Dating After A Break Up Or Divorce

Written by Christian Carter |  2 Comments
Dating After Divorce and Breakup

Have you recently had a relationship end and felt like you couldn’t completely “move on”… even though you want to and you know it’s over?

And is there something you STILL don’t understand about what happened, why it ended, or what his “deal” was… and even though you want to get past it, it keeps coming up in your mind?

Do you still think about what you could have done differently?

Not just so that the next time around your new relationship will work much, much better… But maybe, deep down, you secretly wish that things had worked out differently and you could get back to that loving, connected place with the man you were with before things went “wrong” and he started acting different around you. If you’ve ever felt this way, then keep reading.

There are a few different break-up “scenarios”.

Here are the 3 general ones:

1. You initiate the break up

2. He initiates the break up

3. Mutual break up: you both talk, open up and share what hasn’t been working and recognize that it’s time to move on from the relationship for reasons on both sides

Now, rarely are things this cut and dry, but this covers the general and most common situations.

By the way, if you really want to expand your perspective on men, dating and relationships, it’s important to look at each of these 3 situations… as each one creates a very different emotional experience during and after.

But we’re not going to talk about all 3 of these situations right now.

Right now we’re going to look at just one… the situation that’s often the most difficult, and for lots of women, seems the most frequent- when the man initiates the break up.


Let’s take a look at the FEELINGS that come from break-ups… and take away some new ideas and lessons for GROWTH so that even if a relationship doesn’t fulfill your desires, it brings you closer to finding the fulfillment and experiences you want in the near future.

Here we go…

When a relationship ends, it’s confusing and it hurts.

But when a relationship ends and you didn’t want it to, that’s a whole other story.

You can start thinking and acting all kinds of crazy when this happens.

And sure, some of this “processing” and being with your feelings is GOOD…. it’s a natural part of experiencing life and your own personal growth.

But think about this…

If you look at it from another perspective, you’ll find that even though there are important aspects of working through your feelings about a break-up… a ton of what follows a break-up takes lots of women EVEN FURTHER AWAY from what they’re looking for in a relationship in the first place – LOVE and CONNECTION.

I mean isn’t it, at the very least, important to take away the LESSONS a relationship has to teach you even if it doesn’t “work out” in the end?

You obviously know the answer to this question.

Of course it’s important to learn… Otherwise, you’re helping turn a relationship into a genuine waste of your time, love and energy… which is what lots of women fear in the first place when they become close and intimate with a man in a relationship and share their love.

But there’s a difference between knowing the answers of what to do… and LIVING it.

Over the years I’ve recognized that tons of women DON’T learn to become more successful at creating the kind of situations they want in the future with a man as a result of the “failed” situations with men.

In fact, instead of taking away positive lessons for themselves from their past relationships, they often use what’s happened “to them” as PROOF or EVIDENCE to support their own negative and limiting beliefs about men and relationships with them.

And the more these beliefs about men and relationships are reinforced, the more their own thinking and behavior in each new situation with a man becomes COUNTERPRODUCTIVE.

In other words, they actually start to push away men on an automatic and subconscious level, even though one of their deepest desires is to be close, comfortable and emotionally connected with a man.

You probably know a few women like this… women who become even more closed off, defensive, fearful, or even bitter the more they live their lives and “learn” from their experiences with men and relationships.

Think about a woman you know like this right now and picture her in your mind.

Now, I want you to think about what her basic “mindset” is when it comes to men.

Reflect on how she’s responded to men in the past… and the meaning she makes of things that men do around her.

And now, can you start to see the perspective she has. The “filter” that everything she sees or experiences with a man is run through?

Can you see how quickly she leads herself to jump to the worst possible scenario each time she interacts with a man and doesn’t get all the assurance, affection or CERTAINTY she wants or thinks she needs?

What’s going on here?

And how does her thinking, behavior and reactions to men affect the way she related to men, and how men see her?

