20 Lies We Tell Ourselves in Dating after Divorce

lies we tell ourselves

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Let’s be honest. Dating after divorce isn’t easy. It’s sort of like a roller coaster. Great dates make us giddy and hopeful and inspired, but a string of bad dates can cause frustration, along with feelings of hopelessness and that awful question, “Will I ever meet someone and fall in love again?” When it comes to dating and relationships, sometimes we try to self-protect and rationalize our feelings by lying to ourselves. Why? Because lies we tell ourselves make things easier.

Lies we tell ourselves talks us into staying with the wrong person, going out with someone we know isn’t right for us, telling ourselves he/she isn’t cheating, and more.

Here are 20 lies we tell ourselves in dating after divorce:

1. I don’t want a serious girlfriend/boyfriend. 

Is that really true? Or, are you telling yourself that lie because you don’t want to subject yourself to the vulnerability needed in a serious relationship? It’s OK to admit that you want something serious and meaningful! It’s a good thing! And, it makes sense because people who were married obviously like monogamy. So, chances are, if you are dating a divorced person, that person wants a serious relationship.

2. I just want to meet interesting people.

Yes, you do, but you also want to fall in love and be in a relationship.


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3. There are no good men/women out there.

Lies we tell ourselves about the fact that all the good men/women are married is just not true. You just haven’t met the good single ones yet. If you keep dating, you might meet some more not so great ones, but a good one could be right around the corner!

4. I would never consider having sex on a first date. 

Although I personally don’t feel sex on a first date is a good idea, I would encourage you not to judge. I do know very happily married couples who slept together on a first date. I also know men and women who had sex on a first date, never heard from the person again and weren’t happy about that. Sex on a first date is bad for self-esteem. On the contrary, you never know what’s going to happen on a date. In other words, never say never.



5. I’m just dating for sex, nothing else. 

I’ve actually heard people say this and I truly believe this is a lie we tell ourselves. People who say this are self-protecting because they are afraid to be in a relationship, or they have low self-esteem and feel like they are only worthy of sex and nothing else. You deserve to be in a relationship that offers more than physical pleasure. Tell yourself that!

6. I dread first dates.

No, you don’t. You are secretly excited and look forward to them.

7. I dread blind dates. 

See my response for No. 6.

8. I don’t want to fall in love.

Falling in love is really, really scary. It takes a lot of vulnerability and after getting hurt in a marriage or a serious relationship, I can understand why someone would tell themselves this lie. But falling in love is wonderful, and I believe it’s worth the risk of getting hurt.


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 9. I would never introduce my kids to someone I’m dating for at least a year.

Dating after divorce is complicated, especially if you have children. I personally think waiting a significant amount of time to introduce kids to someone you are dating is a good idea, however, every situation is different, and no one should judge someone who brings their new guy or girl into their home fairly quickly. Sometimes it just seems right.

 10. I’m only dating because my friends keep telling me I should.

Don’t blame your friends! Instead, have the confidence to admit that you want and deserve to find love. You are dating because you are ready to meet someone.

 11. Even if I’m not attracted to someone at first, I always keep an open mind and try to get to know them, hoping the attraction will grow.

How many times have you gone to your date’s door and the second he/she opens it, you say to yourself, “Darn it! I now have to spend the next 2 hours having dinner with this woman when I could be home watching Netflix.” Please make this lie a truth and DO have an open mind. Love is from the inside out.

 12. I’m really enjoying meeting all these new and interesting people.

That might be true, but let’s be honest. Dating can get exhausting and frustrating and it can be hurtful when someone you really liked doesn’t want to go out again. It’s OK to admit that you are hurt if that happens.

 13. I can tell the second I meet someone if he/she is interested in me.

You really can’t.The guy or girl could have their own issues, causing a lot of misinterpretation. Don’t try to guess. Just be yourself and don’t worry so much about whether he/she likes you. Focus more on deciding if you like him (or her.)


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 14. I’m never dating again. Ever.

Everyone has felt this way at one time or another. You’ll feel differently sooner or later. Taking a break from dating is definitely OK. Don’t put pressure on yourself. There is no clock ticking.

 15. I’m never getting married again. Ever.

Countless newly separated people says this because divorce is so long and frustrating and painful and expensive. But with time, it’s funny. You start remembering all the good things that marriage offered. So, never say never. That said, it is perfectly acceptable if you never want to get married again. You might be the only one putting pressure on yourself.

 16. I’m happy being alone.

This actually isn’t a lie for some people. There have been times in my life when I wanted to be single and didn’t even want to date. That said, I think most humans (especially people who were married in the past) crave romantic love and/or a partner. ” So, maybe it’s not a lie, but I think eventually, people want to get into a romantic relationship.


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 17.  I would commit if I met the right person.

This is a lie told by someone who is non-committal. I feel like I know people who date and date and date and there is just always something wrong and they can’t get serious. It could have to do with timing, or it could just be the person. And, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to commit. But, don’t blame it on the fact that you haven’t met the right person if you’ve been in 25 relationships and you couldn’t commit to any of them.

 18. I always try to take my time and not rush things.

Who are we kidding? Most people who fall madly in love rush it, and that’s okay! It’s a wonderful feeling and it’s perfectly acceptable to be nauseatingly affectionate and dive in with both feet. Just don’t get remarried too soon, especially if you are recently divorced. That’s when real problems can arise, and where kids and finances suffer.

 19. Dating is fun.

Is it? It can be, but it can also feel stressful, disappointing, and can end in heartbreak. Nothing’s fun about that. So, if it’s not going well, you don’t have to lie to yourself about it. Just admit it and maybe take a break. It will be fun at some point.

 20. Dating stinks.

This is the opposite of #19. You know deep down that it doesn’t. You’re just hitting a string of bad dates. You know in your heart it will get better, right?

Like this article? Check out, “9 Signs of a Healthy Romantic Relationship”

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    Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    2 Responses to “20 Lies We Tell Ourselves in Dating after Divorce”

    1. Kelly

      My friends have been pushing me to go out…it’s only been a month. How do you know if your ready?? I know I’m not ready to date but to be honest I don’t know when I’ll be!! Is there a time that you just know??

    2. Dor

      I can’t comment too much for I haven’t dated much since my divorce in 2018.
      My friends encourage me to go on dating apps which I have not done.
      I don’t want to ever get married.
      Divorce was upsetting, hurtful to me and my 2 children and costly.
      That will not change.
      I don’t need a ring on my finger.
      I am financially secure and independent.
      I would like someone to hang out with you who wants to spend time with me.


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