Dating After Divorce: Are You Sharing Your Emotional Support, Hoping For Love?

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Dating After Divorce: Don’t Feed Men All Your Emotional Support

When you are dating after divorce, sometimes it’s not easy to understand the signals men send. They could be mixed signals such as this woman is experiencing where the guy is consistently in touch, but doesn’t have time to see her. But there is more at stake so please read on to understand how her heart is at risk here.

Hi Ronnie – The Dating Coach for Women

I am dating after divorce and met someone two months ago and we’ve had three dates. He lives 45-minutes away from me. We text each other several times a day and we initiate contact equally. On the occasions we have got together we have got on well and had fun. It is difficult for us to meet up as we are both single parents.

He says he wants to see me at times then doesn’t really make the effort. For example he told me he really wanted to see me but couldn’t as he had his daughter, then I found out he went out that night with friends! I don’t see the point in lying as I would have been fine with that as he’s not actually my boyfriend, I just don’t appreciate being told a silly lie! He doesn’t know that I know this.

We do speak on the phone a couple of times a week, but I feel he knows more about me than I do him. I was told by a mutual friend that he said he likes everything about me, has stopped texting other women he had interest in and would like to know me more. But this isn’t showing in his actions. He doesn’t know that I have been told either.

I want to get to know him better, but don’t really know how to approach the subject. Usually when I am interested in a man it moves way faster than this and I feel a little scared to say how I feel without coming across as sounding needy but want him to know I am interested without scaring him away.

Maybe he is stringing me along. We are both professional people who are dating after divorce. We have busy lives so I don’t understand why he didn’t make the effort to see me while we both had the “Opportunity”. Am I wasting my time or should I keep it going this slow, or talk to him? Do I just give up and ignore him next time he contacts me? I don’t really want to play games, far too old for that!

Confused in Concord, MA


Dear Confused.

I understand your confusion because this man is in touch so frequently, but makes no time to see you. Some men satisfy their need for female interaction with texting and phone calls. He gets all the support without having to spend time with you. This is the new version of “Why buy the cow when the milk is free?” behavior from men (vs. sleeping with a man before commitment.) 

Most women are very kind and naturally want to help which is why women are happy to lend an ear, offer emotional support and feel a growing friendship of this kind means something. Unfortunately, all it means is that you have given away your kindness, empathy and sometimes your heart for little in exchange.

This guy is definitely a waste of your time. However, that doesn’t mean he is stringing you along or doing anything wrong. He could be a player, texting and seeing several other women. But, it’s also possible that texting and the phone are all he is capable of right now. That doesn’t make him “bad” or a player, just not emotionally available for a relationship.

Pay Attention to These Signals from Men
1) Having only three dates in two months is a big tip off that a man is not serious about a relationship with you. When a guy sees a woman he wants, he doesn’t typically dilly dally on setting up dates. If weeks go by between dates, that has meaning – he’s not the right man for you if you want something with long-term potential.

2) This is also true about his choice to see friends versus you.

3) Lying is not a good sign under almost any circumstances.

Put that all together and I want to ask you – are you really sure this man is worthy of your time?

4) Last, but not least, when dating after divorce or any time really, I strongly advise my dating coaching clients to never tell a man how you feel first. This can be disastrous as you wait around hoping he’ll let you know he feels the same way. Or watch him high-tail it as a reaction to your honesty.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but it is my job – Move on! This is not the right man for you for all the reasons listed in this post.


Photo Credit: Anthimeria

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.

6 thoughts on “Dating After Divorce: Are You Sharing Your Emotional Support, Hoping For Love?”

  1. I hope you can help me. A friend mentioned to me that she has a good solid christian friend that she could get us to connect . We connected on Facebook
    and met up at an event .I only intended to meet and not be a date. It sorta ended up as one . He texted the day after and a couple more times, expressing interest. Some of the texts went on a couple of hours. He’s mentioned a second date a couple of times , I affirmed I would like that. We’ve had a total of about 5 exchanges ( no calls ) in about 21 days. Last wed or earlier he’d mentioned a second date after he’d gotten well from a kidney infection or stone . I see he’d been out w/ friends and their kids trick or treating ( Facebook).If he was all that interested , I’d think he could have set a second date up by now . I feel he’s trying to string me along? I’m attractive and shouldnt have much problems getting a date . I waited for 4 years to date after splitting w/ ex . Too long though! I don’t see why he thinks this is cool? I’m offended he thinks he can string me along . I believe I should have no problem getting a date .What can you share ? Thanks for any input / advise!!

    • Hi Rosie Posie,
      I agree, if he were genuinely interested, he would have asked for second date by now. Remember he might not be ready to date or for a relationship, so he could be in the slow lane. Yes he might be stringing you along too. But don’t waste your energy being offended because that creates a new wound you don’t need. It isn’t necessarily a mean act, he’s just not right for you. Simply move on – there are plenty of other men out there.

  2. Ronnie,

    I am a recently divorced mom of 3 and have been dating someone for 5 months, also recently divorced with a child. Since meeting, we have seen each other once a week every week. He used to text every day but now it’s every other day. We are both not seeing anyone else, but he has a friendship with ex and has shared custody. I have typical with my ex seeing kids every other wknd. We have sex once week and are both very physical and physically attracted with each other. I’d like to have this progress but get that he needs things to go slow. His son knows about me as well as ex knowing of me. His parents also know he is dating me. I am trying to be patient but I’d really like to be called his girlfriend by now! We discuss kids, exes, parents, work and life in general. Am I being unrealistic in wanting a bit more at 5 months? We are both each other’s first “person”/date since our divorces.

    • Hi Ready,

      I know this might be hard to hear but it seems like your guy is not ready for more, even though you are. He’s probably happy to have you in his life so he has “somebody” to hold and sleep with, but the fact that his communication is dwindling is evidence that he’s not looking for more.

      Being friends with his ex may be nice for him, but he could still be more connected, making his less available to you or any other woman he dates. You could be his transitional woman. And he might be your transitional man. There are a lot of benefits to this like learning, growth and healing.

      Be grateful for the good times you had. But I do recommend thinking about looking elsewhere if you want real love and a commitment because this guy is not ready.

  3. Hi ronnie,

    I’m having a problem reading this guy plz help, we are both older adults with children. We text everyday an talk on the phone, went on a couple dates but he seems to never have time to hang out but says he wants to he just works 3 jobs, he says he don’t want a long term relationship but also told me not to jump into one an let’s see where this goes, I really like him but Idk what to think anymore, I feel like I’m getting strung along but he insist he’s not doing that to me, please help me

    • Hi Michelle, read this post again because the answer to your question is the same. Listen to what the man says – he doesn’t want a relationship. He won’t make time to see you. He is stringing you along. Bring all communication – its a total waste of time and will not lead to love since he’s not interested and he said so.

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