I’m walking you through visualizing a woman you know who’s like this because I want you to step outside these situations and start to OBSERVE what’s going on from a new perspective…

A perspective that will help you more easily create the kinds of experiences with men that lead to deeper levels of UNDERSTANDING (for you and the man you’re with)… and foster a deeper type of EMOTIONAL CONNECTION.

So… the first thing I want to do here as we’re talking about break-ups and our thoughts and feelings around them is to help you think through a few of the most common EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCES that come up when a man chooses to break-up with a woman.

That way, you can be more CONSCIOUS and AWARE of what’s going on… avoid the shock, frustration and surprise of not knowing what to expect… and take away the lessons that each dating situation or relationship has to teach you.

So… let’s start with how break-ups can make you FEEL.

Here are a few different feelings a break-up can bring into your life:

- You might feel ABANDONED, since you felt a bond and had a commitment with a man, and then he went against that and went away in a way that left you feeling like he didn’t care for you at all

- You might experience REJECTION because he chose not to be with you… or to be with someone else

- You might have a sense of EMPTINESS that comes from not having the love, affection, connection and sharing in your life that used to be there

- You might feel the ANXIETY that often comes from being completely uncertain about your future and if you’ll ever find someone to love and love you back

- You might develop a strong FEAR that you’re ALONE and that you’ll never have a real, loving, and lasting relationship… EVER

Any of these sound familiar?

These are some common things you might go through as a result of a break-up.

Now, most people say that you’ve got to give yourself time to get over a relationship… and to be with the feelings you have to get over the relationship… and on one level, I agree.

But this is common wisdom. You already know this.

Everyone knows you need to give yourself time and space to get over a past relationship.

What I want to share with you that’s NOT so obvious, is something CRITICAL to know when you go through this kind of break-up.

It’s a kind of dangerous “side-effect” that comes from the intense feelings that follow a break-up. (Remember how you pictured a woman who took only negative lessons from each situation with a man?)

And I can’t tell you how many women (and men) fall into this COUNTERPRODUCTIVE trap that pushes them even further from their strong “emotional center”… and makes it even harder for them to find and create a healthy relationship in their near future.

Let me explain the story of how this dangerous break-up “side-effect” comes about…

It all starts with the emotional experiences you have when a man breaks up with you.

These feelings and emotions can be so intense that your focus can become COMPLETELY FIXATED on what was WRONG in the relationship.

You ask yourself the following questions over and over…

Why is he acting this way, and what’s wrong with him?

What does all this mean about what was wrong with our relationship from the start?

What did I do wrong? Did I choose the wrong kind of guy? And should I never have become involved with him or trusted him in the first place?

Where did it go wrong? Since it used to be so good… and now I can’t understand how all that just disappeared.

You spend hours, maybe even days or weeks, analyzing these questions… trying to figure out what happened with the man and why you didn’t see it coming, and thinking about how this all could have been avoided… and how to never have it happen again.

I’m sure you’ve seen a girlfriend of yours in this state… or even yourself.

And here’s where these difficult questions start to create this negative “side-effect”…

With your intense focus on all the things that were WRONG, you take all the qualities, problems and shortcomings you come up with about the man who broke up with you… and you decide that these are THE things that were missing and were to blame for the break-up and failure of the relationship.

And so what do you do?

You’re so hurt and intent on not having the same thing happen to you ever again that you promise to never be with a guy like this one again…

And you turn your attention and consciousness in your love life towards finding a guy who is as far from what your “ex” was like as possible.

And that’s when you start making the mistake of confusing Cause and Effect when it comes to what was at fault for your past relationship “failure”…

Mistake #1. You start looking for a man who HAS ALL the qualities you found from your break up that your “ex” was missing.

For example, if your “ex” wasn’t a very “feminine” man, in that he didn’t like to explore his FEELINGS on a deep level in conversation with you… you look for a man who is VERY much this way.

Mistake #2. Looking for a man who HAS NONE of the qualities your ex had. (This is the flip side of the coin from Mistake #1)

For example, if you’re “ex” was independent and very confident, you might look for a man who isn’t this way… thinking this will make your relationship work next time around, and help you avoid the same painful experience.

