The 14 stages of dating after divorce, raw and uncut (GIFs)

Dec 15, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Image: Bdeanindy/Pixabay

Dating after divorce is a tenuous endeavor, full of angst, awkwardness and anticipation.

Seriously, we know too much to willingly put ourselves through this again. Here are the fragile stages of dating after divorce, complete with difficulties and triumphs on the path to love.

1. Complete and total destruction

wasteland

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"Well, this utterly destroyed life will be fun to rebuild."

2. Girlfriends, unite!

best friends
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"Hey, no biggie! I've got my ladies! Who the hell needs a man?"

3. Shopping for a rebound

rebound

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"I do. I need a man. I need a man now. I'm, like, totally over my ex anyway."

4. That rebound was a bad idea

bad idea

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"Nope, not even remotely over my ex. That date was an exercise in self-torture."

5. Early nights solve the problem

sleeping

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"I'm just going to solve my loneliness by sleeping more. Nothing fun happens after 8 p.m., anyway, I'm pretty sure."

6. Dabbling with online dating

internet dating

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"Internet? Combined with dating? What a novel idea! So this is what happens after 8 p.m. No more early nights for this dating expert!"

7. Shut it down!

internet dating

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"OKTinder, Cupid's Match, Plenty of Fish: This is what nightmare-scapes are made of."

8. Life is better lived alone

cat lady

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"You know, I think I'm OK being alone. Men are a lot of trouble, after all. I'll be just fine with my cat and my ice cream."

9. Time to get a vibrator

mermaid

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"Yeah, I'm going to need a vibrator, though."

10. A return to the land of destruction

zombies

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"All is lost! It's hopeless, I tell you! My girlfriends, my cat, my ice cream and my vibrator aren't helping anymore! And for the love of all that is holy, internet dating certainly didn't help, either."

11. The faint glimmer of hope

lipstick

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"I put on lipstick today, just because it felt good. That's weird."

12. Dread gives way to excitement

hopeful

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"He's kinda cute. Remarkably, the aching black hole of despair is missing from my gut, too. How convenient!"

13. The first non-terrible date

dating

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"That was soooo fun!"

14. Laughing at a second date text message

texting

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"No, you hang up first. No, you. Haha, you're so hilarious!"

Wink, giggle and a re-entry to the land of hope.

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