself again.

Dating after divorce or breaking-up after a long relationship can be fine, as long as you're ready for it -- and as long as you're in a happy place. You want to meet other people in a happy place.

That's what I wrote about in my book, "Naked". It's about really stripping your fears down after you end a relationship and being in the happy place again.

Your first date after a divorce is also important.

It should be casual, easy, and simple. Grab a cappuccino with that cutie from work, go listen to some live music that you actually enjoy, go for a walk with your hot neighbor, meet someone at the park and play with your dogs together.

Just do something really simple and easy.

Don't do what everyone else does and interview your date over dinner. Don't make the date a job interview. Don't have that resume-swapping date:

"So, tell me what did you do from 2001 to 2009? I see a break in relationships during that time..."

That's what those dates always feel like. They always feel like you're swapping resumes with somebody. And they're not from a calm, fun place. And that's what you need -- no pressure.

After a divorce or a break-up, get your feet wet very slowly and make sure this process is all about you healing and feeling wonderful again.

Now get out there and have fun.