Do Women or Men Move On Faster After a Divorce? (And Why)

Divorce is a highly-emotional process that can often be challenging to navigate. And men and women each have a different way of moving on. But do women move on faster than men after a divorce?

As a general rule, women move on much faster than men after a divorce because most women wait to leave until their feelings of love have completely dissipated. And in many cases, they may have already lined up their next romantic partner.

And by that I mean, they don’t leave until they are completely out of love. That’s why it’s so common for women to simply announce they are done (out of the blue) and not be willing to try and fix things.

That was certainly the situation I found myself in. It sucks and it’s selfish, but that’s the reality many guys who got dumped face.

However, every situation is entirely unique.

In the following sections, I’ll dive deeper into this topic in hopes of helping you better understand the emotional, financial, and social turmoil women often go through after divorce. These factors all determine how a woman moves on (if she decides to move on at all).

5 Reasons Why Women Move On Faster Than Men

In addition to biology, are there any other reasons why women might move on faster than men?

Here are 5 reasons why women move on faster than men after divorce:

  • Rebound relationships are a coping mechanism and can actually be healthy.
  • Financial security is appealing after divorce.
  • Religious or social pressure can make a woman feel obligated to move on.
  • Women often want stability for any children involved.
  • Most women simply want companionship, as divorce can be lonely.

Let’s discuss each of these reasons in further detail.

1. Rebound Relationships Are a Coping Mechanism

A rebound relationship is essentially a relationship that forms before the breakup’s assumed emotional trauma is addressed.

While these relationships can be seen negatively by onlookers, they’re commonly used as a coping mechanism after a long-term relationship (like a marriage) comes to an end. While some people may judge them as unhealthy, in reality, the opposite might be true.

Studies show that the speed at which a new relationship is formed (after one comes to an end) directly correlates with healthy self-confidence and resolution of previous emotional pain.

Overall, this research concludes that a person who enters a rebound relationship is often in a healthier psychological state because they have a newfound confidence in themselves and their ability to have a relationship– confidence which is often lost after divorce.

While a woman who starts a rebound relationship may not be 100% healed, these quickly-discovered partnerships might actually be beneficial because they serve as a coping mechanism that helps a person regain self-esteem. They may also signify that a person desires to move on rather than dwell in the past.

However, rebound relationships in men are different.

The same studies suggest that men use them as a distraction from the emotional wounds that can grow after a marriage ends. On the contrary, women who enter rebound relationships may do so out of confidence, a willingness to move on and find new companionship and to further address the pain they feel.

2. Financial Security Is Appealing After Divorce

Financial security is another reason why new relationships seem appealing after such a life-altering situation.

While every situation is different, statistics show that women are more likely to suffer financially after a divorce. Studies claim that 69% of men make more than their female counterparts in married relationships, and other research shows that women lose 41% of their regular income stream after divorce.

In addition to these statistics, women tend to have more responsibilities and expenses when they get the lion’s share of their custody arrangements.

Relying on an ex-husband for alimony or child support can often cause a woman to feel less valued by society, and sometimes, it isn’t enough to live off of. It can also be challenging for a woman to pay off legal fees after a divorce if the man was the primary breadwinner in their relationship.

Essentially, divorce can cause a lot of financial instability for women– more so than men. This is another reason why women may be eager to move on after a divorce.

Now, I’m not saying that women in financial distress move on solely for the purpose of remarrying and relying on another man’s money, which would still be a valid personal choice.

However, the concept of remarriage might be appealing to a woman if she subconsciously desires financial stability. Simply having a partner to stand by your side promotes financial security because you have someone to talk through your problems with, even if that person can’t support you financially. 

Not to mention that some of life’s biggest expenses (rent/mortgage, car payments, electric bills, etc.) will be split in half after entering a legal partnership. 

It’s much easier to go through economical hardships when you don’t feel so alone.

Even if a woman doesn’t have the desire to remarry, the idea of any partnership might be appealing to her after divorce because it provides a bit of stability in a world where her finances aren’t so stable.

This idea of stability might be desirable enough to cause a woman to move on fairly quickly after her marriage comes to an end.

3. Religious or Social Pressure

Religious and/or social pressure play a crucial role in a woman’s desire to move on after a divorce.

Unfortunately, divorce isn’t always inevitable. Many marriages end due to substance abuse, domestic violence, and overall toxicity. 53% of women reported divorcing their previous partner due to psychological abuse.

However, divorce is often disapproved of by different religions.

Some organized religions tend to blame the woman– even if the divorce took place for the sake of her physical and/or mental wellbeing. In addition to blame, there’s often immense pressure to get remarried. I’ve witnessed this situation firsthand in three different divorce proceedings that took place in a religious setting.

Due to this pressure, women can often feel obligated to move on quickly to please cultural and social expectations. They may want to start new relationships with the intent of remarrying and meeting these expectations to avoid being scrutinized or harassed.

