Dating After Divorce - El Paso,TX

Updated on March 29, 2011
S.M. asks from El Paso, TX
19 answers

I have been divorced for two years. I have two young children. I am ready to start dating again but don't know where to start. Don't seem to be much husband material out there. Any thought, advice or guidance you all can give will be greately appreciated. I'm a little leery of looking in church because for two reasons, no single men there and that's where I met my now ex-husband and needless to say that was a huge disappointment. Thanks

EDIT* Since the divorce, I have made choices that prioritize my children: I homeschool (preschool and 2nd grade), I work part time (only because we do need income), and am going back to school for a master's degree to be able to provide for my family and have started my own business. My world does revolve around my children and I'm thankful that I can be there for them! I'm not husband shopping but I am seeking frienships with quality men and that has been difficult because what I see out there is immaturately and selfishness. By qualilty men I mean a person who loves God and lives this out, is mature, and a leader. Where are the quality men?

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answers from Springfield on

Please be very, very, very careful of online dating. I had access to all sorts of personal info on people, giving my friend and I some sense of screening people out. Still, most were dishonest.

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answers from Dallas on

Your priority right now should be your children.

If you feel you need companionship, just go to dinner or something with someone. Keep it light, your children should be your priority. Take it from a child of divorce........we live with divorce the rest of our lives. It does not go away.

Personally, I would not have someone around my daughter. You never know the motive.

My mom married for the 2nd time when I was a Sr in high school and I could not live at my home anymore because her husband never stopped giving me the creepy perv look and telling me how he fantasized about me. I was so grossed out I moved. NOT ALL CHILDREN are at a point when they can remove themselves from the situation.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Why can't you just enjoy a fella's company for what it's worth without husband shopping?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

OK ladies...there is a big difference between husband "hunting" and wanting to find a man that is worthy of your attention. Yes, our responsibility is first to our children but at some point we have to attend to ourselves as well. There has to be balance in life.

My husband left when I was five months pregnant...I tried dating for a few months after she turned two and hated it. I am just trying again (she is 3.5) and I am still not feeling so sure about things. One reason is the safety and security of my daughter and the other is just my own issues with trust after two divorces. The last one really did me in. I WANT to have a family and my daughter deserves a complete family.

Don't rule out church. You can't judge everyone by a single experience. If your faith is important to you, then stick with it. Maybe try a church of the same (or different) denomination in a nearby town?

Online dating is ROUGH. Lots of weirdos, lots of guys (and I am sure women) only interested in one thing. In my opinion, the caliber is better at places like eHarmony or Chemistry...rather than the lower price options.

Look for singles groups that you can join when your kids are with their dad (assuming they do). often has single parent activity groups...something you can do with your kids and meet other single parents.

Aside from the normal "keep yourself safe" tips, here is what I've learned:
1-Count on meeting a lot of frogs.
2-Pay attention to details and discrepancies in information.
3-Check online court records to ensure he is really divorced.
4-Open up to possibilities that you might have otherwise rejected.
5-Be confident and remember that YOU are a "catch"

Good luck and be safe.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Just in response to the "husband hunting" remarks - after two years, I think you have waited long enough, and what you are asking from us is where to meet quality guys. Someone that you can eventually bring around your children. I don't get why the ideas that you can't date and be happy. I think you should just try to meet someone maybe through friends, at work, gym, etc...even the bar. I go to bars once in a blue moon and some of my incredibly decent male friends are there too. A friendship first is ideal, because it makes for a stronger relationship down the line, but I definitely do not think you are husband hunting or even made that statemenet. Good luck!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would say to just relax and allow relationships to evolve. If your faith is a big part of your life, you might consider whether or not it is important to you that he is involved in a different religion. Other than that, I'd say to establish and cultivate relationships with men who share your same values and morals...and be careful that they aren't more interested in your children than you think they should be. Good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

