Joanne and Mike were our neighborhood’s high school sweethearts. They married right out of school and had their first baby less than a year later.

were all amazed when they showed up at the 20th high school reunion still holding hands and sneaking kisses on the dance floor. We were even more shocked when Joanne suddenly filed for divorce after 23 years.

Sadly, this is a rather common story.  In current divorce statistics, we find that women are now initiating over 65% of the divorces in marriages of people in their forties or older.  No one is entirely sure why this is true, but some speculate that they are looking for something they feel they’ve missed. Others claim that the marriages were always unhappy and these women may have only held them together for the children. However, many men seem to be completely astounded, because they had no idea their wife was unhappy.

Many men who still wanted to make the relationship work have a hard time dealing with divorce, and take the rejection to heart. Others move on, slow but unsure of which direction to move in first.  Post divorce pressure is really much more difficult for men, as there isn’t as much in the way of support or resources available to guys in this situation.

At some point after things simmer down, and you’re done swearing off crazy women for the rest of your life, you will start to remember the cozy feelings when you had someone to snuggle, and will want to try and recreate that.  Here are a couple of things you need to think about when jumping back in to the post-divorce dating game:

Talk it out

Natural instincts are to feel anger, blame, low self-esteem, and a shattered self-image after being rejected in this way, but you do not want to carry those feelings into a new relationship. It is extremely important to come clean with what you’re feeling and get it all out.  Try a divorce support group where you can find people who are, or have been, in the same situation, and understand your deep sorrow at this loss. You can talk with them and share your experiences and know that they will be sympathetic and compassionate and offer advice and coping strategies.  If a support group doesn’t seem to help, you probably will want to have a few sessions with a professional therapist or counselor who can help you work through your strong emotions.

Make Yourself Feel Good

I’m not saying dye your hair blond and buy yourself a red Corvette, but doing a few little things to make yourself feel better are definitely in order.  After being married for a long time, many people fall into the trap of not taking care of themselves as well they should.  You might have gained some weight around the midsection and become a little lax in your grooming habits, and it’s time to get these things under control.  Be sure that your clothes fit with the current styles and pay strict attention to your daily grooming routines.  Get involved in sports or other physical activities that will make you look and feel strong, healthy, sexy, and confident.

Make New Friends

With the divorce and splitting up of your “stuff” also comes the splitting up of your friends, unfortunately.  Some suddenly single men are isolated and alone while starting over. Look around, maybe in your support group, and you’ll likely find another divorce casualty that feels like you do. Strike up a friendship and things will be easier for you both to move forward.

Get out There

Chances are, your new love interest will not just show up at your door with a six pack and a pizza. You will need to get out there and meet people, and also make it a high priority. Find social events that seem interesting and go. Try some of the online divorce dating sites. Letting yourself get seduced by the couch and TV, even if they seem more interesting at the time, will lead to the sort of place you don’t want to be—old and alone.

T.M.I.

When you meet someone new, spare them all the sordid details of the evil stuff your ex did to you, and complaints about how unfair the divorce settlement was. Instead save all that for much later if and when you need to talk about it, when the relationship is on a much more serious level.  In the meantime, focus your attention on the new person you’re getting to know.  T.M.I., in case you aren’t familiar with the term, means ‘too much information.’ Your aim is to keep the chemistry going with this person; do you really want to ruin it by rehashing old news? Here are some more post-divorce dating tips. By the way, if you liked this article, please bookmark it below. That way, you’ll be able to find it again and so will others. Simply hover your mouse over the icons and choose your bookmark.