Dating After Divorce: What Women Want

What exactly are women asking for while dating after divorce

Jumping back into the dating game after divorce means a lot of different things to people. So to better understand what exactly that means and looks like, in February 2019 reached out to its community to do just that.

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As a result, over 1700 women responded to the survey! The results were amazing and provided information in real time what it means to start dating again.

The canvas of dating has changed in some ways mainly through the use of apps, which has profoundly affected people’s lives and how they date. But, what women want and need as well as their fears and who they turn to for comfort has also affected the dating game.

The hope in sharing this information is to provide you what it means to date in 2019 and to understand that most women feel the same way, which provides us comfort and hope for the future as we navigate these often choppy and unfamiliar waters with uncertainty.

Here are 5 significant findings from the survey:

1. Getting back out there.

Divorce has its own path and seldom are any two situations the same. The process can last from a few months to years. But regardless people are getting back out there. The survey indicates that 78% of women have started to think about dating by the time they sign on the dotted line.

To understand that number its equally important to know that 50% of women are thinking about dating in the early stages of divorce while 28% started thinking about dating once their divorce is final.

An interesting point about this is that divorce is no longer stigmatized the way it once was. This is not to say that people expect to get divorced, but they are not living under the cloak of being a ‘divorcee.’  They recognize that although it can and often is challenging to get back out there, divorce is not their last chapter, but just a chapter in the book called Life.

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2. Managing the emotional roller

Divorce is an emotional roller coaster. We all know that. Dating post-divorce brings its own set of emotional challenges as well. The survey indicated that women feel scared (68%), insecure (64%), overwhelmed (61%, excited (68%), confident (40%), and hopeful (68%).

Fear has a way of keeping us stuck, feeling immobilized, preventing us from doing the things we want to do. What do women fear the most? Picking the wrong person, repeating old patterns of dating and relationships, not being able to trust another person (or in some ways, trust themselves), and not finding someone.

All of these fears are so prevalent whether you are dating post-divorce or just dating again after a break up. The fears are real. Experience has taught me that repeating patterns of choosing a partner and thus having a bad ‘picker’ as well as not trusting themselves to make a good choice keeps a person’s fears alive and running through their head.

Yet, considering all of that and the mixture of emotions, what do I see? Hope.

Despite feeling fearful, insecure and scared as most people do, they still are hopeful about their future, love, a new relationship, and life after their divorce. It is possible to hold two opposing feelings – for example, hope and fear – and still learn how to move through your divorce and embrace (eventually) dating.

Finally, in all the upheaval that divorce can and often brings, women still are looking for a long term relationship (65%) but not necessarily marriage (13%). This is reflective of hope and the positive things that being in a relationship brings – companionship, comfort, consistency, intimacy, and deep love.

And while women are processing all of their emotions, they rely on their best friends the most (82%) to share their dating experiences and expectations. Women also turn to their family connecting (27%) and parents (23%). However, women are not turning to social media or divorce support network to help them through this challenging time in their life.


3. Where women are looking for love.

Times have changed from meeting in traditional places (church, work, school) even though to some degree that still happens. We are a transitory society. Most people no longer stay in the community in which they grew up in, choosing a life living elsewhere. That means cultivating relationships away from our roots and often means spending less time with family and old friends. So, to meet people, women turn to online dating to find a partner. It has become the ‘norm’ with people asking others, ‘so what dating site do you use?’

Women, ages 35-54, look for love online (59%). Digital dating continues to be the primary way people find love. It’s more convenient and by spreading your net wider than, the opportunities to meet different people expands exponentially.

Dating sites Match (32%), Bumble (24%), Tinder (17%) and Zoosk (13%) rise to the top. However, not to be undone, meeting through mutual friends (48%) and chance meetings at local grocery stores or neighborhood shops (29%). Regardless, women are looking for love.

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Kristin Davin, Psy.D.
Dr. Davin is a Solution Focused Therapist and Coach. She specializes in couples counseling, personal and work related relationship and dating challenges. Helping her clients focus on solutions rather than problems, helps people get to a healthier place, faster.
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