Dating after Divorce: 9 Ways to Get Your Divorced Boyfriend to Fall in Love With You



By Jackie Pilossoph, Divorced Girl Smiling Editor-in-Chief

Dating after divorce is both similar to and very different from dating before marriage. One huge difference is the guys. A divorced guy is VERY different than a guy who has never been married.

Being a divorced person for 6 years, I think I can paint a pretty accurate picture of some of the typical traits I see in divorced men. Of course, I realize every man is unique, but these are just some features that I notice a lot.

Just like divorced women, divorced men are wounded. It’s very obvious. They want to be loved, they want to be treated with kindness, they want to feel appreciated, and they want to feel like they are still capable of being in a healthy relationship. All that said, they don’t want to be smothered. They don’t want a needy woman who is demanding. And they don’t want to feel obligated to do anything! Some divorced men want to fall in love right away, and some want to take their time.


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Here are 9 ways to get your divorced boyfriend to fall in love with you.

1.    Never talk about the future.   “Where is this going?” “What are we doing?” “Do you think I’m the one?” No divorced guy wants to be asked these questions. He has no clue as to what the answers are. He just knows he just got divorced and can only handle the present, for right now. So, enjoy the relationship for today. Talk only in present terms. Talk about how much you are enjoying each other. Let time pass and let him breathe and get to the future. He will love you for giving him the gift of time.

2.    Give him space. The guy recently got out of a long term relationship (his marriage.) He doesn’t need a girlfriend that he has to call every two minutes, or that he feels obligated to go out with every Saturday night. Let him spend time with his guy friends. Let him spend time with his children. Let him spend time alone. Give him space, and he will want you more.




3.    Be the fun girl. Chances are, the last few months (or years) of his marriage weren’t fun. He probably can’t remember the last time he had a good time. Be the girl who takes him to cool restaurants, who suggests an interesting museum, who makes him watch one of your favorite movies he’s never seen. Show him YOU. Help him remember that relationships are fun and enriching.

4.    Minimize nagging. Excessive nagging leads to getting dumped. Fast. No guy wants a girl who is constantly telling him what he can and can’t do, badgering him about the things he does wrong and the bad habits he has. Accept what he is or break up with him.

5.    Show him the right amount of affection.  With divorced guys, there’s a fine line when it comes to how much affection they want to be shown. Divorced men want to be adored. They want cheek kisses and hand holding and hugs and an arm around them at times.. They’ve most likely had a lack of those things for awhile.  On the other hand, they don’t want to be smothered.  He doesn’t want you plopping yourself down on his lap and making out at the dinner table at a fancy restaurant.  Somewhere in between platonic-like touching and mauling makes a divorced guy happy.

6.    Avoid playing games. Unlike guys before marriage, divorced guys aren’t into games. If you like him, he wants to know. Don’t be afraid to tell him how you feel. If he calls you, call him back. If he texts, answer the text. No need to wait two days so he will think you’re cool. Divorced guys don’t get scared as much as they did before marriage. They like commitment. On the other hand, if you start calling him your soul mate, start texting him every five seconds, and talk about the details of your future wedding, he will run.

7.    Don’t pressure him to spend time with your kids. He’s trying to spend time with his own kids, who he sees so much less than he did when he was married. Why should he feel pressured to be with your kids? It’s not personal. I’m sure he likes your kids. Let the whole kid thing breathe, and it will happen naturally.


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8.    Display acts of kindness. Chances are, when your guy was married, his wife wasn’t very nice to him. I’m not faulting her, by the way. Whatever the situation was, at the end of the marriage, she was most likely anything but sugary sweet. So, he needs sweet. Be sweet. Send him a card, just to be nice. Buy him new cologne for no occasion. Give him a back rub. Make him a nice dinner. Acts of kindness go a long way. AND, they are usually reciprocated.

9.    Focus on your career. There is nothing sexier to a man than a girl who loves her career, who has a passion for her work, and who goes to her job everyday with enthusiasm. But, don’t just find a job you love like this for a guy, do it for yourself!

Like this post? Check out, “7 Reasons You Should Never Lose Hope In Dating After Divorce”



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18 Responses to “Dating after Divorce: 9 Ways to Get Your Divorced Boyfriend to Fall in Love With You”

  1. Molly Lyons

    All 9 are behaviors which are good for the divorced woman practicing them. All will make us feel better. All ought to be done just to do them.
    Cool, Jackie, thanks.
    (If I ever meet a guy I like, I’ll practice them; in the meantime, I’ll practice them for me. Even affectionate platonic physicality can be practiced with loved ones who aren’t a potential partner.)

  2. Doug, Chicago

    BRILLIANT! So knowing and insightful … each one made me go “Wow! … you read my mind and just nailed it!” Bravo! – A divorced man in Chicago

    • Brian

      Took the comment right out of my keyboard… She nailed it. I’d love to put together a similar list from the male perspective… How to get your divorced girlfriend to fall in love with you!