After all, things went so wrong with this last guy that it must be the way he was… and if you find a guy who’s the opposite of all the “ex” was, then things are bound to work better.

Of course, when we take on thinking and behavior that these mistakes involve, it really seems like a logical plan…

If a relationship doesn’t work with one guy and there were problems with him, then it makes sense to look for a guy who’s VERY different from your “ex”… maybe even the opposite.

But here’s where this only hurts you…

If you begin to consciously look for a guy who’s the opposite of your ex, or who doesn’t have a certain quality you want to avoid, then you’re bound to make a big mistake.

And the mistake will most often look like ending up dating a new guy with very few of the numerous GOOD QUALITIES that your ex had that you liked or loved and worked for you both…

But you probably WILL find a guy who has a few very specific behaviors and personality traits that you think you need this time around to make it finally work.

In other words, you’re bound to find a guy who doesn’t have much, if any, of the qualities that made part of your last relationship WORK. (Of course it’s very hard for you to look back at the relationship now that it’s ruined and see the GOOD in the guy you were with.)

Odds are you’re going to find a guy who really only has the qualities that you are looking for IN REACTION or response to your previous situation.

And you’re probably wise enough to know by now, if you’re reading this, that making decisions in response to FEAR and PAIN is almost GUARANTEED to make your life more difficult in the long run.

If you get where I’m going with this, then you already know a few important lessons in life -

For starters, you know that looking for the things you couldn’t get or share with your jerk of an ex-boyfriend is NOT going to get you what you want.

And now that we’ve covered some of the “inner stuff” to avoid about break-ups that will help you stay in a better place and get you back on track faster with men… let’s talk about taking the next steps as you start to move on.


over the years, I’ve seen that lots of women have come to believe, even if they don’t really see that they do, that relationships end because of the man.

Or that relationships would work well if men would just learn what women knew about them.

And yeah, I get that for lots of women, the majority of the relationships they’ve seen end around them have all the tell-tale signs of being the man’s fault… as men can do things that are destructive.

And so in many senses they’re right.

But there’s more to it if you’re looking for more than the knowledge that a break-up is a man’s “fault”.

Especially if your goal, or the RESULTS you want in your life, aren’t about placing BLAME… but LEARNING and GROWING in a way that will help you find more emotional fulfillment in your life, and create a real, lasting relationship.

In other words, if you can learn to look at what happens in relationships and break-ups to learn what actually WORKS… rather than focusingn your attention and energy on identifying what DOESN’T WORK, and the painful reasons why… then you’re going to start to transform your mind… and your love life too.

But for some women, trying to shut out what they don’t want in their relationship becomes their main “strategy”.

I can’t tell you how much of a waste of time this is for a woman looking to find a real, loving, lasting relationship.

You know, it’s funny how most of our minds work…

I realized 3 or 4 years ago that most of the people around me, including myself, know a whole lot about exactly WHAT’S WRONG in the world and in relationships.. and about what we DON’T WANT others to think, do and say with us…

But most of us have no earthly idea what we DO WANT… and more importantly, how to go about getting what we want for ourselves. (Or showing or teaching someone else how to give us what it is that we DO WANT.)

It’s then that I realized that NOT WANTING something (being unhappy with the way things are) has NOTHING AT ALL to do with figuring out how to get the things you DO WANT. (Actually creating them.)

Read that again and think about it for a minute.




How does this apply to what you spend your time and energy on, in your love life and with a man?

Do you think about, worry about and spend your time and energy “analyzing” how to avoid what it is that you don’t want?

Or do you think through exactly what it is that you want… and consider what that means to the OTHER PERSON that you want it from… and put yourself in their shoes to think about how to help them give it to you in a way that will also make them happy and fulfilled with you?

Take a deep breath right now and sit up straight with your back arched and your shoulders back.

And take another deep breath in… then out.


