A site for Gen-X men, by Gen-X men, about the stuff in life that really matters.
The Arrow Logo - SVG
Oh no!
It looks like you aren't logged in to the Arrow community. Log in to get the best user experience, save your favorite articles and quotes, and follow our authors.
Don't have an Online Account? 

What Single Women Wish Divorced Men Knew About Dating

What worked when you were younger isn’t having the same effect on us today

Middle aged woman in bathtub, head resting on hands, smiling.
Chris O'Riley/Stocksy

You say you’re a single guy over 40? Color me intrigued. I’ve given up dating guys in their 20s and 30s. Mama don't have time for that nonsense anymore.

But if you’re like most of the guys over 40 I’ve dated, you come with your own set of baggage. For one thing, you’re separated or divorced. I’m just guessing, but unless you just quit a monastery or you’ve had spectacularly bad romantic luck, you’ve been married, and now you’re not.

Those first postdivorce dates don’t always go well. It’s not you, it’s … well, yeah, it’s a little bit you. But if you haven’t been out in the dating world since grunge was still a thing, you can be excused for not having the sharpest game.

As a single woman who really, really, really wants you to get better at this — if only because I want to some romancing, too, man — I’m sharing some pointers.

1. Don’t talk about your ex-wife

We’re interested in being with you, not being your therapist. “Tell me how your wife totally lost interest in having sex with you,” said no woman — ever.

2. Don’t try to have sex with us one hour into the first date

I understand that some divorced men have been sexually deprived, many of them for years, but don’t be so anxious. Stop trying to close the deal an hour after you meet us. That’s not romantic; it’s just creepy.

3. Don’t be cheap

We get it, the divorce cleaned you out for now. But inviting us out for drinks because you don’t want to pay for dinner is not exactly foreplay. You don’t invest in a new car if you can’t afford to make the monthly payments. The same goes with dating. If you don’t have the disposable income to pay for a meal for two, then maybe you need to save your pennies before you get back into dating again.

4. Don’t be a playa 

When I first posted an online profile, I was hit with a tsunami of 50-something players, treating me like they were casting for a porno movie. Every question was, “What’s your wildest fantasy?” or “Do you have a kink you always wanted to try?”

Let’s make this simple: If you insist on behaving like a pimp, pretend that I’m your parole officer. Assume that I’m not impressed and I’m looking for any excuse to send you back to the big house.

5. Don’t tell us that you don’t want to be exclusive or monogamous before you’ve even had sex with us

This is the most common reason I don’t make it to a second date. It’s a boner killer for women because what we want at this stage in our lives is a little romance. We’re not focused on marriage and children. For many of us, that ship has sailed. We want to have fun, to feel desired, to flirt and not to think beyond tonight.

Listen, we’ve both made it this far. We’re not young anymore, but we’re not old, either. We don’t need to rush into sex or a committed relationship. Just be with us, in the moment, and slow your roll.

You’ll get into our pants eventually. Hey, we’re not made of stone.