Dating after divorce is something that can be both delightful and nerve-wracking. Here are some tips to ensure your success in finding new love again.

By Carolyn Ellis

Dating after divorce can make you feel like you’ve landed on an alien planet. Especially if you’ve been in a long-term marriage or relationship, getting back out on the dating scene can be quite bewildering. Having been through a separation or divorce, one thing you want to try to ensure is that history isn’t going to repeat itself!

These five tips can help you get your dating experience off on the right foot:

1. Date Yourself First

When you’re healing from a divorce or break-up, don’t make the classic mistake of rushing right out and finding yourself a new partner. The first person you need to really date is yourself.

Treat yourself with the love, respect and appreciation that you would like to have in a romantic relationship. Little love gestures like giving yourself flowers or lighting candles for dinner add up to a lot in terms of setting the stage for new love.

2. Identify What You Want

One of the unexpected bonuses of having a relationship end is that you get really clear really quickly about what didn’t work in your relationship. That is a goldmine of information right there that can help you avoid making the same mistakes twice.

Make a list of the characteristics and dynamics that didn’t serve you well, e.g. “My ex-spouse was close-minded.” Ask yourself what you do want instead in a new partner and write that down, “My partner is open-minded.” You’ll end up with a much clearer idea of what you do want in relationship.

3. Keep The Ex Out Of Future Relationships

Remember two is company but three is a crowd. Do your own emotional healing work and do your best to leave your ex-spouse out of future relationships. If you find yourself repeatedly rehashing stories about your ex and blaming him or her for all of your woes, it’s time to work through that with the help of a trusted friend or divorce coach. Turning new suitors into therapists can be a big turn-off.

4. Be Solid Before You Involve Your Children

It’s healthy for your children to know you have a social life outside of being with them. However, they don’t need nor is it appropriate for you to give them a day-by-day update on your romantic life. Be sure you feel confident about the level of commitment and love you feel for your new partner before you introduce them to your children.

5. Beware The Rebound Relationship

If you’re ready for a serious, committed relationship, make sure your potential new partners are emotionally available and ready to move forward as well. People on the rebound who perpetually complain about their ex-partner or are overly reliant upon you likely need to meet their emotional needs or to validate them likely need to do some more emotional homework first. Fixer-upper opportunities are great for real estate, but not so great for romance.


CE Pitfalls coverCarolyn Ellis is the Founder of and She is an award-winning coach, transformational expert and author of the award-winning The Divorce Resource Kit and The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce. Combining her deep intuitive abilities with her Harvard-trained brain, Carolyn specializes in helping individuals navigate change and uncertainty by tapping into their own inner brilliance and emotional resilience. To learn more or to book a session, please visit