To make a long story short… most of us, and most women in relationships with men, use a few “weak strategies” involving this idea of not knowing what we want… and not thinking through how to help another person who isn’t in our heads give or share what we want, when even we don’t know exactly what it is or how to have it.

This exact problem of not knowing how to share what it is that we specifically want… and knowing how to ask another person, given their own set of perspectives, feelings, and desires makes it so that tons of women are RARELY able to find or create the kinds of experiences and relationships they’re looking for with men.

Here are a few examples of these “weak strategies” that I’m referring to when it comes to trying to create the situations that will give us what we want emotionally and in our relationships:

- Using “trial and error”. You try to fit in as many new conversations, interactions and ways of being as possible, hoping that something will eventually just work – but you have no idea what that thing will be since you’ve never found it before.

- “Selfish Love”. Trying to convince a man that the answer to what will make him feel happy and fulfilled in his relationship with you, is to simply do more of the things that you know make you happy and feel love and connection.

- After feeling unappreciated, or that a man isn’t really paying attention to or understanding you, you get frustrated and tired and stop giving much of yourself… and you don’t want to put yourself out there for him anymore just to help him to see what he should already see… effectively making it so that you’re depending on him to guess what you want and give it to you in the way you want it.

Now… what do all these “weak strategies” have in common? And why am I having you spend time reflecting on them and how they relate to you and your love life?

Because they all show how BAD most of us are at creating the experiences, connections and “exchanges” we want with other people.

Especially with those of the OPPOSITE SEX.

So what’s one of the greatest gifts you can take away from your break-up or “failed” relationship?


And of course, making things work much, much better for you the next time around when you’re ready.

And so how do you start to really do this?

One clear way I’m taking you through is looking at the strategies that you’ve used in the past that didn’t work… or that even made things WORSE.

The tough reality is that most of us fall back on the same negative or “weak” strategies in our relationships again and again… even though we think we’re in a different relationship and things aren’t the same.

That’s why becoming CONSCIOUS of your own love related strategies is a great first step towards CHANGE and IMPROVEMENT in your love life after a break-up.

And it’s that kind of “negative” analyzing we talked about earlier that leaves you without RESULTS and instead you have more fear, less confidence and create FALSE conclusions about men and relationships.


There’s a reality to dating and getting “back into the game” after you’ve been in a serious relationship that ends in a not-so-great way…

It feels AWKWARD.

And there’s a problem that seems to always come up when you start “dating” again…

It just doesn’t “feel right” at first.

(Unless you’re swept away by an amazing guy… in which case, enjoy, but stay aware of what you’re really responding to.)

Dating again can feel contrived, distant, and just emotionally unfulfilling… as the person you’re around just doesn’t seem to “get you” or make you feel the same way you felt when things were good in your last relationship.

That’s when your next challenge will come up for you…

The challenge that will help decide if you’re going to take something POSITIVE away from your experiences… or if you’re going to let the negative and fearful aspects of them start to create negative “chatter” and beliefs in your mind.

Do you want to remain open to LOVE, and stay present with the potentially painful emotions you’ll have if you don’t close off or act out in anger or spite?

(Men will instantly sense if you have this closed off or angry reaction going on inside you.)

Or do you want to start living in a way that will “protect you” if you do get close to a man again? Which, don’t you think will help you “safely” find a secure, certain, lasting relationship with a man?

That way you don’t have to waste your time, or risk your heart and be vulnerable again to the uncertainty and quickly shifting desires of a man.

It’s your choice…

I’ll talk to you again soon…

And best of luck in life and love!

Your Friend,

Christian Carter

Categories : Common Dating Problems

Christian Carter is a leading advisor to women on dating, relationships, connection and love. An expert in psychology, communication and behavior, Christian Carter has developed foundational concepts that help women understand men, dating and relationships. Visit Christian's official website, by clicking here.


  1. Jackie Heaphy says:

    Help and tips for so many lost? and broken persons gorgeousstuff, Thanks a lot for writing.

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  2. pavionjsl says:

    After a break up it is very important to take the time to get yourself right, mentally. Do not rush back in when you are wounded.

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