As a 40-something neuropsychologist, I've developed a certain perspective on post-divorce dating. As we say in my field, when looking at the data, several patterns emerged:
The 7 Types of Men You'll Meet in Post-Divorce Dating (A field guide for women in mid-life)
1. The Grim Repeater: He's recently divorced, and still thinks of married life as the norm. Finding himself single again isn't an unexpected but ultimately life-expanding change that allows him to explore new avenues in life -- he's looking to re-enter the matrimonial state as soon as possible. He's dating with a kind of grim determination to get through this part and go back to being part of a couple. He's easily identified when he asks you if you think you'll ever get married again. Before you've finished your first drink on date number one.
2. The Overgrown Frat Boy: His habitat is the key to identification. He's had to move out of the marital home but unlike #1, he is enjoying his bachelor pad. It's furnished the way your first apartment was - with mismatched furniture inherited along the way, with a few choice items from Ikea (the rug really ties the room together). You know, like how you lived 20 years ago. He is often someone who married young, and is now reveling in the fact that finally, he can have things the way he wants throughout the house, not just the man-cave his ex "allowed" him. Not that you were immune to keeping a framed Monet poster that conveyed to dorm room visitors that you were sensitive and majored in a liberal arts field a wee bit too long. It's just that Metallica posters and autographed sports memorabilia (more on that later) in the living room don't convey a boyish insouciance when the boy is in the neighborhood of 50. Okay, maybe he has a Thomas Kinkade painting, but that's only because his mother gave it to him.
3. The Sportsman: It's not so much that he plays any sports, but he likes watching them. His décor and clothing typically match on game days. As does his license plate frame. And his beer mug. These are often pleasant enough fellows, and even if one is not a fan of any particular sport, one can enjoy watching various competitions with them, up to and including curling (a sport whose equipment includes brooms? This puts it in the category of "maybe there's still time for me to excel at a sport" and that deserves closer study - but I digress). All that is required for a satisfactory date with this type is that you enjoy the two principal components of fandom: beer and yelling. Not to be confused with # 4, the Fitness Guru.
4. The Fitness Guru: Physical fitness is very important to him. Very. He's extremely active, and apparently engages in a number of sports that don't require shirts, to judge from his online profile pics. He's not showing off - he was just very sweaty after that 10-miler. It's unclear how he has so much time to engage in these activities if he's also gainfully employed, but one can surmise he's not the default parent. He wants a mate with similar metabolic functioning, often going so far as to describe his preferred type as, "must be fit and healthy." Hear that ladies? If you meet for dinner, do NOT order the fries on the side. Get the salad. In fact, only eat salads in his presence, unless you're carbo-loading for a marathon tomorrow.
5. The "Nice Guy" who can't understand why women won't go out with him: Much has been written already about this particular species. But here's a handy tip - if he feels he has to mansplain about how great he is by including the words "I never hit a woman" in his online dating profile, he's as easy to identify as a Shih Tzu at a Doberman convention (emphasis on the Shih T). Uh, dude, I'm a psychologist - if you brought that up out of nowhere, it means you're thinking about it.
6. The Real Simple (ton): His profile notes that he's "looking for a woman who will compliment [sic], not complicate my life." It's not clear what the threshold for complication is. It probably has to do with having emotions, and/or different opinions. Or maybe he's just letting you know that if you are a single mom who can't jet off on a moment's notice to a charming yet sophisticated B&B in wine country because your plans for the kids have to be delicately parleyed with your ex each major holiday, in talks similar to negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran, walk on by. Or, maybe he really does just want you to give him compliments and never ask him to do long division.
7. The Unicorn: Maybe he's been married, maybe he hasn't, but he's taken the time to reflect on his life and has his sh*t together, most days. These are rarely seen in the wild, but there have been recent reports of sightings.