After divorce, dating can feel like a foreign world for both men and women. But men do have particular styles of dating post-divorce, patterns that have been tried and are trusted. These patterns include feelings of vulnerability, getting back into the game fast, looking for a serious relationship immediately and, increasingly, dating online.
Divorce makes men feel vulnerable, not only because they are now left to grieve the end of a significant relationship, but because they see themselves differently. “All I could think was, ‘I can’t believe I’m now officially The Divorced Guy,’” said Michael Burke when recounting his post-divorce transition for “Happen” magazine. Feelings of insecurity are not out of the norm, says Dr. Robert Murray Davis, author of “Mid-Life Mojo: A Guide for the Newly Single Male." Many men feel desperate after divorce and jump into relationships too quickly.
Moving Too Fast
Moving to date someone new too soon after divorce is a common mistake, notes Davis. Men often feel that they will never again be as attractive as they are now, and decide to jump back in to the dating pool while they think they still have a chance. Some men fear, as Stuart Smith of Oxfordshire admitted to “The Guardian" that he feared, ending up alone. Many divorced men, according to Davis, feel emotionally unstable and seek any relationship in an effort to fulfill themselves and manage the details of their lives. However, Davis recommends waiting one or two years before entering another serious relationship.
Replicating the Ex
Some divorced men will attempt to replicate their ex-wives, writes Davis. This doesn’t have to be problematic if the new woman has some of the good qualities that the divorcee appreciated in his ex, but it can be difficult if he is just repeating the same pattern that led him to divorce. Burke, when discussing his post-divorce dating life, said that he started out trying to view every date as a potential wife, and then realized that he just needed to relax.
Online dating is becoming a more popular way to get back into the dating scene. It’s best to look for a website that matches your age range and interests rather than starting with a large dating site that has a more general audience, suggests psychologist and relationship coach Jo Hemmings. So many divorcees are now dating online that there are even dating websites that cater specifically to people who have been married before.