6 Guys Not To Date After Divorce

Your marriage ended and you're getting ready to hop back on the dating train ...Don't board till you read this.

by Lisa Lombardi

ewly single? "There are three rules of dating after divorce," says Lisa Daily, author of Stop Getting Dumped! "Don't think of yourself as damaged goods, don't torture the new guy for your ex's misdeeds, and even though you're craving intimacy like chocolate cheesecake after a month of Atkins, don't give up the goods on the first date." Oh, and while you're at it, steer clear of these back-on-the-market buzz kills:

Guy #1: Mr. Angry-I'm-Divorced-Too
How to spot him: He'll tell you within the first ten seconds that his wife ran off with her trainer. Or drained his bank account. Or both. And he can't wait to hear all the ugly details of your divorce.

Why he's tempting: You have a common
If he's still raging about how she did him wrong, he's got, ahem, some issues to sort out.
enemy: The ex. And a heated trash-your-ex session can get you all hot and bothered—in a good way.

Why you should steer clear: If he's still raging about how she did him wrong, he's got, ahem, some issues to sort out. "A lot of the divorced men I meet are eager to have 'dump on your ex sessions,' says Jennifer*, a 32-year old who got married at 24 and divorced at 26. "But I steer clear of anyone who is harboring that much hostility toward their ex, because they obviously aren't ready for a new relationship."

Guy #2: Mr. Best-Friends-with-His-Ex
How to spot him: He'll nonchalantly work her into conversations: "My ex thinks I should buzz my hair," "When my ex and I were having lattes yesterday..."

Why he's tempting: He sounds so enlightened! You think you've stumbled upon the most forgiving guy in America.

Why you should steer clear: Staying friendly after a breakup is a good thing, sure. But if his former wife still occupies the role of trusted advisor — Condoleezza to his George W. — beware. "This is a guy who's still in love, plotting a comeback, or at least hoping for the possibility of breakup sex," says Daily. "Pass on him."

Guy #3: The Player
How to spot him: He's the unusually friendly guy who makes effortless chit-chat, has expensive shoes and a good haircut—and is always ducking outside to talk on his cell.

Why he's tempting: You know how in tennis when you play with a great player, you don't suck as much as when you play with a beginner? Same applies here. If your date is a smooth operator who's never at a loss for words, you'll feel more relaxed, witty, and confident.
He wants you all to himself, which is an ego rush—but intense jealousy is a real red flag.

Why you should steer clear: Slick guys love dating. But they are less fond of relationships. If your pro dater has had a ton of 5-minute partnerships, doesn't open up, or shies away from discussing personal details, he probably won't commit.

Guy #4: The Shrink in Training
How to spot him: He's a close talker. And what other guy says, "And how did that make you feel?"

Why he's tempting: Counseling is expensive. Why not get it for free?

Why you should steer clear: Your dates will soon feel like a therapy session, and that's not romantic. But the real problem is that shrink-in-training types are happiest when you're unhappy. So unless you want to play the role of despondent-damsel-in-distress to his caring-if-not-slightly-condescending professional, tell this guy to take a hike.

Guy #5: Mr. Crazy-Possessive
How to spot him: When he hears you were married, he jokes, "Did he hurt you? Just say the word, and I'll get the guy."

Why he's tempting: "Jealousy can be flattering," says Tina Tessina, author of How To Be A Couple And Still Be Free. He wants you all to himself, which is an ego rush.

Why you should steer clear: Intense jealousy is often a sign of emotional instability. "Controlling people are usually very smooth at first," says Tessina. "But after they charm you into bonding to them, the control can turn very unpleasant, and even lead to stalking or abuse." So consider yourself warned!

Guy #6: Ashton Kutcher's Evil Twin
How to spot him: He spots you. And tells you you're so much hotter than the 22-year-olds he has dated. You're a single divorced mom? He acts like he won the lottery!

Why he's tempting: He's got all his hair and still fits in his 32-waist jeans. Enough said.

Why you should steer clear: So your 24-year-old babe says he "has a thing" for older women? "These guys are just looking for a booty call—they save the real love for women closer to their own age," says New Yorker Joanne Morris, a 40-something who has dated several guys in their mid-twenties. "One guy tried to talk me into meeting him at a hotel, which he graciously suggested I pay for. I declined!" But the kicker was when she invited a 25-year-old "friend" home for the weekend, and it turned out he had more in common with her 20-year-old son than with her. "They spent the whole weekend together—skateboarding!!"

* Some names have been changed.

Lisa Lombardi is a New York-based writer and editor who's contributed to Redbook, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan.

Want the other side of this story? Read 5 Women Not to Date Post-Divorce.

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