YES after two years of divorce you should be dating! I cant imagine why anyone would discourage you, maybe they neglected their children when they were dating but I sure didn't. I wouldn't let the children get close to a man in case it doesn't work out, they don't need to feel abandoned by another man. Aren't we all better mothers when we're happy? It's time for you to think about you, to enjoy life, it will make you a better mother.
I think finding THE RIGHT man will be mostly luck but you need to start by getting out there and meeting guys who are nice to be with. Maybe you could look for someone who shares your interest, Is there a hobby you could pursue where you might meet single men - do you like biking, camping, canoeing, singing.....? Take a class like learning a new language.. make it something you think you will enjoy, not something you are doing just to meet guys and have fun and good luck.
And I'll add... two years after my divorce I married a wonderful man who was a fantastic stepfather and gave me the family life I had always dreamed of. Yes, it broke my kid's heart when their biological father had no time for time for them but 'm glad I didn't deprive my kids of having a man in their lives. So sometimes dating after divorce is great for the kids

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi S., I understand how you feel as I have many friends who are single parents and wish they could meet someone nice as well.

If you will bear with me, I'm going to present the opposite side of the picture. My brother in law is the father of a 5 yr old son and finds himself in the middle of a divorce because his wife decided to make some life changes. (Examples: getting reacquainted with old boyfriends through the internet, moving out to a hotel as a trial separation, etc. These things backfired and by the time she realized what she had done, my BIL began to see how much simpler it was without her) Thus, he's now single after 10 years, was a hardworking husband, is a great dad but at a loss at to how to make new friends (the ex squeezed out his old group) and find someone to date himself. He is not out partying, doesn't go to church regularly and is self-employed from home. He feels the same as you, as he's not looking for a new wife but is looking for someone to spend some time with.

We suggested to him that he first seek out a good divorce counseling group that covered things like grief and anger and he found one at a church and is finding it to be really helpful. Second, we suggested he get involved with the PTA group at his son's school in order to out and busy with people, feel he was involved with his son's education and also to meet some other like-minded parents where he could arrange play dates and possibly meet other like-minded single ladies. (As a woman, I'll admit that when I meet a really nice guy or girl I often try to think of someone to fix them up with)

When our son was in 2nd and 3rd grade, there were multiple divorces among his classmates and I've maintained friendships with lots of single moms. Most have talked about how nice it would be to meet a nice guy and they've tried the online dating option and it's worked well for about half of them, but it's trial and error. It works best if you are honest!

Obviously, my point is that there are also men out there too who are looking for nice women. I understand that it's wise for many reasons to keep your children out of the situation...but your children, in safe settings, can also help open doors to meeting someone, as long as you trust your intuition and are cautious. If you have issues remaining from your previous marriage, you will be in better shape for the future if you can have them resolved before you try.

Hope this helps--good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I have to share my story with you. I started dating about a year after my divorce. I'm plus size and decided to put a couple personal ads on the plus size websites. I actually met several nice and successful men. Notice I said "met" and not "dated". That is because they could not bother to take me to the movies, dinner, etc. They wanted to make out in the car or have sex in the car or where ever. Not that I wouldn't mind that, but hey, I would like dinner and a movie first! So very long story first, I decided I wasn't ready to date yet and I was going to focus on my business and my kids. So on a Wednesday I cancelled my ads and went about my business. Then on that Friday I get a phone call from this guy that I met back about 4 months prior when after someone gave him my business card and said we could do business together, he took me to lunch. That Friday he had called to give me a referral (I'm an insurance agent) and he casually asked what I was doing that weekend. Well, my ex had my kids, I had no plans and my mom was in CA. He didn't have his daughter either so he asked me to breakfast. We went out and have been together since and marrried for one year on Sunday. So take it slow, don't stress about "how" you will meet someone. And most importantly, don't bring the kids around them too soon. Contrats to you and good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Having been there, done that, I will say that church is still a good idea for finding the quality men! It worked for me. Dating with no expectations is one of the best things you can learn. I dated one guy for a year who was not husband material, but I grew a lot and learned a lot from that. We had a great time and parted friends. I can only tell you you'll meet good guys when you least expect it! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I agree with the advice form the ladies who caution against dating when you have small children. And if you do date, please keep your dating life separate from your kids....this site is FILLED with drama with stepmothers, live-in's etc. Not hard to see that it doesn't work out well to mix dating and kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Wow, with two young children it is probably best to focus on them for a long while. Later on down the road it might be nice to go to dinner or something if the kids are with their dad. You seem to me giving too much thought into these guys to see if they are husband worthy. Please just spend as much time as you can with your kids, allow their father to do the same and don't rush into finding a husband.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi S.,

