By Tracy Achen If you are thinking about dating during divorce ... You may think that you are free to start a new relationship once the decision is made to separate or divorce.

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Their baby has been hurt, and they're going to be extra protective him/her for, well, a long long while.

It may take them a little longer to warm up to you, but if you've met them at all, you're clearly on the right path. Friends are family, and oftentimes they can be even more protective over a hurt friend because they received the unedited version of how this divorce went down (let's be honest, often parents don't get the full play-by-play for their own good.).

One would think they would be able to distinguish between unbridled bullshit and expressions of love and affection after five-plus decades, and even be able to see those not-so-hidden traces of narcissism in that behavior. I certainly can be charming when I want to be, but I lose points for being, as I said, direct. Sensitivity turned out to be the exact opposite of what he appeared to be. I'll take the hit with women over 50 if I dare to be direct and warn them that the charmer who is telling them how wonderful they are today may be unsupportive, selfish and gone tomorrow.

The older we get, the more inevitable it's going to be we date people who already have a marriage behind their belt.

Even if your husband has carried on numerous affairs during your marriage, he will not think that you are justified in seeing someone new at this time.

All he will focus on is that he has been wronged and will want to seek justice anyway he can.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it proves they were — and therefore likely still are — able to really commit to someone. And before you ask yourself, how will I know if he or she is ready? Now of course, not everyone going through a divorce is a lost cause — Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger even calls divorced men the best kept secret.

Still, there are some things to be wary of, and just like everything else in life, timing is everything; it can play a larger factor when dating someone going through a divorce; even a couple of months can make all the difference in the world. In any relationship, you can't force someone to be ready for something when they're not, as frustrating as that is. But even they have some traits you should go ahead and just expect. There's a difference between being hurt and not ready to move on.

In other words, they've graduated from the prestigious "How to really please a partner" college, and you get to be the lucky benefactor of this degree. He or she has been fully immersed in it, and he or she won't take anything less than the real thing.