  3. Jeff S.

    Great article Jackie. I dream of meeting a woman who knows this. Thank you for writing.

  4. Vanessa

    How can I make a 3 months divorce man love me back? I really love him but he is having a had time forgetting his ex wife.

  5. Sharon

    Hi great article
    Lots of insight

    The newly separated guy I’m with has arranged to see me on Thursday but it was 5 days ago I heard from him or a text.
    Iwwnt camping with his kids the long weekend.
    But still nothing today’s tuesdsy .
    I text twice to ask how it went but still nothing

  6. LaSandra

    OMG I LUUUUV THIS….ITS SOOOO VERY HELPFUL!! Im so gld 2 kno Im doin thingz rght!! Thank u 4 the confirmation. 🙂

  7. Swat

    Avery useful post. I thnk it ll help most of the people who r in luv wid a divorcd guy like me 😉

  8. Beth

    Im in this right now with a guy I met in college 20 years ago. He moved back home because he had no reason to stay where he was and didn’t want a long distance relationship. I get he lives with parents, as do I for health reasons, he doesn’t have a car and just started his new job. I don’t mind driving since I work down there anyways. I feel like I’ve done everything right, ok safe. I’ve suggested date ideas, been relaxed and flexible, understanding his process etc… It seems like the more understanding I am, the more distant he grows. It’s been a month since I’ve seen him. He sent me a text ‘just checking up on you’. It’s getting frustrating. I need someone to be there for my crappy days too. Come on, we’re 40 years old. Enough with the mind games! I’m very fragile and it gets harder to rebuild after every failed relationship. What is a timeline for being patient. I’m not clinging, needy, naggy… I wait for him to text him- he’s not a phone guy, but either is our new society. He says he wants to take away the sadness in my eyes and make me forget every other man. He says he wants my full submission, but when I allow myself to be vulnerable, he disappears. I want a face to face conversation about how his silence is misleading and hurtful. It’s a delicate balance. If I call him out am I pressuring? If I wait and see am I saying it’s ok to treat me like I’m invisible? I don’t want to lose our friendship, but I don’t want to be a rebound either. I am trying to ‘listen’ to his actions and not put too much into his words. I’m at a loss right now. I think he is wonderful, just in a bad place right now. His distance is causing my walls to go back up and making me grow distant. I’m losing trust in him. Ugh!!!!

  9. Ninya Walters

    This was a really great article. I’ve been divorced for a year and back in the dating pool and you hit home on some things I’ve been wondering. The affection limit was genius. And space to breathe especially surrounding the kids.

  10. Phoebe

    Great article Jackie! By following your advice in this article, and Evan Marc Katz’s blog, I have landed an absolute honey of a man. He is 7 months out of a 10 year relationship, and I am 7 months out of an 8.5 year relationship. We’re both a bit all over the shop but really like one another and we’re happy to take things slowly and see where we end up. Much like a divorced man, I need my space and am wounded/grieving to an extent but would like to feel loved.

  11. KS

    Wow, as a guy whose wife left out of the blue-infidelity (divorce pending) 7 months ago, I don’t think I could’ve summarized what I would like to experience when I get back into the dating/social scene again. I especially liked how you pointed out that the last few months or years of the relationship/marriage could’ve been really lacking in many ways for the guy as the wife/girlfriend withdraws. I experienced that big time. Also, if men turn this around and act similarly towards the recently divorced woman, I can’t imagine that she wouldn’t appreciate it as well. Thank you for publishing this article.

  12. Abosede

    Thanks so dating a divorced man and its as if u read my mind.thanks a a nigerian

  13. Chris

    Thanks for writing/publishing. Wife of 11 years left in the summer, moved out of state to be with the guy she left me for, divorce finaled 2 months ago. I’ve been reading a lot over the past several months, this was the most resonant one for me personally that I’ve read yet. It was soothing to absorb, (you know what, I do need that) and a relieving to know it’s been made available for partners to learn. Thank you Jackie.
    I’ve been intentionally not dating while doing the emotional work in front of me, to both protect myself, and others from my neediness. It’s helpful that you named these things like, being treated with kindness. Under no circumstances would I ever ask that of another person, so thank you for explaining it sans blame.

    • Jackie Pilossoph

      You sound like you are on a great path–getting emotional support and help before diving into a relationship. Wonderful. When you are ready, it will happen and it will be so much better because you will be so much better equipped. xoxo

  14. Carrie

    I do think this article is great for a recently divorced man or woman for that matter. I am looking for something for those who aren’t so fresh out of the marriage. Seems to be many articles for women in their 20s-30s not so many for those in their 40s with divorce in their background. How long does it take for the previous wounds to heal with them and to move on with life. And when is it time to look for something else because like the movie, somethings got to give?


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