I started reading a few of your responses but I had to stop. It is funny how people automatically pass judgement on a single mom who is ready to start dating. Granted, we are all here for advice but some "judgment" on your character is just funny to me. I saw one post from an adult who was a child of divorce...that was a great post. She felt she was cheated out of a "father figure" and her mom was cheated out of a companion. That was a GREAT post. I too am a single mom. I have two daughters and was scared to death to start dating. I actually began dating a man who I had been friends with for several years prior. He is amazing with my kids. He has been a very possitive role model for my daughters as their dad has really not present in their lives as often as THEY deserve. I think that naturally, people date looking for that special someone. Especially as single moms...we want someone who makes us happy AND our kids happy. KUDOS TO YOU FOR THAT! : ) Try meeting someone thru a friend. My now fiance was actually a neighbor of mine. We were both single and really enjoyed eachothers company. Our kids went to school together as well. Neither of us were looking for someone but it just happened. I did know him prior to my divorce (though he was not the reason I got divorced - for the record lol) Anyway, I would stear clear of a bar for sure as well as dating websites. I really would try friends - see who they know. You may be surprised there could be someone right infront of you! ;) Good luck in your journey, you deserve it and your kids deserve it. p.s. do wait a long time before introducing your kiddos to my kids, they went thru enough. I had to make sure he was a keeper before the intro - granted, my kids knew him already but before we told them about us was quite awhile.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Why are people thinking you are husband shopping? Since when does dating mean specifically "husband hunting? And yes children are a priority but so is your happiness.
Ladies, try being a single mom. Not the worlds easiest and its rather lonely. I don't blame your for wanting to date. I want to date and my son is only a year old and his dad didn't fully leave the picture till July. I now know what I want in a potential partner and i'm sure you do to. I say go to eharmony on one of their free communication weekends (usually a holiday weekend) and try it out before paying a billion bucks to use it. Also if you can take a night class of one of your hobbies, try that. Good luck and have fun!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Well you said you are leery about church. Maybe a DIFFERENT church? I met my 2nd husband at church and they had all sorts of "singles" groups - one for "under 25 yrs" one for "26-35 years" one for "with kids" and one for "35 and up." It's worth a try to meet some nice guys.



answers from New York on

I believe people should be very honest with themselves, before they can be honest with another person. Seeking an mate that is compatible is not an very easy thing to accomplish, especially if one is lonely and desperate to have someone share their space, happiness, sadness because not always people are seeking a mate for possitive reasons. I really believe if people learn to be friends first and really get to know one another, then maybe it is possible for an healthy relationship to grow into something wonderful. Two people wanting to make one another happy unselfishly; have a better chance of lasting a life time.. and remember nothing last forever without Christ in your heart and behavior.. God Bless all



answers from Dallas on

I'm going to respond to this as a child of divorce (Multiple divorces, actually). I realize that socially it's a pain in the but, but please don't take dating lightly. Every relationship you are in is NOT just a relationship you are in, but that you and your 2 children are in. If you want a social life, go for it - find friends that you want to spend time with and enjoy. But be careful re. the guy thing. You and potential boyfriends/husbands have to realize that becoming a step-dad is a potential endpoint in a relationship with you. And to pretend that it isn't is just not realistic.

Don't bring men into your children's lives till you're talking engagement - it sucks big-time to get attached to someone and then have them jerked out of your life cause it "didn't work out". I realize that there aren't guarantees to any relationship, but you can minimize the pain your children experience by being selective and cautious in your relationships.

