It happens to 50% of marriages in the United States: Divorce. And the more times you get married, the higher the percentage goes. But life doesn’t have to be over after divorce. Your love life, that is. Repairing your shattered image of the opposite sex and getting back on the horse — so to speak — isn’t always easy, but can be done with determination, desire, and your inner-Dr. Phil.

Get Your Finances in Order

Whether you got hosed on the alimony thing or not, you need to get your budget in ship shape so you know your dating boundaries before you get back out there. If you came out the other end of the split without a dent in your check book, then dinner at a posh spot would be a solid plan for getting back out there. But if you got taken to the cleaners and your job hasn’t exactly been ‘understanding’ by cutting down your shifts, then maybe a ‘hey, let’s share a small coffee at McDonald’s’ would be more appropriate. Extreme examples, to be sure, but you get the picture. Places like your choice of clubs will also vary since they each charge different covers. It all comes down to cash-money.

They Are Not Her

This is the portion where you get your anger in check. Very few of these splits end with both people remaining steadfast friends. There is usually anger brewing between both parties and they ultimately start taking it out on the next string of people they date. For women, we call it baggage. For men, we call it ‘women are hoes’. Unfortunately, the unsuspecting recipient of the pent-up frustration has nothing to do with what went down between you and your ex. Realizing this and filtering out your anger issues will get you well on the road to not sleeping alone. And isn’t that the whole point?

Don’t Always Talk About It: Guy Version

Nothing is more annoying than having one of your friends talk about his girlfriend dumping him or his recent divorce, right? Don’t be that guy. Your friends will tolerate the ‘woe is me’ stories for a while, then they will stop coming around. And stop calling to go hang out in public places where — wait for it — women hang out. Yours may not even be a poor me attitude, but an anger thing. If so, same rule applies. Zip it and move on if you want to ever be with a woman again.

Don’t Always Talk About It: Girl Version

If we said laying off the bitching about your divorce with your pals is important, then doing it with girls you just met is the Mt. Everest of dating again don’t. You’re moving on or else you wouldn’t be out meeting other women. You may not be the James Bond of ice breakers, but “Hey, I’m _______, and I just got divorced” isn’t the way to go. Focus on the task at hand: the lady in front of you. She will be yours. Oh yes, she will be yours.

To Join a Group or Not to Join a Group?

These dating groups seem to have gotten out of control over the years, but some of ours friends swear by them. Of course, they’re all still miserably single, so take it for what it’s worth. Seriously, if you feel comfortable signing up for a group blind date, then a dating group is for you. Going to the Divorcee Group could be good, but you will also be battling the aforementioned baggage. Speed Dating hasn’t made headlines for its high percentages in match making, so if jumping in quickly with a chick is what you want, avoid it. The best thing for you is a group that has similar interests and plan events every week. It’s billed as ‘casual fun’, but everyone knows that everyone else there is just looking to bed someone. Just remember your ice breaker line…

Preparing for the Run-In

Unless you live in different cities or states now, chances are you will run into your ex, her friends, or worse, your former in-laws sooner or later. The laws of running into people says so. Getting over all the past arguments, tension, and general gross feelings, will help when you turn and bump into your former wife holding your double mocha latte. It would also be nice if you looked better when you run into her than you did when you divorce, so consider a few more hours at the gym and a few less hours with Call of Duty in preparation for the inevitable. Also, be cordial and don’t make it weird. If you do, it’ll eat at you, not her. And that will pop into your head the next time you’re on your game. Not good.

Don’t Try Too Hard

This may seem a contradiction to some of the points here, but if you aren’t actively looking — horn dog style — you are likely to find yourself scoring sooner than you thought. Whether it just be shooting the smack with that hot bartender or over-tipping your waitress, you could find yourself having breakfast in bed the next morning with…’ol whatshername? Just be open and friendly and relate to them like a normal male who did not just fail at his most recent relationship. You will appear as a man with no drama surrounding him and therefore, fun. And the ladies like fun. No strings attached? Check. And that’s how you do that.

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