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Dating After Divorce: 10 Rules of Good Advice

As the new season of Downsized gets under way this month (August 16th!), Laura and Todd Bruce’s constant fighting leads their youngest daughter to worry that they’ll divorce (view video below).

No word yet on whether the Bruces will untie the knot or stick together, but as women like Toni Braxton and Melissa Rivers know, deciding to call it quits is tough. And how do you get back in the dating game after the big D?

Whether you’re divorced, separated, single or somewhere in between, here are 10 pieces of dating advice that work for almost everyone:

1. Go places where men go

One big mistake that women make when they’re trying to find a man (whether they’re divorced or not) is spending Saturday night at home watching TV, then wondering why they haven’t met anyone yet. A man is not going to appear in your living room! Mr. Right is also unlikely to join your knitting circle. Try hitting up a sports bar, baseball game, even the Apple store.

Which brings us to No. 2…

2. Do things that men do

Reinventing yourself after divorce is the perfect time to take up a new hobby… so why not pick one that men tend to enjoy? Try hiking, biking, tennis, skiing, even bowling or playing pool.

3. Change your Facebook status

You are SINGLE! Forget “divorced,” “separated” and definitely forget “It’s complicated.” You want your 130 “friends” to know you’re available — and they can tell their friends, too!

4. Give yourself time to heal

They say it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them. Well, in our experience, it sometimes takes a lot longer than that! While you don’t want to waste five years brooding over a 10-year marriage, it’s probably smart to give yourself a year or so to mourn and reflect on what went wrong. Then get out there.

Which brings us to No. 5…

5. Don’t talk about your ex on dates

Men hate it when you talk about your ex, even if he was your high school boyfriend. If you go on and on about your former husband, your new guy is likely to feel jealous and insecure — and doubt whether you are really over him. Try not to say “his” name — for the first few dates, at least!

6. Clean up your act

Did you put on some “love chub” when you were married? Almost all women let themselves go a bit as the honeymoon phase wears off. Now is a great time to join the gym, get a great haircut and wax your eyebrows. When you look good, you feel good!

7. Go shopping!

Now that you’re rocking a hot body, you need a new wardrobe to show it off! Men love a woman in heels, skirts and a great pair of jeans. Experiment with body-conscious fabrics that show off your goods.

8. Wear bright colors

Don’t mope around in boring black. Studies have shown that the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women. Not convinced? Check out your local news anchors. TV people know that bright colors catch the eye.

9. Find a wingwoman

When you’re single, nothing is worse than hanging out with a bunch of married people (especially if they’re madly in love — gag). Start hitting up the singles’ scene with your best unattached female friend. Don’t have any single friends? Try meeting some new pals at the gym, or join a support group for divorced women.

10. Date online

Ladies, it’s 2011. The stigma of dating online is officially dead. We can’t tell you how many couples we know who met on, eHarmony or JDate. Sign up for the site that best suits you, and watch your social calendar fill up, stat!