If you want a long-term relationship, then the question of when to ask her out becomes thornier. You'll need to know as much as you can about her before you reveal your feelings. Sadly, it may be tough to get a good read on her. "Too many questions will push away most divorced women," says Janet Siroto, editorial director of Match.com. "They are going to talk about their divorces with therapists or girlfriends. Not a guy."
"We don't want to expose our weakness after a divorce," Griffin says. "But I personally love to hear a guy's horror stories about his exes, like the time she puked. Tell me about that."
So quiz her friends, family, and coworkers. You are looking for three basic facts. First, what stage of the divorce is she in? The earlier in the process, the less ready she'll be for new love. Each situation is different, but if the ink on the divorce papers is still wet, you've got problems. "You don't really want someone who is coming out of that funk," Couvrette says. "Some people are ready in about six months, but most people will take a year or even years."
Second, was she the leaver or the leavee? "If she was recently abandoned," says Michael Daniel, the owner and moderator of Ojar.com, a divorce-support website for people under 35, "I'd say run. She has unresolved issues and you don't want to be the guy to help her resolve them."
Third, does she have kids? It's a hard truth that kids always make it tougher for a person to move on. The ex-husband is usually still around. Scheduling dates can be an agony. And with kids, you will always come second. "I prefer not to date people with children," Daniel says. "I don't want to get caught up in that drama."
Marc Lawrence knows all the risks. He's divorced himself. But he decided he could deal with Jenn's divorce and her three children. Jenn, however, may be having second thoughts about Marc. "I sent her an e-mail," Marc says, a few days after his party. "So far, she hasn't responded."