Giddy Presents The Naked Truth: Moving in With a New Partner After Divorce
I'm an AASECT-certified sex therapist and licensed professional counselor-supervisor based in Austin, Texas. I've been in practice for 14 years, including working in corporate settings, higher education and private practice.
If you have questions you want to be answered in future columns, send me an email at email@example.com. Privacy in all matters of intimacy is very important to me and any questions answered in this column will be entirely anonymous.
Enough about me, let's talk sex.
I'm in the process of finalizing a divorce. We've been separated for a few months and both have our own places. I met someone who is fun, sweet and different from my ex. She makes me feel alive and I want to ask her to move in. Some of my friends and family think it's too soon to be moving in with a new partner after divorce. Is there a certain time I should wait? Why shouldn't I go for what makes me happy?
Jack in Wisconsin
I love it when our inner circle of trusted peers and family offers input. That being said, even though their input comes from a place of love and caring about you, this must be your decision. Only you know the truthful details about how long it has been since you've felt connected to anyone and how long it has been since you felt true sexual chemistry. And only you know what and who it is that you're seeking.
Some may call you a "serial monogamist," which means you're always faithful and in a traditional monogamous relationship. But the key word here is "always." It's the opinion of some experts we should take time to process and heal from our previous relationships before engaging in new ones. It's also the opinion of other experts that human beings are not meant to live in isolation; therefore, we survive and thrive better in cohorts—or relationships of significance.
My concern here is not about the ongoing divorce as much as the other variables that are unpredictable for your new favorite person. My other worry is about your moment of current needs and wants, and how these correlate with any emotions of pain, hurt, growth and avoidance of any of the above.
Divorce has a funny way of bringing out the worst in our exes, but it brings the best out in our vulnerable states of isolation and pain. Bottom line, it reveals truths, and sometimes the truth hurts. What was once the permanent smell of dinner waiting for you, a warm heartbeat next to you in bed and hope for what the future could bring is now coming home to silence.
Divorce opens your eyes to the mistakes you've made, and has a funny way of unveiling clarity. Paradoxically, it also creates a new skewed version of helplessness and hopelessness.
Meeting someone new provides balance to the realities of divorce. Stay alert to the difference between shiny new relationships and fillers of avoidance to the painful transition divorce highlights.
- How to Spot a Relationship Scammer: If you don't want to be swindled on Tinder or tricked into paying for a fake heiress, read this.
- How to Build an Emotionally Safe Relationship: Creating a truly secure space is essential for any long-term partnership. Find out how.
- Giddy Presents The Naked Truth: My girlfriend never orgasms when we have sex. Certified sex therapist Savannah Van Besien answers your intimate questions and more.
You are, of course, your own expert, and your inner circle acts as your eyes and ears to what you have been blinded to with your ex as well as the rose-tinted glasses you see your new beloved through. Those trusted people you call when you are drunk and crying at 3 a.m. are also the people who probably raised some eyebrows during your previous marriage.
These people are confidants, but take their perspectives with a grain of salt because all perspectives are meant to be interpreted—and justly so.
Use your judgment to keep what you want and let go of what doesn't fit.
Moving your new girl in at this time will impact the trajectory of your life in the short and long term. I don't preach good, bad, right or wrong, but my goodness, there are definitely definitively wrong reasons to move so quickly into commitments such as playing house together.
Take time to discover your true self. Pay attention to how many moments are perfect versus how many moments of doubt you experience. This question has more to do with knowing yourself, your needs and your life motivators. The rest, well, is cluttered with too many voices, perhaps even including hers.
Again, I'm not shy, so feel free to ask me anything. Remember, this will always be anonymous. If you have any questions about relationships, sexual activities or your partners, let me know. Tell me your first name and the state you live in so I can attribute your question. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will always respect your privacy.