Is Divorced Dating Different From Dating When You Haven’t Already Been Married?

By Robert Porter|Updated June 16, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lisa Cooper, MSW, LCSW

Recovering from getting a divorce is difficult for some people. When a marriage doesn’t work out, it may leave you feeling insecure about starting another relationship with someone else. You might very much desire a new relationship, but you could still be afraid of whether things will turn sour as they did with your marriage. Is divorced dating different from dating when you haven’t already been married? Read on to dig into the details.

Are There Kids In the Picture?

When you haven’t been married, one of the biggest differences between divorced dating and dating is that you’ll possibly have kids in the picture. You might have kids of your own, which can alter the dynamic when you’re trying to start dating again. If you’re still young and you have school-aged children, then you’re going to want to find a partner that is comfortable with this. Of course, many people in your age group that you will be trying to date might have children of their own, too.

It is important to acknowledge that your kids and your potential partner’s kids will play a role in the relationship. Even if you aren’t trying to move in with a new lover anytime soon, it still could be a factor. Sometimes children can get a little scared when mom or dad starts dating again. They might be worried that this new person is taking away their parent, which could even cause some behavior problems. Be prepared to assure your children that you will not love them any less just because you found someone new to spend time with.

Divorced dating doesn’t have to be overly complicated, even when you have children. However, it is important to be aware of the potential challenges that can occur. It will also be crucial to find a partner that respects the fact that you have parental responsibilities. If they’re capable of getting along with your children without making your kids feel like someone is trying to replace their mother/father, then that will be even better.

You Might Have Trust Issues

Many people who have gone through a divorce will develop trust issues. This is especially true if your ex-spouse betrayed you somehow, and that was the main reason for the divorce. You might find that you’re more suspicious than you used to be in the past due to what happened. This could lead you to act a little off-putting in some ways, and your new partner could be a little hurt by your lack of trust.

The truth is that your current relationship has nothing to do with the old one. Just because one partner cheated on you in the past doesn’t mean that someone new will do the same thing. Try your best to give new romantic partners the benefit of the doubt. Bringing your past wounds into your current relationship might feel inevitable, but you should try to work through issues healthily. Some people go to therapy to process these feelings, which helps them to remain open to others despite difficulties with trust.

Keep in mind that these problems can happen with the person that you’re dating as well. Dating a divorced person could lead to similar complications. They might have trust issues that stem from coming out of a bad relationship. You have to try to understand each other’s past so that you can build a future together. Being able to communicate your concerns is crucial, and you should know that trust takes time. You can build your bond with a new partner, but you might never be as trusting as you were before your divorce.

Older And Wiser

You may feel like you’re a bit older and wiser now. Going through a major life event such as a divorce can be traumatizing for many, but it can also make you smarter. You went through bad times, and you were still able to come out whole. Even if you have some issues stemming from your failed marriage, you now have an increased understanding of avoiding certain pitfalls. Your next relationship might be much better than your marriage was because you have grown as a person.

Hopefully, the people that you decide to date will be similarly wise. When you’re dating someone who understands what they want, it can make the relationship more fulfilling. You can use your wisdom to help nurture a good relationship that will be healthy for you. This will allow you to build a solid bond over time with your new partner.

The old you might have made certain mistakes or expected too much out of your partner. You might have regrets about how you treated your ex-spouse, and you will want to do things differently the next time. Many people mature quite a bit after going through a divorce. This could very well be the case for you, too.

Your Expectations Might Be Different

It’s also true that your expectations might be significantly different than they were when you got married. In the past, you might have settled down with your ex-spouse with thoughts of starting a family. If you already have children and are content with the number of children that you have, then this might mean that you’re looking for different things now. Instead of looking for someone to settle down with, you might just be looking for someone to enjoy life with.

That isn’t to say that some divorced individuals won’t want to settle down again. It just means that your expectations for the future likely aren’t the same as they once were. You could be looking for a person to fall madly in love with, or you could be seeking out a sex partner. You’re at a different point in your life, and what you needed or wanted ten or twenty years ago will likely be a bit different from what you want now.

Taking Time To Heal

You are taking time to heal after a divorce is essential for moving forward in a healthy mindset. Some people will need months to get over a divorce, and others might even feel like they need several years. How long you need to heal and process what has happened will depend on your specific situation. Remember that you can always seek out professional therapy if you have emotional issues that need to be addressed.

Some people experience depression or anxiety after getting divorced. This can even manifest itself when you start dating again due to not connecting with others as easily as you had hoped. Working with a therapist can help you manage symptoms of depression or anxiety that disrupt your daily life.

Sex After Divorce

Sex after divorce can be somewhat tricky at first. Some recently divorced people will want to go out and find someone new to sleep with very fast. This isn’t always the best course of action to take for your mental health, but it is something that some people will do. Understand that some recently divorced people will have problems forming an intimate connection with someone new.

You could be so used to only having sex with your now ex-spouse that sleeping with someone else will feel strange. Eventually, this will not be the case anymore. It just might not feel natural to think about sleeping with another person. In your heart, you could still feel like you need to be loyal to your ex even though your marriage has concluded. Don’t feel weird if this happens to you because everyone has their process of healing from divorce.

Try Out Online Counseling When You Need Help

If you’re just now entering into a new relationship, then you might need some support to keep things going smoothly. Online couples counseling through Regain is available if you feel your current relationship needs some help to avoid familiar pitfalls. You can learn how to communicate more effectively while also working on overcoming past emotional trauma. Getting through a divorce might be tough, but your new relationship can thrive with the help of licensed online counselors.

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