Remember, your children will love you forever - you have to work REALLY hard to screw it up so bad that they give up on you (I have come to this point with my mother). Give them your focus for now; find friends to spend adult time with. Take care!



answers from Columbus on

My parents divorced when I was little. I am now an adult with a child of my own. My mother selflessly chose not to date or even entertain the idea of dating. My father was not in the picture so I always felt that I was cheated out of a father figure. Now that I am an adult, I feel that my mother was also cheated out of a companion. I understand the need to be extremely careful and keep the dating relationships separate from the children. Should you get to the point where you want to merge the two, take great care to do a background check, etc.
As for meeting potential dates, I would go out on 'group' dates at first. Get to know people you already know better. If you do try a dating site, just be very careful. Many don't do background checks, so you only know what they want you to know and they may lie. Just be extremely careful, and a tad suspicious. Good luck and God bless.



answers from San Francisco on

Dating is a matter of choice. If you feel your ready and you made the choice to not introduce your 2 children right off the bat, then you do what you feel is right. Only you know the answer to this question. Any doubts...means your truly not ready to take this step.

I have had two failed marraiges. My recent ex is the father to my beautiful son. The very thought of dating makes me cringe. The first thing that comes to mind at that very protecting MY son. I have been single for 2yrs. The LONGEST I have ever been single in 18yrs, the longest before this was 6mons.

Now that I have my son, he is my priority over meeting a complete stranger. The time and energy alone in getting to know someone is just overwhelming to me. That is a lot of MY time taken away from my son. He is the man in my life right now. He gives me all the happiness I need. I do not need a companion in my life to give me the happiness i seek. I learned through my last relationship that all I ever wanted in life was to be a mother. It wasn't about finding that soulmate. THat is my life and that is what my calling in life is. Prior to finding my sons dad I did seriously consider fostering. So a man wasn't truly needed to allow me to be that mother I always wanted to be. Now that I am, a man isn't something I desire to have in my life.

I have a great support system, family that love me, friends I see on occasion (oddly I have more fun being with my son then I do my gf's, go figure - and most outings with my son are FREE and girl drama free, lol) and that is all I need to be happy.

Now when it comes time to "date" (probably when my son is old enough to understand why another man is in his life and hes not ever going to replace his real father), I will screen EVERY man with a fine tooth comb. Even though my ex told me his criminal past, it was overlooked...lesson learned! If they have a restraining order for ANYTHING, RUNNNNNN as fast as u can! It only means trouble ahead for you and your 2 kids. SERIOUSLY.

That man will NEVER meet my son. My son will never be a discussion (he will be told I do have a child, that is it). This man will not know where I live, where I work, where my family lives, even after dating several years. Over paranoid, NOT at all. I am here to protect my son. If it means being single until he is out of high school, so be it. With the ppl today, I do not trust ANYONE.

As one poster said it does take a lot out of a child getting to know each man you date. Especially if they grow very fond of that person. Then later that person is no longer in their life. They experience the break up to, in a different way...abondement and they feel responsible. You do not need your children to be a part of the revolving door of your dating life. First and foremost, your 2 kids comes first (safety).

Once you date someone for several years (at a minimum of 3yrs) then you can SLOWLY introduce them into your childrens life. Then LISTEN to your children in their feelings about this person. The last thing you want is to not have them accept this person into THEIR lives as well. Its a package deal. Its not just about YOU anymore. Your children are your life, basically attached to your hip so to speak.

My sons feelings will be highly taken into consideration about anyone who comes into our life. If he truly does not like this person, then that will be taking very serious. Obviously if its a continual occurance its an issue within himself in not accepting another male role figure into his life, then that issue will be discussed.

After writing this all to makes me not care to date even more. Haaaaa. It just seems like WAY too much work and the drama, issues and stress involved is not worth the happiness and drama free life I have with my son.

But each to their own. You do have to be happy and if it means having a man in your life...then again, do what you feel is best for your LIFE and children. Just know, your love life, is your childs life too.

Good luck and wish you nothing but happiness regardless of what you do!

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