Dating is often a risky and adrenaline-pumping adventure, but when you date after divorce, hearts aren’t the only commodities on the line. Between kids, potential step-relations, money issues and exes, dating after divorce can be a tricky and stressful undertaking.
Rather than delve into this stress, many divorcees choose to isolate themselves from dating and romance. Indeed, a recent study found that 55% of divorced women reported having “zero” sexual encounters per month, 22% said they were “lucky” to have sex 1-3 times a month and 13% reported having sex 3-6 times per month.
Although putting aside sex and dating sounds like a noble venture, particularly for divorced mothers who don’t want their children getting confused or hurt, it is important to remember that sexuality is a big part of who we are. When we deny our sexuality and our need for love, we deny our femininity and our emotional needs. Our children need to see us model happy and healthy relationships, and they also need to see us as fulfilled and multi-faceted individuals. This can’t happen if we refuse to leave our houses on Friday nights!
So how can you date after divorce — and safeguard your heart and home at the same time?
Dr. Laura Berman is the director of the in Chicago, a specialized healthcare facility dedicated to helping women and couples find fulfilling sex lives and enriched relationships. She is also an assistant clinical professor of OBGYN and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She has been working as a sex educator, researcher and therapist for 18 years.