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Dating After Divorce at 40: What You Should Know

A couple dating after divorce at 40 leaning against each other as they look at a beautiful lake.

Getting divorced at any age is a life changing event, even if you feel it’s for the best. But the good news is that divorce doesn’t carry the stigma it once did. If you’re dating in your 40s and you hear that someone’s getting divorced, it can still be sad but it’s almost accepted as the norm and can actually be an amazing time in your life. Once divorced, chances are you’ll be back in the dating game looking for a new romance. But dating after divorce at 40 is no easy task. 

Here are a few things it helps to know about while dating post-divorce:

Dating other divorcees has its ups and downs.
Chances are you’ll meet someone that’s also divorced and may even have children from their prior marriage. If you have children as well, consider how this co-mingled family will get along.  It’s not always The Brady Bunch, and dating someone and being accepted by their children is never guaranteed. Be prepared for lots of drama and difficult situations that may adversely affect your relationship with this new person. But do remain optimistic—it’s always possible to navigate these waters and have smooth sailing.

Someone’s backstory is important.
Knowing the truth of why the new person you’re dating got divorced (or, for that matter, why they’re still single) can be a game changer. Patterns often repeat themselves and it helps to be aware of someone’s past if you want to build a future. Get to know your date’s close friends and family and learn more about them in a respectful and upfront way. There are no guarantees in life, but you want to try to avoid placing yourself in a situation that could be worse that your previous relationship or starting something serious with someone you don’t really know. 

There are always people who like to play games.
No matter your age, people still play games when it comes to dating. Be aware that many people aren’t looking for a monogamous relationship, especially after a divorce. They may just want to play the field and are not looking to commit. They may tell you one thing, but be doing another. Trust has to be gained. Go with your intuition on this.

People often have baggage.
Some people may carry their problems from their past relationship into a new one. For some it’s difficult to get over disappointment and hurt from a previous relationship and they can subconsciously bring that attitude into their new relationships. For example, if they were cheated on by their ex, they may be unable to trust and could treat you unfairly.

Staying safe in sexual relationships is the new norm.
Having been in a monogamous relationship for some time, you may not be aware that many singles have been in multiple relationships and therefore may be carrying an STD. This is a very touchy subject for many, but it’s not uncommon for new couples to ask each other to be tested before becoming intimate.

Do you have time to go back out there and date? If you have young children, you may not have enough time to get out there and search for a new love—this is where dating apps and dating sites may come in handy. Becoming familiar with the online dating world may not be something you’re used to or the route you want to take, but chances are these dating apps will become your best friend. Maybe you have a friend who can show you the ropes on online dating, but do be careful. There are some peple on these sites and apps that don’t have good intentions and may not be looking for the type of relationship you are. For the most part, people on dating sites are genuine but, like any dating situation, it’s important to listen to your instincts and be careful.

Knowing how to date after a divorce isn’t always easy. But remember, you got divorced for a reason or reasons; hopefully it was the right decision. Regardless, you now have to live with that decision and your life will be different. Don’t be afraid, get out there and find that new love. You never know how or when it is going to happen. And you never know how much fun it can be until you try.

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