You’re recently divorced.

After my divorce, I remember my buddy Rich and I went out to a bar. I was standing in that bar drinking a Margarita, and all of a sudden I realized I was “him.” I was that older guy in a bar full of 20-somethings, nursing a drink and looking at women. At that moment I realized that those days were over for me.

Do you want to be ‘that guy?’ I never wanted to be that guy standing in a bar. There wasn’t any joy anymore being in a bar. I wanted to meet real women.

I didn’t want to get involved in idle chit-chat about nothing, meet somebody when they were drunk, call them the next day and have to remind them of the conversation we had. I was past that point in my life. I wanted to meet someone real.

So let’s talk about what to do after you get divorced. The first thing you need to do is make sure you clear your mind. Don’t go out and start trying to meet women just because your wife has left you (or because you left your wife).

Spend some time with yourself. Get to know yourself again.

Start to think about what YOU really want. What are you looking for in life? With what type of woman do you want to spend your time? What did you learn from your last relationship?

Think about how you feel right now. Are you happy? Are you sad?

Spend time by yourself. Take some time to hang out with friends and get to know them again. Spend some time doing “guy things.” Enjoy yourself and don’t even think about women.

Once you’ve done this, then the next step is to actually go out there and start meeting women doing things that you enjoy. You don’t want to be that guy standing in the corner of a bar or nightclub wondering if you’re going to meet women.

Instead, think about what you like to do. Make a list of five things that you really enjoy doing — five things that are really important to you and five places you’d like to really be seen.

I remember doing this exact exercise when I was 35 years old. I found that I really enjoyed meeting women when I was “out and about.”

I enjoyed meeting women in supermarkets because I always had something to talk about with them (since food is a passion of mine). I enjoyed meeting women at coffee shops because I enjoy drinking a cup of tea. I really enjoyed meeting women when I was working out. I enjoyed meeting women when I was at the movies if I was able to talk to them before the movie or after the movie.

I wanted to meet women who shared the same interests as me. I wanted to meet a woman who was really like me — someone who likes to travel, eat great food and stay healthy.

That’s important. You want to really start figuring out who you are and what you’re all about. That way, when you are out meeting people you won’t make the same mistakes.

In all my years of coaching men in dating and relationships, I’ve found that men who jump back into the dating world too soon after a breakup or a divorce tend to find the same woman over and over again (and tend to marry the same woman again). They do it because that same woman is what they are used to.

So learn from your experience and from your last relationship. Embrace all the lessons from that relationship so that you can go out and find what you really want. You deserve it. Whether your last relationship ended because she left you or you left her, you deserve to be able to get back out there and find what you want.