Experts Reveal The 4 "Golden Rules" For Dating After Divorce

Looking for love after divorce can be daunting, but these expert-approved tips can help.

couple smiling taking selfie Rachata Teyparsit / Shutterstock

How long should a parent wait before starting to date again after a divorce? Most experts agree that there's no time requirement. As soon as they'd like is just fine.

Still, while it's up to parents to use their best judgment about when to start dating again, there are some guidelines all divorcés should consider when it comes to revving up the romance again.

Below, four YourTango Experts offer their best advice about when to begin dating again following a divorce — and how to handle this challenging and delicate emotional situation.


RELATED: 8 Reasons You Need To Date After A Divorce In Order To Meet Your Soulmate — Even If It's Scary

Four relationship experts share their "golden rules" for dating after divorce:

1. Focus on yourself

Divorce is stressful and can take a lot out of you, especially your self-esteem. Treat yourself to a weekend getaway or spa day. Remember, you are worth it.


Turn to your female friends for company and support, but stay clear of "male bashing." Keep the conversations positive. Putting down your ex or rehashing old hurts will only keep you in a negative and depressed state of mind. 

Trying one new thing per month will give you confidence in yourself and you never know who you might meet. 

Marla Martenson, matchmaker and dating coach

2. Get out there as soon as you're ready

A hunter is someone that follows or pursues someone else. It is a short-lived ego boost for the hunted, but ultimately not attractive (you're too easy to get). A leader, however, creates value because he/she has a full life. His time is scarce. You are perceived as being a challenge to get your time and attention, thus, making you more desirable. 


There are many reasons to start dating again now. First, to practice dating, and getting ready for when it will really matter. Second, to get comfortable around romantic prospects again — it's like working out, you have to get back into "dating shape." Third, it builds your self-confidence, improving your appeal.

Take time to reflect on all of the positive things you have accomplished in your life. Exude happiness and know in your heart you have the power to create the life you want. Happiness is contagious and a very attractive quality. 

Don't be desperate. Desperation creates a feeling of being needy. Communicating that you'll change or do anything for him/her it lowers your value. Remember the saying "People want what they can't have and don't want what they can have."

- Divorced Guys, divorce experts


RELATED: 5 Rules The Healthiest Divorced Guys Always Follow Before They Start Dating Again

3. Be mindful of your children (and of who you are now)

Don't use your kids. That is, don't try to create a date with someone new by jiggering a "playdate" with both of your kids at the park until you know that this person will be in your life for the longer term. It's just plain awkward for your kids and prevents you from really being the "non-mom" or "non-dad" version of yourself, which isn't ideal, especially when you are just getting to know each other.

While you want to see how your kids will interact with your someone special, make that meeting intentional and focused on making the kids comfortable. Since that is not the case when you are dating and getting to know someone, this is the case where "killing two birds with one stone" is just a bad idea. 

Also, don't talk about your ex. Don't discuss the custody schedule or why you got a divorce on the first five dates. Do talk about what you learned from your marriage and divorce, how you grew as a person, and who you are now. Especially avoid any bashing or complaining. Remember, every ex is somebody else's "jerk" so if you avoid that conversation, you can truly see the person as who he or she is today, rather than their role in their past relationship. 


And finally, give yourself permission to get your "crazies" out. This is especially important if you were in a long-term relationship for a very long time.

Be honest about your post-divorce relationship goals. Are you really looking for another long-term partnership? Or, are you wanting to play the field, get comfortable with your sexuality, or just practice dating? It's developmentally appropriate to sew your wild outs (safely, of course) if you skipped dating in your 20s and 30s because you were in a marriage or long-term partnership.

Allowing yourself to play and have fun can build confidence so that when you are ready to date for love, you bring your authentic, powerful self to the table.

- Marni Battista, dating coach


RELATED: 5 Signs The Divorced Man You're Dating Is A Keeper

4. Focus on self-improvement

Think about online dating. It's fun, exciting, and not just for the young or desperate daters. Online dating is the best modern tool available for singles all over the world! With a quick, simple profile and a photo of yourself, you'll be able to get back into the dating groove and be reminded that you are not alone out there.

You might also want to pamper yourself with a makeover. Your life has changed and you can put a positive spin on it by looking your best. Makeover your entire life from head to toe with a few easy and reasonable updates.

Trim your hair and update your wardrobe with a new pair of jeans and a cute top. It's also fun to get a makeup consultation for all the new dates you'll be going on. 


There's nothing better than a great sweat session to take out your frustrations! Little things like trying a new nail polish color or getting a new pair of shoes will help remind you that you have the freedom to be bold and daring without going over the top. Looking good and feeling great is life's sweetest revenge.

You might also consider re-decorating. Without having to break the bank, you can restyle your home in a jiffy. Pick up a new accent pillow and a blanket throw to add to your home. Replace old photos of you and your ex with fun photos of you and your friends and those who love you. Go make new experiences in life and frame them.

- Maya Ezratti, relationship and dating coach 

RELATED: 9 Powerful Reminders For Your First Date After Divorce


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