Unfortunately, this pressure isn’t exclusive to religious scenarios as it can often be socially rooted instead. Seeing other examples of successful marriages in the media and different social situations might cause an increase in a woman’s desire to move on.

This desire to people-please for the sake of easing pressure can be conscious or subconscious.

Ultimately, it all depends on a woman’s individual characteristics and circumstances. Every situation is unique, and everybody has their own way of dealing with traumatic situations.

If you think a woman is moving on too fast for your standards, it might be a good idea to take religious and/or social pressure into consideration before you make a judgment.

4. Stability for Children Involved

If children are involved in a divorce scenario, this can also contribute to a woman’s drive to move on.

While many women move on for the sake of their own emotional wellbeing, some would rather move on for the sake of their children. This is because divorce situations often make children feel vulnerable and at fault for the end of their parents’ relationship.

In some cases, they might feel obligated to fix the failed relationship.

Unfortunately, some divorces end with an absent parent. According to the United States Census, 20.2% of fathers are absent and no longer have a relationship with their children (if they had a relationship with them to begin with).

When a divorce causes a father to be less active in a child’s life, a woman may feel consciously or subconsciously obligated to move on in an attempt to fix a child’s pain and offer them stability– especially if their father is no longer an active parent.

A woman might be quick to move on after divorce to “fix” their family or provide their children with a new worldview that resembles their old family. According to statistics, 50% of US families are “blended families.” This means that these families involve remarriages and often include step-relations such as step-siblings, step-children, and step-parents.

Despite what many think, it’s possible to have a healthy family again through remarriage. The speed at which a woman moves on can be correlated to this concept if she desires to be a part of a “complete” family again.

However, it’s important to note that the “cookie-cutter” definition of family is often damaging. Family doesn’t have to fit societal roles and expectations. Family is what we make it; it can’t be defined by anyone but yourself. This means that a woman’s idea of family is ultimately her own.

While it isn’t necessary to remarry to have a happy family, it can be comforting for certain people. Again, every situation is unique, and it’s completely up to the people involved to decide how and when they want to move on after a divorce.

5. The Want for Companionship

The most straightforward reason behind a woman’s desire to quickly move on after a divorce is the want for companionship.

Humans have had relationships with each other for thousands of years.

We aren’t solitary creatures and we depend on each other for physical and emotional support, which is why we desire to have relationships in the first place.

Professionals suggest that we seek out relationships because we need social support. But after a divorce, a woman no longer has that same kind of companionship. She might want to find it elsewhere to combat the negative feelings that often accompany dissolved marriages.

In addition to seeking healing from the emotional damage that divorce can bring, a woman might simply be in search of a companion.

Someone to laugh with, someone to experience life with, someone to love. Life after divorce can be a lonely and heartbreaking experience, but these studies show that your life can actually be improved with a partner by your side.

While romantic relationships aren’t for everyone, they mean a lot to some people. It’s perfectly understandable and valid for a woman to move on quickly after divorce simply because she wants to be in a relationship with someone again.

Is It Okay To Move On Quickly After a Divorce?

If the goal is a new long-term relationship that is happy and stable, it is better to wait 12 months following the separation before dating or entering a serious relationship. Rebound relationships have a 77% failure rate.

But everyone copes and processes life-altering experiences in their own way.

There are no rules about when or how you should move on, and there isn’t a set time frame either. As long as you’re coping healthily, the approach can vary.

However, it’s important to remember that there are some elements you should keep in mind in order to move on healthily. You must take proper steps to address any emotional trauma by accepting and talking about your feelings.

It might be a good idea to seek the help of a licensed professional to help you talk through your emotions.

Can Divorce Be More Painful for Women?

Divorce can be more painful for women. According to recent research, women are more likely to feel intense emotional pain after a relationship ends. However, they’re also more likely to make a full recovery and claim that their experiences made them stronger.

In this study performed by Binghamton University, thousands of subjects in over 90 countries were asked to rate their breakup pain on a scale from one to 10.

It was determined that women have a higher chance of experiencing more pain after the end of a relationship– both physically and emotionally.

Why Is Divorce More Painful for Women?

Divorce can be more painful for women because they put more value into finding a stable partner for subconscious biological reasons, according to a recent study. But women are also more likely to struggle financially following a divorce.

Researchers at Binghamton claim that this is because relationships have a higher risk for women than men, biologically speaking.

Even short relationships can end in pregnancy, which can have long-lasting physical and psychological effects due to birth, the changes a woman’s body undergoes because of it, and the emotional toll of caring for a child. On the other hand, men have no biological involvement after conception.

To put things simply, this biological reasoning might say something about the way women value relationships both subconsciously and consciously.

