5 Mistakes to Avoid When Dating After Divorce

Since I got married when I was basically a fetus (19), then spent the entirety of my 20s being someone’s wife, I’m a little rusty on the dating thing. Not to mention that dating at 18 is a little bit different than dating at 31 with two kids.

So yeah, I have baggage now, but you know what I don’t have? Teenage angst. I’m older and wiser, as evidenced by the wrinkle between my eyes that’s begging for Botox, but that’s another story for another time. Anyway, dating when I was a moody teen was not fun, and this time I’m determined to not take myself too seriously, and just enjoy meeting new people.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even meet one worth keeping around.

Here are 5 things I’m determined not to do while dating after divorce.

Obsess: Sometimes people don’t click, or the timing just isn’t right, or any number of things that can end a relationship before it begins, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t need to analyze every detail of every conversation, re-read every text, and question all the motives all the times. Geez, I don’t have time for that anyway.

Pity myself: Wallowing is no fun -- for you or the people around you. It’s ok to be sad about something without feeling sorry for yourself. Besides, self-pitying leads to entitlement, and I am not a fan of entitled brats.

Wait by the phone: I mostly mean this one figuratively, since my iPhone is basically superglued to my hand. But I want to fill up my time when the kids are with their dad with lots of fun stuff, and not keep everything open in the off chance a crush will be free to hang out. Life is what you make it -- don’t wait for someone else to make it for you.

Feel guilty for not being interested: There are lots of other female fish in the sea, and it’s not really fair of me anyway to waste their time if I don’t feel like anything’s there. They’re big boys, they’ll be just fine if I need to say, “I’m flattered … but no.”

Forget to swoon a little: This is the upside, right? Clicking with someone for the first time, with all the shiny newness and magical sparklies that come from not knowing about all the skeletons in his closet. And he doesn’t know yours either. It could end up being a fling or the real thing, but it doesn’t matter because just for a moment, there are worlds of possibilities for the two of you.

What did you do differently dating after divorce?


Image via Sergey Sus/Flickr


dating, dating mom, single moms


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Suzanne

I would strongly suggest, as someone who found themselves single for the first time in my adult life a few years back, spending some time alone first. I started dating right away, and it was fun at first (I had forgotten that there were men out there that could actually be nice to me), but I realized pretty quick that I needed to figure myself out before getting to close to anyone else. I took two years completely off of dating to focus on my job and my kids. When I was ready to go back again I had a much clearer picture of what I wanted and did a much better job of finding it.

nonmember avatar jsr

"self-pitying leads to entitlement, and I am not a fan of entitled brats."

But you are way pickier now, with less to offer. That's definitely not being entitled in any way.

justj123 justj123

I have found that all the men I meet either want sex only or a friend with benefits relationship only and do not want to have a "date" anymore.  I have been divorced for 3 years now and took the first year and did not see anyone like Suzanne suggested cuz my friend also divorced suggested this as well.  I am sorry to say but men today are just plain sorry.  After two years of sorry ass men I have decided to quit looking and focus on school and my job and if it is meant for me to find someone so be it, if not then so be it also.  At least I will have a fantastic job when I graduate in September 2014 and will finally get to LOVE what I really want to do.  (BTW I am 42 years old retired early after 25 years in the insurance industry and went back to beauty school in October 2013)

nonmember avatar Anonymous

Immediately chasing romantic "shiny newness and magical sparklies" (that "in love" feeling) when their lack got Leif binned like a bad turnip... says much. Sex (arousal, burnin' for it) isn't everything, but in this case it apparently is. True dat.

As part of recovery, addicts apologize to people they've hurt with their addictions. At menopause, you'll have some folk to whom you're apologizing. You're going to be lonely or, often, "used" and then lonely along the way.

Call me a troll, but that's happening to my Ex...

nonmember avatar Lou

Wow really!!! All men are just sorry??? Remember ladies, as well as gentlemen for that matter, you attract what you are. If you are consumed with trying to find someone who is "not sorry" but have not made any improvements from the last relationship, you should not expect anything different from the past relationship. Concentrate on making yourself better and then and only then will you attract the mate that you desire. As the song goes " nothing from nothing leaves nothing".....in other words, "be something".

Patricia R Foster

I waited for a while because my first marriage was really bad. He was abusive and after our divorce he committed suicide. I also had a child in tow so waiting was best. My son is elevan now and I was single for the better part of ten years. I am now with a wonderful guy who is a responsible part of my sons' life. There still are great guys out there, and patience is sometimes the hardest thing to have.

nonmember avatar Megan

I had been separated from my husband for a week when I decided to go out and have fun (I felt like I had never had the chance to just have fun). I went out with my sister who introduced me to her group of friends. I hadn't been planning on meeting anyone. I was ready to just do me. Anyways, I got drunk and ended up being one of those sad drunks. So one guy started talking to me (nothing sexual happened between us). Eventually, I sobered up and we were still talking until 4 am. We really hit it off but we both agreed nothing would happen between us because I just wasn't ready. Well, over the next couple of days we kept talking. That was 8 months ago and we're still talking. He has surprised me so much because he is everything I never even thought existed. Today he is my best friend, my lover, and my hero and he says I'm all the same things to him.

nonmember avatar amy

I decided to start dating about 6 weeks ago. I had been married for 16 years and have 3 kids. I also got married when I was a fetus (ha). The prospects are scary and I know this works both ways. I have gone out with 3 different guys. The first 2 were one dates only the third we are still together. The first was a guy my age, with kids, he of course knew exactly what to say (what we all want to hear) but the beauty of being older is that you do know better. I still gave him a chance but I found the "bitter" guy is not for me, he has been divorced for 4 years and still complained the entire time about his X. So the second date I went total opposite, I went out with an man 10 years older who had never been married, no kids. Well I did not expect him to show me the walgreens app on his phone which showed all the meds he is taking including flomax so he can pee, I had to resist every urge not to go to the bathroom and climb out the window. So now the 3rd guy, my friends would hate him, he is not who "i should be with" according to everything, but you know what I like him, he makes me laugh and I have not felt this way since I was a teenager. So what I have learned is give everyone a chance. You might find something where you least expect it...

nonmember avatar Sven

After 25 years of marriage I decided to just have some me time. I didn't expect lots of hard up single men to crawl out of the woodwork! So I decided to go overseas for a year. And just then I met a guy who was everything different from my usual "type". We met via a comment on a mutual friend's Facebook and talked and talked and talked. We finally decided to meet in person and the chemistry was there too. We've been living together for a year and a half now and it's survived my kids, his kids & our respective exes. What I learnt was to just be myself and be happy in myself. I didn't go looking but I wasn't closed to the idea either. I'm also upfront & honest about who I am and what I need from a relationship. No games please. He's the same and it's just so amazing. I might start believing in soulmates!

1-9 of 9 comments