The Guide to Dating After Divorce

Finding love after divorce can be intimidating or feel impossible. We know that divorce can discourage our openness to being in a happy relationship or cause us to feel uncomfortable re-entering the dating world. However, if you’re ready to get back into the dating world, there are absolutely ways to get started that are healthy and filled with possibility. 

Woman sitting on top of a mountain peak at sunset

How do I know when I’m ready to date again? 

This is ultimately up to you. A good place to start is to spend some time reflecting and evaluating your own emotional wellbeing. If you feel that you’ve healed from a lot of the hurt you endured and are in a healthy mindset to begin a new relationship, you may be ready to start looking. 

It can also help to consult a trusted friend or family member on their perspective. It really comes down to if you feel secure enough to open up to love again. And if you start dating only to find you aren’t ready, that’s ok to take a step back until you’re in a better place. 

How long after divorce should you date? 

There is no universal timeline for how long you should wait to start dating again after divorce, but it should ideally be after you’ve resolved any existing conflicts and worked through your own emotions about it. It is also important to take into consideration the effects dating may have on any children impacted by the divorce and to make sure your home is a stable environment before adding anyone new to the mix. 

Is finding love after divorce possible?

Absolutely! Divorce is a painful experience to go through, but many divorcees are able to find healthy, lasting love again. Remember that divorce doesn’t have to define your future and can serve as a learning opportunity for what to look for in a new partner and what changes may help future relationships be more sustainable. 

Is it OK to date while going through a divorce? 

Every divorce is unique to those involved and their circumstances, so this really depends on the aspects of the specific situation. If possible, it may be less complicated to wait until the divorce is finalized to move on romantically. This is especially prudent in situations where dating could have legal implications in the divorce process or if there is any possibility you might want to reconcile with your partner. 

However, some divorces are amicable where dating won’t cause any ruffled feathers. Or perhaps you and your ex have both emotionally moved on, but the final paperwork is taking a bit longer than anticipating. There are certainly cases where dating while going through a divorce is reasonable, but be sure to think about any potential ramifications first. 

Does the first relationship after divorce last?

We can’t promise your first relationship after divorce will be a homerun, but just because it’s the first relationship after the divorce doesn’t mean it’s doomed. If you find a genuine connection and are in a place to foster it into a healthy relationship, it may be something that lasts a lifetime. 

Where you run into trouble is if you’re dating just to forget about the divorce. The only way to truly move forward is through your own healing – that can’t come through another person.

Top Places to Find a Relationship After Divorce

If you’re looking to date after divorce, there are several ways you can get started depending on what you’re most comfortable with. Re-entering the world of dating can be a sensitive topic after divorce and come with its own worries, so start with what feels most comfortable for you. 

Through Friends and Family

Another option if you aren’t ready for online dating is through mutual connections. No one knows you better than your close friends and family, who could be a great judge of character for potential dates. Start putting out feelers that you’re open to dating and see if they have anyone in mind. Who knows, maybe your cousin Marge has a great coworker you’d hit it off with!

At Church or Religious Gatherings

Faith is a strong common denominator when looking for a life partner. If you belong to a church, temple or mosque, that may be a good opportunity to find someone who has the same values and morals. Start attending more gatherings and getting to know other eligible singles. 

Tips for Divorced Singles Looking to Start Dating Again

  • Don’t rush the process – If you’re not ready to get back out there emotionally after your divorce yet, that’s okay. Take your time. You have the rest of your life to find another special someone. 
  • Be Open to New Personalities – We often gravitate towards what we know, but when dating after divorce, you may want to open yourself up to potential partners that differ from your ex. This is a good opportunity to reevaluate what you’re really looking for.
  • Don’t Stress About Others’ Opinions Other than close family or friends and any children involved, don’t worry too much about judgement. It’s your life and you shouldn’t waste it worrying about what the gossips in your book club might have to say about your dating life. Besides, they’re probably more worried about their problems and insecurities than yours!
  • Be confident – Just because you’re divorced, doesn’t mean you aren’t a catch! Divorce doesn’t disqualify you from a lasting love and doesn’t mean you are less worthy of finding it. Be confident in yourself and all you have to offer. 
Photo of author

Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.