Dating After Divorce: Are Divorced Guys A Turnoff To Women?

I received this email from a divorced man who is about to start dating after divorce.

How do women feel when they hear that a man is divorced? I feel that when I start to date, they’ll turn away, thinking that there is something wrong with me since my ex-wife left me for someone else. 


Let me start with some statistics:

Number of divorced guys I have probably dated since my divorce: 7

Number of divorced guys I am friends with: 45

Number of divorced guys I have met in my life: hundreds.

I’m sharing these numbers because I truly feel like I have a pretty good sense of the divorced guy, some common traits, and how I think he feels.

Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys

The divorced guy is oftentimes wounded. I have talked to many, many men whose spouses cheated and then left them for another man. Just like it does for women, it kills. It’s traumatizing. It’s humiliating. It’s infuriating. It doesn’t feel fair.

I also think many divorced men have no idea how wonderfully attractive they are. The most likely reason is because they haven’t felt desired by a woman in a long long time –in the case that their wife was the one who chose to leave. Even worse, she left for another man, so I’m sure that does a number on a man’s self-image. This same thing applies to a woman in that situation, by the way.

Now, let me explain how I think many women view a divorced man whose wife left him. I think at first, just like a man might be, a woman might be skeptical. She might be looking for things, wondering, ‘hmmm…he seems totally normal. I wonder what he did to make his ex cheat and/or fall out of love with him. was he Mean? Abusive? Maybe he didn’t pay enough attention to the relationship. Maybe HE had an affair.’

That said, I think men and women dating are skeptical of every person they go on a date with, divorced or not. So, what does it matter?

I will say this. I believe that SMART women take the time to really listen to the guy’s story and trust our gut. Then we draw our own conclusion about what we think of him, his whole personality, his divorce only being one aspect of him, not what defines him.

Another GREAT trait about divorced men. They have proven that they can commit. AWESOME! Women love this. They get it, especially if they have kids. That can really be attractive to some women.

Here’s the other thing. If 50% of people are divorced, women are certainly coming across divorced men, right? So, don’t feel like you are unique in that sense.

Also, there IS something “wrong” with you. There is something “wrong” with everyone on this planet. In other words, everyone has faults. So, is a woman going to find some things “wrong” with you? Sure. But that’s OK, isn’t it? I’m sure you will find things wrong with her, too.

I’ll leave you with a great quote. Can’t remember who I heard this from. I might even have made it up.

“Who one woman gives up could be another woman’s love of her life.”

Good luck!

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Guy Grinning is a blog for men facing divorce and dating after divorce. It's kind of like hanging out with your platonic female divorced friend and hearing her perspective on your divorce and your love life issues.

11 Responses to “Dating After Divorce: Are Divorced Guys A Turnoff To Women?”

  1. Pat

    What you learn about yourself during divorce is an important thing. If you learned nothing and don’t understand your part in the split, you’re doomed to do it again. That’s what I would ask a divorced dating potential – what did you learn, how did you grow?

  2. Justin

    I found dating to be almost impossible after my divorce. Being a divorced dad without full custody was proven to be a HUGE turn off. I had single moms, divorced women with no kids and even some who’ve never had kids or been married. The dating scene is horrendous for divorced men.

    I’m a successful guy, I’m financially stable, I’m over 6 feet tall, a fitness trainer, and can cook. But none of that mattered once I mentioned I had kids, but they lived with their mom.

  3. Miss Imee

    I spend my days working as a Social Media director at a nationwide travel agency. In a nutshell, this means I get to fly across the country and make posts about our company on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The traveling is exciting, however the nature of my job has sorta, kinda turned me into an internet addict. 9 times out of 10, when I enter an unfamiliar building, the first thought that comes to my mind is: “Does this place have wi-fi?”. Fortunately, I find time to play baseball twice a week, which keeps me from turning into a potato.

  4. Rael

    I’m 31 single father. My wife left me for a woman. So slightly different and I find the ‘dating game’ terrifying. With tinder, Snapchat and all the latest dating tools I don’t understand. My confidence is shattered and I don’t even know how to talk to woman + It doesn’t feel like I have any sort of appeal. So yeah it’s hard. I feel like a teenager that freezes when talking to woman and that’s really scary. Feels hopeless at times, maybe one day I’ll get it right

  5. Marci

    It has been a fascinating social commentary for me regarding dating divorced men because of the dozen or so guys I have met, just for one date or short relationships, every single one was left by his wife, and most of them left because of an affair. That was so sad for me to hear since there are certainly more humane ways to end a marriage, and these men were truly changed by the experience … not for the better. I felt that the men almost assumed that every woman would treat him that way so his guard was way up, or he was so love-starved that he came on too strong to let a natural relationship bloom. Regardless, everyone deserves to be loved, and mature people look beyond initial impressions and the awkwardness that always surrounds the early stages of dating. We all need to give people a chance to open up and see who’s trying to come out, in the presence of patient, sweet love interest!

  6. anon

    “Who one woman gives up could be another woman’s love of her life.” This might be impossible , especially if the couple had children, they are always ‘first, forever’. This means the woman is putting the divorced dad first, and he’s putting her second, or third. Also, the ex wife (mom) is never going away, like, ever. She will be at all the graduations, holidays, birthdays etc. inescapable. There will also be less money for the new woman, as divorced dad is supporting his first family, insurance, cars, college, vacations, grandkids…. never ends.

  7. Daniel

    In all fairness, anon, I feel if the man has gotten over his first relationship, that there will be a very real possibility that he will put this new woman first. What if the man doesn’t have kids but is divorced? Then it’s a heck of a lot easier for him to move on and be able to place his new life partner first.

  8. Ellie

    If he’s divorced and completely over the ex, then I have no problem dating him. But for a while I will want to be very very sure he is over her. Some men jump back into dating to get over the ex and end up breaking the heart of some innocent woman who thinks he is available. I’ve experienced that once and never want to go through it again.

    Secondly, does he have kids from the first marriage. I love kids and have no issue being a step mum. HOWEVER, if the bio mum is still around then it’s a no. If she ran off and left him with the kids, then fine. But I’m not going to be scheduling my holidays around another woman or having dates interrupted by her texting/calling my partner for the next 18 years. Done that, not doing it again.

    So the circumstances matter a lot. Just being divorced doesn’t matter a whole lot by itself. It’s the potential baggage you are bringing along with it. I have no kids, no exes in the picture, and I’m completely available to dedicate myself to a partner. I’m happy to share him with kids, but not another woman.

  9. Matthew Masterson

    I’m hoping this divorce will be over soon it’s been going on for over 2 years. Her attorney has made me loathe her. I thought we would remain civil even nice. I’m a great father. I’m pissed off bc this attorney has me on edge and he is trying to take everything I’ve worked so hard for. She now makes more than me but, the way divorce laws are written I’m getting raped. My humor helps me but, I can see why some break out the artillery. It’s simply not a fair playing field.

  10. Samuel Smith

    I married a woman who had been divorced. Biggest mistake I ever made. Never buy Used when new is available.


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