Dating After Divorce: Do You Prequalify Your Prospects?

Do you know what you want in a romantic partner?

In November, I got a new batch of clients who are fun, interesting and challenging. That’s what makes being a dating coach for people dating after divorce or dating over 40 so much fun!

One of the things that has taken me by surprise is that several of them don’t really know what they are looking for in a partner. While this might seem rather elementary to many of you, for others, it can wake you up and take your dating journey in a whole new direction.

“I’ll know the right person when I meet them.”  That’s not the best strategy because it boils down to taking anyone who catches your fancy in the moment. While that sounds romantic, it also means you might be attracted to the very same “type” that always ends up the same way – in a break up. Or you might date someone with a very different dating agenda – you want marriage and they just want to roll in the hay. This ends the same way – break up.

When you know what you want – this helps you to pre-qualify your prospects. Pre-qualifying makes total sense and is a time saver and also saves you from a potential broken heart. It’s a very smart strategy. Here’s how it works:

Make your list of qualities you want in a partner. It can be as long as you want. Then, pick your Top 5 deal breakers. These are characteristics of the person that you will not budge on – if the person doesn’t have these 5 must haves, then you won’t even think about dating them. Ahh- you can see how this might start to help you avoid obvious problems…

Try this example. Let’s say you want a:
1) healthy, active person, who
2) likes to laugh and have fun,
3) is open to trying new things
4) is trustworthy, honest, kind, and
5)  is ready for a long-term, committed relationship

Knowing this, the next time you go out to meet men, let’s say you meet once handsome guy. He’s charming and entertaining. But while the two of you are conversing, he drank 4 shots or Petrone and mentioned that he is a home buddy who is most comfortable doing what he already knows (I know nothing is ever this clear but it works as an example.)

When you choose to work with me as your dating coach, this is how I’d explain the situation. Of course you can make all your own decisions, but this is the advice and guidance I share with my dating over 40 and dating after divorce dating coaching clients.

He’s out! Not a good choice for you. Pre-qualifying this guy – 4 shots gets him off the list immediately – not a healthy lifestyle since there were other drinks before and after. You’ve already been down the addiction road with another guy so you know this cuts him right off the list.

He’s also out because he lives a narrow life. He’s not open to trying many new things because he prefers to stick with what he already knows. This mindset will create fights before you know it and it’s on your list as a deal breaker. No matter how charming or handsome, he’s not the man for you and you know it.

While some “must have qualities” don’t show themselves right away, once you start being open to noticing if your date has what you are looking for, you’ll be surprised at how much more you ‘ll start noticing.

I also call this dating with eyes wide open. Rather than focusing on how good looking he is, how much money he seems to  have, what kind of job he has, or how hot the chemistry seems, you are willing to see the whole picture about a man. No putting things into compartments so you don’t have to look at what you know will cause you trouble and grief later.

Make your list. What are you looking for? Write down the qualities and personality characteristics that will work for you and them keep your eyes open to notice – does this man have my top 5 must haves? Lastly, When you see clearly that he doesn’t meet your standards, no matter how rich, cute, or sexy, walk away honey. Walk away to meet a better man with the goods to be a strong partner and enrich your life.

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony,,, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

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