Women may feel more strongly about finding a suitably supportive partner, making things more painful when a marriage is dissolved– with or without children involved.

The pain that women experience after the end of a relationship can actually make them emotionally stronger, while men often tend to move on without addressing their grief. Because of this, it may seem like women can move on faster than men.

How Long Does the Healing Process Take Men and Women After a Divorce?

Generally speaking after a divorce, most people need an average of 18 months to get past the pain, challenges, and financial instability they now face.

But as we’ve mentioned, women file for divorce 75-80% of the time.

And so with women, oftentimes they wait to file until all the love they felt for their spouse is totally gone. So in a sense, that healing process starts long before the divorce decree is drawn up.

That is why men are so often blind-sighted by their wife’s request for a divorce.

We guys never saw it coming. And yes, if we were more observant we would have noticed her attraction for us dropping. Men get complacent after years of marriage. We tend to stop dating and courting our wives. Kids, careers, and house projects often get placed above her on the priority list.

And yes in an ideal world, our wives would tell us what they need before it’s too late.

But most of the time they don’t. So while the healing process for both men and women will be somewhere between 12-24 months, for the man, that won’t start until the divorce settlements are done. And the woman will likely have started that process quite sometime earlier.

Does Getting a New Partner Help With Moving on After a Divorce?

In short, no.

While positive dating experiences or a new partner can be a great way to take our mind of the past relationship, it doesn’t actually impact the healing process.

So in a way, it’s like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

And really, it actually delays the healing of a broken heart as we get distracted with the new-found infatuation. That being said, the majority of women do tend to jump into a relationship quickly after a romantic breakup.

But as I’ve mentioned here and in other articles, women often wait to leave a relationship until their romantic feelings are completely gone.

So in some (but not all) ways, they have already dealt with the negative emotions and processed the pain.

But in the wake of a divorce, the romantic feelings a woman (or a man) will have for someone else will be all over the place. Traditionally women are (like in the Katy Perry song) “hot and cold” as women go into most situations based on how something makes them feel.

And following a divorce, even if she has been planning it for some time, there is a lot to feel, such as:

  • Guilt
  • Regret
  • Relief
  • Impact on kids
  • Freedom

And so a woman dating again may find her emotional state varies wildly. And so the first relationship following the divorce may easily end up being a rebound.

Do Sexual Orientation or Gender Differences Impact How Quickly Someone Moves on After a Divorce?

Whether we’re taking heterosexual couples, gay couples, lesbian couples, or straight couples where the traditional gender roles are reversed, the sexual polarity is still what keeps a couple together and passionate about one another.

Sexual polarity is where 1 person tends to be more masculine and dominant and 1 tends to be more submissive and feminine.

That by no means is meant to imply that all of us don’t have both feminine and masculine qualities in us; we do.

But a relationship won’t work if both people tend to be in their masculine or both in their feminine. That polarity has to be there to create that spark.

And so if we assume that’s true, the person in the more feminine role will typically behave the same way as a cis woman in a marriage to a man. They will feel their romantic feelings drop and they will wait until they are gone before deciding to leave the relationship. So their recovery time often starts well before they ask for a divorce.

And the person with the more masculine traits will often be caught off guard by this, and start their healing process at the time of the split, seemingly taking longer to get over the breakup.

Does the Length of the Marriage Impact How Long It Takes to Get Over?

We know that half of all marriages end in divorce, unfortunately.

But how long a couple was together will impact how long it takes to get past the pain of a breakup. But it’s not really the longevity of the relationship as much as what tends to happen in a long marriage. The longer the marriage the greater the likelihood of:

  • Having children together
  • Having a large shared friend group
  • Owning a home together
  • Having all aspects of their lives intertwined

So when some or all of those are in place, it makes separating them painful and complicated.

Social media, traditional social stigmas, financial concerns, and of course the welfare of any children involved all start to surface. Some friends will take sides, especially in a bad breakup. And the person who was once our best friend might now become our mortal enemy.

And all of that has a huge impact on how long it takes to get past a divorce.

So a couple married for 2 years with no kids and minimal financial entanglements might find they can move on in under a year. But by comparison, a man or woman getting out of a multi-decade marriage might find it takes up to 5 years to truly get back on their feet 100%.

How to Move on From a Painful Divorce Quickly!

Conclusion

Statistics show that women tend to move on faster than men after divorce.

While subconscious biological reasoning may have something to do with this, women may also move on faster due to the want for a coping mechanism, potential financial security, religious or social pressure, the urge to create stability for their children, or the desire to have a companion by their side.

However, every situation is different and every woman is unique. It’s important to keep this in mind before jumping to negative conclusions about people who are coping with divorce.

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I am a father and blogger and recently divorced. I love spending time with my 3 daughters and am still learning how to navigate life as a single dad and ex-husband; a life I didn't choose but have accepted.

Top Related Posts