12 Tips For Dating After Divorce
12 Tips For Dating After Divorce

12 Tips For Dating After Divorce


Ending a marriage can make you rethink everything you thought you knew about love, but it shouldn’t stop you from finding happiness. Whether you’re newly divorced or deeper into the rebuild, here’s the expert advice you need for navigating the dating scene like a pro…
Photography klara kulikova/ unsplash

Drop Any Emotional Baggage

“Before you jump into the dating scene, it’s important to take time to reflect on what led to the demise of your marriage – perhaps it was infidelity, loss of intimacy or loss of trust – and work through the emotions relating to what the problem was. If you’re waking up angry, sad, anxious or depressed because of your last relationship ending, you’re not ready to be dating. To move forward, you need to process your emotions and fully grieve every stage of the loss of the relationship. If you’re not being honest when dating about your marriage and why it ended, are badmouthing your ex and calling them names, or seeking commitment too quickly, these are key signs you’re not fully healed from your divorce and could be heading for an even messier situation down the road.” – Rachel Maclynn, founder & CEO of Maclynn 

Get In The Right Mindset

“Mindset is everything. If you believe dating will be difficult, it will be. If you believe your special someone is out there, you’ll find them. It’s all about perspective. Everyone we meet, even if it’s someone who rejects us or falls in love with us, can teach us something. The more open we are to those lessons, the easier the learnings are to integrate. It’s also important to get clear on why you are dating again. Why are you wanting to find a partner? If it’s just for sex, that’s fine. If it’s for a life partner, that’s fine too. Just be honest about your intentions.” – Courtney Boyer, relationship & sexuality expert 

Consider Therapy

“Sometimes men date too soon, before they’ve processed their divorce. You know you’re doing that if every first date turns into an impromptu therapy session. Real therapy, on the other hand, can be very effective at helping you make sense of what went wrong in your marriage, and give you tools to avoid that happening in your next relationship. Don’t be afraid that therapy will make you look weak or damaged in any way – in fact, most women would see seeking therapy as a huge green flag.” – Kate 

Put Yourself Out There

“Once you’ve processed your split (you’ll know you have when you stop comparing other people  to your ex) then online dating is the perfect way to dip your toe back in. At the same time, spending time with supportive friends can help rebuild your confidence and self-esteem. Often in a marriage, women are the ones who maintain the couple’s social life. This means men get out of the habit of calling up their friends to suggest meeting up, and those friendships can fall by the wayside. When you’re single, you’ll need to be proactive about your friends. Rebuild friendships before you look for a relationship.” – Kate Taylor, dating expert at Ourtime

Understand The Dating Scene

“Many men underestimate the amount of effort it takes to re-enter the dating world. Getting physically and emotionally ready is part of that. Creating a dating profile online requires introspection, good communication and a lot of patience once it goes live. Many men get frustrated when they don’t get the results they want right away or don’t find partners that meet their standards. Be patient and celebrate the opportunity to meet new people. At the same time, the needs of the woman you’re dating have likely changed. If you last dated in your 20s and are now dating in your 40s, most of the women you’ll be dating are going to be in a different chapter of their life. Many women will have already had kids (and not be looking to have more), have a career and life of her own. You’re not coming in to save or rescue or lead her. Enter the relationship as an equal partner looking to add value to her life.” – Courtney 


Get Up To Speed

“If you haven’t dated since the early 2000s, it’s a very different world out there. Social media and online dating is a huge market now, often with confusing ideas around which apps to use and which to avoid. Resilience is needed, as it’s all too easy to talk to many potential dates, which will inevitably lead to many rejections. Attitudes around sex are constantly changing, too. Respect your date’s needs and desires, and don’t just think about what you want. Consent can be as simple as asking each step of the way while being physically intimate. On the money side of dating, never assume to pay, as this can be considered offensive.” – Danny Zane, therapist & counsellor at Therapy North London

Reframe Baggage

“It’s important to not get confused as to what constitutes ‘baggage’. Your children are not baggage, neither is your ex-wife. Baggage is emotional chaos – a bad relationship with your ex-wife, arguments about the children, money and drama. A healthy new partner will look for clues that issues from your past relationship have been resolved. Second time around, many women want a partner who comes with their own life, interests, friends and family. It makes you more interesting – so long as there aren’t ongoing emotional conflicts.” – Kate 

Be Honest

“Be transparent when dating. Women appreciate clear communication much more than ‘ghosting’. Just make sure your actions align with your words: if you say one thing, make sure you’re true to your word. A woman doesn’t want to be anyone’s rebound, so be honest about what you’re looking for in a relationship, and make sure your divorce is completely finalised with no messy loose ends. In an ideal world, a woman will want to know your separation has been amicable, that you’re living separately from your ex-partner, and that you’ve put in the work and mental energy to sort through your emotions. If you haven’t, question whether you’re ready to be dating yet.” – Rachel 

Start With A Double Date

“A lot of new dating jargon has sprung up in the last few years – like ‘catfishing’, ‘breadcrumbing’, ‘ghosting’ and ‘slow-fading’ – but really, love is the same as it always was. Be kind, be honest, and don’t fall for anyone until you’ve met them in person. If you’re not sure your dating radar is as finely tuned as it was in your bachelor days, consider going on double dates so your friends can offer their (less blindly optimistic) opinions.” – Kate 

Don’t Rush To Introduce Family

“Are you both committed to the relationship? Only then is it probably the right time. The first step is to make sure you’ve discussed the plan with your co-parent. The same goes for your children – be open and honest. Tell them you have a special person you’d like to share with them. Make sure they know this isn’t a replacement for their other parent, this new person is in addition. Consider meeting somewhere comfortable and fun, and keep it at a slow pace.” – Danny 

Be Positive 

“While dating again after divorce can be a nerve-wracking experience, it can help to reframe the date as an opportunity to get to know a new person with whom you can have a fun relationship. Be optimistic – this will shine through and create a less stressful environment for both of you. Positive emotions are contagious, so don’t be a moaner. Act with positive intent. It can help to think about your character strengths beforehand, rather than your weaknesses. What are you passionate about? What makes you smile ear to ear when you talk about it? Talk about positive feelings and speak with positive emotions.” – Helen Reade, positive psychologist 

Don’t Lose Hope

“Rejection may feel disappointing, but it actually puts you one step closer to finding a suitable match. Don’t give up. The more you put yourself out there, the more you learn what you want and don’t want in a partner. Don’t settle for second best: use what you have learnt to be the best person you can be, ready for when you do meet your perfect match.” – Rachel 

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at [email protected].