Real Women Reveal What It’s Like to Date After Divorce (and Their Experiences May Surprise You)

While the reasons for getting divorced vary, there’s no denying dating after divorce can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. Around 40-50% of marriages end in divorce in the U.S., according to the American Psychological Association. This means many people know what dating after divorce is like. If you’re new to the dating scene after divorce, here’s what’s dating can be like.

Your friends won’t understand

Family and friends posing for a picture

It won’t be easy for your friends to understand. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Being divorced with only married friends can be isolating. They may not fully understand the dating hurdles you’re facing. “They won’t understand why you haven’t moved in together after a year, or why you don’t talk to the person you’re seeing every day, all day,” Emily Cappiello of PopSugar writes in her article. Trust your gut, and go with what feels right, not what your friends think is right.

Everyone has baggage

Couple having dinner

Everyone comes with history. | iStock.com/Minerva Studio

Men had lives before meeting you. They may have kids, disgruntled ex spouses, and who knows what else. “You have to figure out what you are willing to put up with when kids, careers, exes, personal space, etc., are all factors in the equation,” Cappiello said. Be aware that everyone you meet has a past that could affect your relationship.

Dating someone new is exciting

Man and woman having drink at restaurant

Getting back out there and dating can still be exciting. | iStock.com

Time for some good news. Dating is still exciting! “I’m giddy about being in a relationship again,” Nancy Einhart writes in her article about dating after divorce. And the best part is they like you for you.“They’re really happy to be with a woman who can carry on a conversation, who is interested in the things they’re interested in (but can teach and learn new things), who’s funny and who thinks they’re funny,” Magda Pecsenye of the Huffington Post writes.

Lots of men have sleep apnea

Man sleeping in his bed

Sleep apnea isn’t thought of to be too sexy. | iStock.com/tommaso79

“I know this sounds strange and of course not ALL men over 35 have sleep apnea, but a surprising number of them do,” Pecsenye says. “More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea,” according to the National Sleep Foundation. Sleep apnea brings a new dynamic to relationships. Those with sleep apnea may be embarrassed about using their CPAP machine around someone they’re dating. Here’s why sleep apnea sufferers shouldn’t be embarrassed. Breathing is cool. Breathing is what keeps us alive. Do what you have to do to keep breathing.

Men are more honest

Restaurant table with glasses and salads

You can expect dating to be a lot more honest. | iStock/Getty Images

“By this point in life, men don’t want to play games any more than you do,” Pecsenye says. Others who have experienced divorce firsthand echo Pecsenye’s statement. “We’re straightforward, we don’t play games, and everything is on the table,” Einhart adds. As a single twenty-something myself, this sounds great at any age, after a divorce or not.

Breakups don’t hurt as much

Happy senior couple standing on beach with arms outstretched

You will be more mature about a lot of things. | iStock.com/Ridofranz

More good news. Well, sort of. With maturity brings perspective. “You are older, wiser, and know what you can offer someone. If they don’t want it, then it’s really a shame for them,” Cappiello says. While breakups will still hurt, you’ll know when a relationship isn’t right.

You know who you are

mature couple having a glass of wine at campsite

Knowing who you are makes dating a lot easier. | iStock.com/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Having a clear idea of who you are, helps in every aspect of life. Especially dating after a divorce (see previous page). “Now that I’m older and understand my own flaws, I spend a bit more time evaluating how they affect both my choice in a partner as well as the dynamics inside the relationship,” Cappiello said. You’ll be able to communicate more clearly about your needs and wants. After all, good communication is key to a successful relationship.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!