Dating after a painful breakup or divorce

Published on March 11, 2020

Cherise and Thomas

When Cherise met Thomas, she thought that she had finally met the man of her dreams.  He was intelligent and charming.  After dating for three years, they decided to marry.  It seemed as if everything was going smoothly until two years later after their first child was born.  Thomas began to seem distant and withdrawn.  When Cherise confronted Thomas, he confessed that he had fallen in love with someone else. He planned on leaving Cherise, and he was unwilling to go to couples counselling.

Cherise was devastated.  She looked back at their marriage and could only see happy memories.  How could this have happened?  She felt utterly blindsided.

After some time of being single, Cherise started to worry that she would never find anyone.  She felt like she was too old to find anyone. A lot of her single friends had told her that all of the good men were already taken. This seemed to give her even less hope that she would find someone.  One of her friends convinced her to set up an online dating profile. Her online chats seemed to feel shallow. She went on one or two dates but struggled to find the connection.

Dating After a Breakup or Divorce

Dating after a breakup or a divorce can be difficult because we are looking to find that secure connection that we had with our past partner. This is unfair to your date because they just met you. That connection won’t be there because you haven’t had time to get to know each other.

When you are still in love with your ex, it is difficult to give anyone new a chance.  You don’t have the emotional space to let anyone else in.  No one will be able to live up to the pedestal that you have placed your ex onto.

Here are 5 things to consider when you decide to put yourself out there:

1. Work on you

Spend the time that you spent on your ex on yourself. What do you want with your life?  How is your mental and physical health? What would you like to learn and grow into?

2. Go with where you are at

No one is perfect, so don’t think that you have to be perfect to find someone. Accept yourself for who you are and work on the areas of your life that need improvement.  Everyone is looking for someone different, maybe you are what someone is looking for, just as you are.

3. Let go of your ex

If you genuinely want to move forward, you need to let go of the past. Allow yourself space to grieve and heal. Do not talk to your ex, go on their social media or ask friends about them.  Get rid of any evidence of them that causes you pain.

4. It’s a statistics game

You might have to go on several dates before you meet the right person. Some will be fun, some will be boring.  Some people you will like and some people will like you.  If someone doesn’t want to see you again, it is ok to ask why.  Try not to take it too personally.  They might not be looking for the same thing that you are.

5. Have a positive attitude

Not all of the right people are taken. If you feel like there is no hope to have a good date, you will act this out on your date.  When you find someone you do like, you might cling to hard to them because you are afraid there isn’t anyone out there.  On the flip side, if you do connect with someone, don’t dismiss them because you have too many options.

Modern-day dating can be challenging to get used too.  Over time you will figure out who you are, what you want, and what you don’t want.  It takes time so be gentle and patient with yourself and the process.


If you would like to set up an appointment please contact me on +852 2521 4668 or email You can book a private or Skype session.

Category(s):Ending a relationship issues, Relationships & Marriage, Self-Doubt, Self-Esteem, Self-Love

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

Registered Clinical Psychologist (HK)

Dr. Borschel specializes in Attachment, trauma and Loss. She is experienced in helping adults, teens, children, and families adjust to anxiety, trauma, abuse, divorce, separation, loss of a loved one, and loss of finance. This may include deciding what is in the best interest of the children during custody disputes, strengthening the relationship and communication between the parents and the children.

From Nov 2020 Dr. Borschel is only available for online consultations.

Dr. Borschel’s attachment-based therapy along with EMDR and Brainspotting enables her clients to find healing within themselves. In so doing, she can help her clients to overcome anxiety, trauma, neglect, emotional, verbal, physical abuse, and child abuse.

Furthermore, as an attachment specialist, she also helps individuals understand relationship patterns which prevent them from developing or maintaining healthy relationships. She is able to help reduce anxiety, insomnia, depression and promote confidence and self-esteem.

Dr. Borschel is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. She graduated with her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in New York City. She later moved to Hong Kong to pursue her doctorate at the University of Hong Kong in Social Work and Social Administration.

Registered Clinical Psychologist with The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology (HKSCP). Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), The British Psychological Society (BPS), and the Hong Kong Family Law Association (HKFLA).

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