The Post Divorce Phases

Posted in   The MamaSutra   on  September 20, 2011 by  Lanae minutes remaining

Originally published on


A guy friend of mine, 2+YAD (years after divorce) articulated a great observation about dating life, post divorce:

Phase I: Sex. Lots of it. What most judgmental folks would call the promiscuous* or “slut” phase.  Subscribe to Lots of drinking, sleeping around. Some are happy, fun, exciting, thrilling, experiences, others are sad, empty, or lonely. Maybe not remember names of who you slept with. Entree into world of sexting and sending sexy pics.

Phase II: 1st serious relationship (is it love??). Subsequent heart break. Start dating again. This time join okcupid.  Learned from sexy pic sending, now the pics you send are not your own; no one knows difference. Laugh to yourself.

Phase III: Self acceptance, self love.  Ok being alone bc you’d rather not waste your time on people of no interest, regardless of whether you are getting laid or not. ;)Start looking for the person with whom to spend the other 90% of life (the one to do laundry with, cook dinner alongside, the usual “boring” day-to-day stuff).  Know hook ups are a dime a dozen and want to focus on finding quality not quantity.

Has anyone experienced this post Divorce?  Is there a Phase IV? ;)

* please note: the word promiscuous is a subjective term only defined in relative terms as “a person who is having more sex than you are”.  So if you are calling someone else promiscuous, you are outing yourself as a sexless prude.

About the Author Lanae

Dr. Lanae St.John is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sexology and certified sex coach with a background in sexology and a passion for helping people improve their sexual health and relationships. She is the author of "Read Me: A Parental Primer for "The Talk"" and the upcoming "You Are the One: How stopping the search and looking inside will lead you to your romantic destiny," and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the field. Dr. St.John aims to share her knowledge and expertise in a relatable and approachable way through her blog on

  • I’ve heard phase IV is “come here, go away” which, if there is more “come here” than “go away,” may lead into phase V “next long term relationship” or, like a game of chutes and ladders, could result in going through phases I – III again.

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