Hello, Congrats on making the break from a man who abused you. If you mentally checked out years ago, you may be ready to date now. Some people like to be alone for 6 months to a year before dating. You will have to decide if you are ready. It's best to wait until you are confident that the relationship may end up being long term before introducing him to your child. That period is usually a minimum of 4 to 6 months before that happens. It is not slutty to talk to more than one man at a time. If you start having sex with one man, then you may want to concentrate on him alone.
My advice is to come up with your list of must haves and dealbreakers in a relationship, if you haven't already. It's common to get over-excited about a new, attractive and wonderful man in the beginning, so try to hold onto your heart during this beginning period. Remember that all men are wonderful while they are courting you. The real man will start emerging usually after the 4th to 6th month, and that is when you will see how he consistently treats you. Remember to be strong and cut him loose if he has any dealbreakers. It doesn't matter how much you care about him--he must also treat you as you should be treated, or he is not worthy to be in your life.
Everyone makes their own rules about when they will have sex, but I've often heard that there are many women who regret having sex too soon, but no one has ever regretted waiting a little longer. If a man is patient enough to wait until you are ready, then he is usually looking for something long term. If he is not patient, then he probably just wanted to have his fun and run so he isn't worth your time anyway. I would recommend not meeting at each other's homes to prevent temptation at the beginning. Good luck and have fun!
I probably would recommend not dating seriously until your div is final or at least you are pretty much on the way.
1. How long should I wait to start dating?
I would really take your time with this.
When I was dating, I avoided women who were still married.